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FISHERIES AND MARINE ENVIRONMENT RESEARCH INSTITUTE INC (FMERI) BACKGROUND PAPER PREPARED FOR INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON

FISHERIES AND MARINE ENVIRONMENT RESEARCH INSTITUTE INC (FMERI)

BACKGROUND PAPER PREPARED FOR INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON FISHERIES AND GLOBALIZATION

19 21 September 2012 Iloilo, Philippines

AQUACULTURE AND ITS IMPACTS ON SMALL-SCALE FISHERIES

Introduction

Aquaculture or the farming of aquatic organisms including fish, molluscs, crustaceans and aquatic plants has grown in importance through the years. It is viewed as the primary means to answer the growing demand for fish, now supplying almost half of the world’s fish for human consumption, as production from wild capture fisheries decline due to overexploitation of fish stocks, and maintaining a steady growth rate, higher compared to livestock products. It provides employment for 16,570,060 fish farmers in 2010 and 600 aquatic organisms are now cultured in 190 countries (FAO, 2012).

However, the push for commercial aquaculture that responds to the increasing demand of developed countries has resulted in the promotion of unsustainable practices which threatens the food security of developing countries, contributes to overfishing and environmental degradation and marginalizes aquaculture farm workers and small-scale fisherfolk. There is a need for a shift from an export-driven aquaculture industry to one which prioritizes food sovereignty and promotes the rights of small-scale fisherfolk.

Overview

Aquaculture originated mainly as a means to supplement the daily diet. Several theories explaining how aquaculture practices started, with people benefiting from naturally occurring events that create traps containing fish. Seasonal flooding of inland waters transfers fish into flood plains and marshlands or embankments along rivers called oxbows, and in coastal areas, tidal fluctuations stock coves and enclosements. People first used water reservoirs intended for another purpose, such as a water source or a means of defense, to hold fish, before they started building traps near communities. (Rabanal, 1988)

The first record of aquaculture practices was written in China by Fan Lai. The Classic of Fish Culture described the structure of ponds, the method of propagation and the growth of fry. The common carp was recommended because it was fast growing, inexpensive to raise and not cannibalistic. Aquaculture developed independently in different regions, diversifying to cover other aquatic species, and expanded with varying levels of technological sophistication and input intensification. (Rabanal, 1988) Production, demand, consumption and the number of people employed in aquaculture grew with technological development.

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Production According to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations, the world aquaculture production in 2010 has reached an all-time high of 79 million tons, including aquatic plants and non-food products, with an estimated value of US$125 billion. Although the annual average growth rate is only 6.3 %, indicating a slowing down from high annual growth rates of 10.8 % in the 1980s and 9.5 % in the 1990s, its contribution to the world total fish production has increased to 40.3 %.

On the other hand, while capture fish production is higher at 90.4 million tons in 2011, marine catches, excluding anchoveta, has not displayed a growth rate exceeding 1.2 % from 2004 to 2010. Despite the growth of inland capture fisheries by 29.7 % in the same period, it only accounts for 11.5 million tons of capture fisheries production and important bodies of freshwater such as the Aral Sea and Lake Chad shows signs of degradation. (FAO, 2012) Aquaculture has even contributed to capture fish production through culture-based fisheries, by enhancing wild fish stocks with the release of juvenile fish or invertebrates raised in hatcheries or captured in the wild. (Kura, 2004)

In terms of the cultural environment, the freshwater production in 2011 amounted to 44.3 million tons. Its share increased from less than 50 % before the 1980s to almost 62 % in 2010 with an average annual growth rate of 7.2 % from 2000 to 2010. But it only accounts for 58.1 % of the total value. Brackish water aquaculture, on the other hand, contributed only 7.9 % to production but 12.8 % to value. Marine aquaculture production is at 19.3 million tons of production but its share decreased from more than 40 % to just above 30 % at a rate of 4.4 %. (FAO, 2012)

FAO data in 2010 show that the global distribution of aquaculture production in developed and developing countries is imbalanced, more than 80 % of aquaculture output occurs” in developing countries. Production in developed industrialized countries, with the exception of Norway, has not been expanding. The average annual growth rate decreased from 2.1 % in the 1990s to 1.5 % in the 2000s, with only 1.6 % of the total volume coming from North America and 4.2 % from Europe. (FAO, 2012)

From the total farmed food fish, 87.6 % of the volume and 81.9 % of the value came from the top 10 producing countries. Eight of these countries are in Asia, namely China, India, Viet Nam, Indonesia, Bangladesh, Thailand, Myanmar and the Philippines. Although China’s proportion of aquaculture production from the global total has decreased from 66 % in 1996- 2000 to 61.4 % in 2010, it still accounts for more than two thirds of the total volume of farmed fish produced.(FAO, 2012)

Among the top 10 aquaculture producers, China, Norway, Thailand, and Viet Nam are also the top 4 (four) exporters of fish and fishery products in terms of value in 2010. China, the top aquaculture producer, is also the top exporter contributing almost 12 % to total world exports. The value of exports from China increased from US$13.3 billion to US$17.1 billion in 2011, with an average annual %age growth rate of 13.9 % from 2000-2010. Thailand and Viet Nam exports reprocessed imported raw material, with Thailand being more dependent on imported raw material while Viet Nam’s export growth is attributed to aquaculture. The rest of the top ten exporters are United States of America (USA), Denmark, Canada, the Netherlands, Spain, and Chile. (FAO, 2012)

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Consumption Aquaculture is now the fastest growing food production sector (Kura 2004). Almost half or 47 % of world food fish production now comes from farmed fish, which, from 1980 to 2010, has an average annual growth rate of 8.8 % while growth rate of captured fisheries stagnate. Out of the total world fish production in 2011, 130.8 million tons are for human consumption. This is more than 86 % of total production in 2010. From 1961 to 2009, the world food fish production increased at an annual rate of 3.2 %, outpacing the rate of population growth at 1.7 %. Fish provides 16.6 % of animal protein intake and 6.5 % of protein consumed in 2009. (FAO,

2012)

Production of land-based farmed meat from 1995-2007 has an annual growth rate of only 2.7 %. The annual growth of protein intake from all livestock products is only 1.3 %. While its share in total protein intake is at 27.9 %, the annual growth is only 0.8 %. (FAO, 2009)

Aquaculture has caused the increased demand for, consumption and commercialization of species like shrimps, salmon, bivalves, tilapia, catfish. Production of these fish has shifted from being primarily wild to being primarily cultured. (FAO, 2012)

Based on a global population of 7 billion, the average per capita fish consumption is 18.8 kilograms, about 74 % from finfish and 26 % from shellfish. For industrialized and developed countries it is higher, with 28.7 kg and 24.2 kg respectively, while in developing countries it is only 17 kg and 10.1 kg for Low-income Food-deficient countries (LIFDCs). (FAO, 2012)

Developed countries are increasingly dependent on imports from developing countries for their fish consumption due to declining production and high demand. The share of fish in animal protein intake is 12.4 % due to increase in consumption of meat and other animal proteins. But the per capita meat consumption is 82.9 in 2007.

In developing countries, especially in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia, the share of fish in animal protein consumption is 19.2 % in 2010, and it is higher at 24 % in LIFDCs. At least 50 % of total animal protein intake in some small developing states, Bangladesh, Cambodia, Ghana, Gambia, Indonesia, Sierra Leone and Sri Lanka is from fish. Fish is affordable compared to other animal protein source and is part of the traditional daily diet, but it is supply- driven. (FAO, 2012)

Livelihood According to the Aquaculture and Management Conservation Service (FIRA) project for the Global Conference on Aquaculture 2010, there are 23,411,178 full-time fish farm workers in 2005. More than 16 million people are employed on direct or on-farm jobs in aquaculture. (Valderrama, 2010) This accounts for 30 % of people engaged in fisheries and this number continues to grow at a rate of 5.5 % in the last 5 (five) years, compared to only 0.8 % growth in capture fisheries. (FAO, 2012) Moreover, 6,753,185 people are employed in indirect jobs involving ancillary activities. The project estimates that, “assuming an average family size of five members,” aquaculture contributes to the livelihood of “approximately 117 million people, or 1.8 % of the world population. (Valderrama, 2010)

In Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean, the number of people employed in fish farms has increased every year. There are roughly around 16,078,000 employed in Asia, which is 97 % of the total. (FAO, 2012) The Far East, including India, is where 92 % of aquaculture workers are, which also accounts for 91 % of world production.

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The highest labor productivity is in North America, with 55.41 tons/man-year and Europe, with 20.7 tons/man-year. Less than one % of aquaculture workers are employed there, due to their highly industrialized production requiring less manual labor. (Valderrama, 2010) The number of people engaged in fisheries has decreased in Europe and other capital intensive economies, while people engaged in fish farms have not increased. (FAO, 2012)

Growth of Unsustainable Aquaculture

Today, while the majority of fish farmers are small-scale fisherfolk with small productivity volumes, there is a push for commercial aquaculture with high technological input levels and productivity volumes, which brings in foreign currency earnings for developing countries. There has been a shift from production for domestic consumption to commercial aquaculture targeting export species of higher value for international markets due to consumer demand, trade liberalization and globalization, as well as advancement in production, processing, preserving and transportation. (Rabanal, 1988)

Species of high value, like shrimp, prawns, salmon, and tuna, are produced for export to developed countries and require large-scale, intensive operations and large capital investments while species of comparatively lower value, like small pelagics, are produced by extensive or rural aquaculture with low capital investment and primarily sold in domestic markets of developing countries for local consumption. (Kura, 2004) This is demonstrated in the disparity of share in total production and value of farmed products of least-developed countries (LDCs) compared to that of developed industrialized countries. LDCs, which account for 20 % of the world’s total population, have a 4.1 % share in aquaculture production but only 3.6 % of the total value, indicating a lower value for their farmed products, while developed industrialized countries account for 6.9 % of production but the value is higher at 14 %. (FAO, 2012)

Intensive or industrial aquaculture aims to maximize production by applying a high level of technological input on a controlled environment and the management of the entire life cycle of the cultured species. This is exemplified by monoculture of species for export with high value, which are often carnivorous species requiring manufactured feeds, antibiotics to prevent diseases in higher stocking densities and energy dependent resources for a controlled environment. Consequently, a considerable amount of investment is needed and it is usually undertaken by large companies. (Kura, 2004)

Extensive and semi-intensive or rural aquaculture requires simple technology and minimum external inputs applied only during the adult part of the life cycle of species groups that are lower in the food chain. These species are herbivores or omnivores that rely on natural food, allowing for the successful integration of polyculture with agriculture and livestock production like in traditional and artisanal operations. Despite high yields, its contribution to daily local consumption and local food security is under-appreciated due to the low export value of its products. (Kura, 2004)

Aquaculture still fails to accomplish its major role in ensuring food security due to trade policies that promote an export-oriented industry, to answer the high demand of developed countries for fish to the detriment of traditional stakeholders in developing countries, where majority of aquaculture farms are located. Despite recent technological improvements, industrialized farmed fish remain dependent on captured fisheries for feeds, further contributing to overfishing. Devastating impacts on the environment are aggravated by the pressure to farm at high densities to maintain or increase productivity, boost growth, answer market demands

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and maximize profit. Fish workers suffer poor working conditions and small-scale fisherfolk are continuously marginalized.

Excessive Demand for Export

Trade policies governing the fish industry favors developed countries and responds to their increasing demand for fish by promoting export-oriented production in developing countries. Aquaculture is instrumental in the growth of trade in fish and fishery products, the main products produced for export are shrimps, prawns, salmon and catfish. However, there is difficulty in determining the total contribution of aquaculture to overall export and import amounts since available data rarely distinguish its figures from that of captured fisheries.

Fish and fishery products contribute 10 % to agricultural exports and 38 % of total food exports with a value of US$102 billion in 2010. And 71 % of fishery exports are for human consumption. More than half of fishery exports in terms of value, and more than 60 % of the quantity, came from developing countries. An estimated 67 % of the value of exports of developing countries is from developed countries, including processed products. Only 33 % are traded with other developing countries. The share of developing countries of food fish export has increased from 32 % in 1980 to 56 % in 2010. The net export of developing countries is higher than other agricultural commodities already reaching US$27.7 billion. The net export revenue of LIFDCs is US$4.7 billion while total fishery exports are US$8.2, which is eight % of world export in value. (FAO, 2012)

For export species like Atlantic salmon and marine shrimps, aquaculture production is noticeably higher than capture production. Shrimp is the largest single commodity among all internationally traded fishery products, contributing 15 % to the total value. Its top 3 (three) producers, Thailand, China, and Viet Nam, are in Asia while the main importers are the United States of America and Japan. Due to rising demands and despite erratic availability, trade in salmon and trout increased to 14 %. Increased consumption and commercialization also cause price decrease which affects the total value of aquaculture production and trade. (FAO, 2012)

Imports of fish and fishery products has reached US$111.8 billion in 2010, 86 % higher than in 2000 and still growing. Developing countries are also dependent on developed countries that import low-priced small pelagics and high-value species for local consumption and raw materials for their processing industry, but only 39 % of the value of fisheries imports of developing countries come from developed countries. The imports of developed countries accounts for 76 % of the value and only 58 % of the volume of total world imports, which indicates that the products are of higher unit value. Almost half or 48 % of the import value of these come from developing countries due to low import tariffs. (FAO, 2012)

In 2011, USA, Japan and China are the three biggest importers. In USA, 60 % of fishery consumption is from imports which amount to US$17.5 billion. In Japan, 54 % of seafood consumption is from imports, and due to decrease of production capacity due to the tsunami, this amounted to US$17.4 billion. China’s imports increased by 23 % to US$7.6 billion, despite of being the top producer and exporter, due to its processing and exporting industry and the unavailability of species with high demand. The largest market for imports is the European Union. It accounts for 40 % of world imports worth US$50 billion, 26 % for US$26.5 billion if intra-European Union trade is excluded. (FAO, 2012)

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Contribution to depletion of wild stocks

Aquaculture has failed to lessen pressure on wild stocks due to its dependence on wild species for feeds and seeds. It also alters the ecosystem, biodiversity and the natural food web of surrounding waters containing the wild species, which cannot survive and are driven away.

Reduction fisheries refer to the conversion of fish catch into fishmeal and fish oil, which are the primary components of artificial feeds in aquaculture. Fishmeal is primarily made of trash fish or bycatch that are otherwise discarded, small pelagic species and waste from fish processing. Although some say that the species used in fishmeal production are not consumed by humans, some fish are eaten by impoverished communities.

In 2010, 13.6 % of total world fish production, or 23.2 million tons in 2011, were headed for other uses other than human consumption. An estimated 74 % of the non-food exports come from developing countries and this is 35 % in terms of quantity and 5 (five) % in terms of value of their exports. Although the volume of fishmeal is decreasing, fishmeal and fish oil still accounts for 75 % of non-food production. This is apart from fish used for direct feeding which is separately accounted for in the remaining volume. (FAO, 2012)

Aquatic animals, compared to terrestrial animals, are more efficient at feed conversion in terms the amount necessary to produce one pound of animal. However, fishmeal is also a greater component in their feeds and “the quantity of input of natural fish exceeds outputs in terms of farmed fishery products.” (Emerson, 1999)

Worldwide, the %age of farmed non-fed species decreased from more than 50 % in 1980 to only 33.3 % in 2010, which indicates that production of fed species or higher trophic- level species have expanded due to increasing consumer demand. (FAO, 2012) High valued species like salmon and shrimp feed off fish of lower-value that are captured. In order to maintain or increase production, meet market demands and maximize profit, aquatic species cultured at high densities are also overfed. Even species that do not need fishmeal, like herbivore and omnivore species that process plant protein better, are given artificial feed to boost growth. (Kura, 2004)

However, it is not only the species used for the feeds that are in danger of overfishing. The species from captured fisheries used to feed farmed species have expanded, harming other organisms in its ecosystem that are also dependent on it for sustenance. Krill, a crustacean which is essential to the food chain in the Antarctic, is increasingly used as fish feed. Aquaculture of species of high value make them regularly available and lower prices which increases demand and put pressure on the wild stock, instead of relieving it. (Kura, 2004)

Wild species are used as seed, broodstock or source of larvae for cultured species, like shellfish, shrimp fry and tuna. Juvenile fish is used as seed fish in aquaculture operations such as sea ranching, sea farming or open ocean aquaculture, sometimes in another country. They are caught before they can reproduce and renew wild stocks. When harvested, its volume is included in aquaculture figures.

Environment

Aquaculture is one of the most environmentally destructive food industries,according to Emerson (1999). Among the devastating impacts on the environment are its contribution to

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pollution, the spread of diseases, the threats to ecosystems and biodiversity, and surrounding water resources, and the massive conversion of mangrove cover and other natural habitats.

Pollution is caused by the waste products produced by aquaculture facilities and untreated sewage from fishmeal production factories. Farm effluent contains uneaten artificial feeds with excessive nutrients that boost growth, fish excretion and fecal wastes, antibiotic drugs, disinfectants that maintain the necessary water quality for high densities and antifoulants that kill organisms that destroy netting and other structures, and other chemicals and pollutants such as inorganic fertilizer. Its effects on the environment include the eutrophication, algal blooms, incidents of fish kill and the alteration of the benthic community and the natural food web.

Eutrophication occurs in surrounding waters when fish waste combine with nutrients released from the breakdown of uneaten fish feeds, causing the nutrient level to increase beyond normal. The rise in nutrient level is beneficial to phytoplankton, which by itself is toxic to some marine organisms and to humans, and it causes the formation of algal blooms. The microbial decomposition of algal blooms at the water bottom also causes the depletion of oxygen which kills sedentary species while other species migrate to other areas. Certain algal blooms are harmful to other organisms and pose a health risk to humans, such as red tides. (Emerson, 1999)

The risk of disease transmission to humans can be traced to consuming cultured species with high levels of genetically-modified components in fish feeds and antibiotics and other drugs or with hazardous pathogens. Antibiotic-resistance is spread to humans and fish pathogens which affect the affectivity of treatment of diseases. (Emerson, 1999)

Aquaculture damages the ecosystem and biodiversity of surrounding waters and communities by altering the natural food web and natural habitats, by causing the loss of spawning areas and by diluting wild genetic stocks. The decomposition of uneaten feeds containing antibiotic causes the release chemicals which affect the natural bacterial decomposition in benthic communities and are harmful to wild species.

The removal of wild species from its natural habitat destroys other larval species in the process, such as in the case of shrimp fry, and also diminishes the food supply for other aquatic organisms and marine predators, like birds and seals. Conversely, aquaculture farms have also causes the proliferation of predators of cultured organisms beyond the natural carrying capacity. (Emerson, 1999)

Farmed species are genetically engineered to boost growth. Non-indigenous species are also imported for culture. (Emerson, 1999) When they escape or are released, by accident or to boost wild stocks, they compete for food and habitat and prey on wild fish. Since higher stocking densities in aquaculture increase the vulnerability to diseases, these are transmitted to wild stocks and the ecosystem is exposed to parasites. (Kura, 2004)

Genetic contamination or hybridization changes the ecosystem when cultured species interbreed with the native population. It causes the dilution of wild species, the alteration of unique genetic stocks, and the reduction of fitness, productivity and characteristics of the wild stock (Kura, 2004), such as natural adaptations to ensure survival (Emerson, 1999).

Water resources shared with local communities are depleted with the drawdown of the aquifer in areas with aquaculture farms utilizing a continuous water flow system, the lowering of

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water levels especially aggravated by drought. (Emerson, 1999) Raceways with high densities require a continuous water flow system to maintain a desired level of water quality to prevent diseases, with proper aeration and effective waste removal. They are used for freshwater species, like trout, catfish and tilapia, marine species like juvenile salmon and abalone, and brackish water species like seabass and sea bream.

The expansion of aquaculture has led to the extensive loss of mangrove cover, inland and coastal wetlands, sea grass beds and vegetation along the shore, which serves as natural habitat and spawning ground for wild species. They are necessary as well in maintenance of coastal water quality, and prevention and mitigation of erosion, floods, storm surge and other disasters.

Shrimp, a high-valued product with high export demand, is raised in dyked ponds in brackish waters along the shore. In Asia, an estimated 40 % of shrimp farms have resulted in the destruction of mangrove forests (Kura, 2004) of over 400,000 hectares. Eventually, many shrimp ponds were abandoned due to its vulnerability to diseases, its identification as an environmentally-unfriendly product, and the economic crisis in Japan, the largest market for shrimp. (Emerson, 1999) However, the loss of mangrove cover and salinization of water resources and agricultural lands in local communities cannot be reversed.

Aquafarm Workers

Aquaculture offers employment opportunities in local communities especially in rural areas. Despite the average income of those engaged in fisheries being twice that of those engaged in agriculture (Kura, 2004), aquafarm workers are not paid well. They suffer from oppression and the curtailment of their rights and their food security is affected with the degradation of the local environment.

The occupational risks and hazards in aquaculture have been classified into physical, chemical and biological. First, physical hazards include the exposure of aquafarm workers to physical injuries, such as stings from fish spines, cuts, sprains and fractures, and clawing and bites. Workers in processing, such as in feedmills, suffer mechanical injuries and respiratory diseases. Occupational safety and health in developing countries is not given substantial attention. Second, the constant use of chemicals, such as flocculants, disinfectants, and fumes, smoke and soot, produces a variety of ailments on workers. Chemicals that pollute water ways in farms also affect workers. Lastly, Biological hazards refer to exposure to parasites and pathogens. (Erondu, 2005)

Unfair employment practices include exploitation of local labor, gender discrimination and child employment. Higher cost accrues from compliance with labor laws that protect aquaculture workers. Consequently, companies would either choose or transfer to countries with lower labor standards or exert influence on the government to reduce labor standards. (FAO, 2012)

Small-Scale Fisherfolk

The benefits of aquaculture, such as foreign currency revenue, are not enjoyed by small- scale fisherfolk, whose livelihood, food security, environment, health and safety are gravely affected by aquaculture operations in their community, and are continuously being marginalized.

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Due to the lack of comprehensive data, the economic, social and nutritional contribution of small-scale fisheries cannot be fully assessed but inland fisheries and rural aquaculture employs more than 80 % of those employed in fisheries (Kura, 2004). This is consistent to the data of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) that almost 80% are small-scale fisherfolk. (Umali, 2004)

The average outputs per person per year, 2.3 tons in capture fisheries and 3.6 tons in aquaculture, shows that there are many small-scale fisherfolk. In Europe it is higher at 25.7 tons and in North America it is 18 tons, where there is a high level of industrialization. In Asia it is lower at only 2.1 tons, where there are more small-scale fisherfolk. (FAO, 2012)

Aquaculture often develops conflicts with and competes against traditional employment in local communities. The mangrove forest, which is a renewable source of firewood, timber, pulp and charcoal for local communities, and land areas originally intended for agriculture are converted into aquaculture farms. When aquaculture operations cease and even when facilities are removed, the inevitable salinity of surrounding water resources renders the land useless for any other purpose.

Small scale fisherfolk lack the capacity to acquire ownership over coastal wetlands and other resources. They are also economically displaced by industrial aquaculture with the necessary capital to obtain leases along the shoreline. (Emerson, 1999) Their access to traditional fishing grounds and coastal resources are greatly reduced when these come under corporate control through privatization policies promoted by governments.

Although support for aquaculture production is justified as a means to reduce the pressure on depleted wild fish stocks, farm effluent from aquaculture facilities and fishmeal production sites, containing uneaten feeds and antibiotics, alters the ecosystem and negatively affects wild stocks. The degradation of natural fishery resources undermines the productivity, source of income and food security of small-scale fisherfolk.

There are instances when farmed products compete with wild fish, due to its characteristics preferred by customers, or saturates the market such that the demand for and price of wild fish is greatly reduced, (Kura, 2004) affecting the livelihood of small scale fisherfolk. Small-scale fisherfolk are engaged in aquaculture primarily for subsistence, and the encroachment of export-oriented farms in areas used for local food production also threatens their food security.

Local communities are burdened with the environmental devastation brought about by the presence of aquaculture, including pollution and the contamination, reduction and salinization of water resources. The mangrove forest destroyed also serve to prevent and mitigate the effects of disasters on vulnerable communities.

The issues faced by small-scale fisherfolk are not articulated and they lack representation or are misrepresented in international forums and negotiations for policies and bilateral trade agreements that have adverse implications for their livelihood, food security and communities. (Umali, 2004)

Small-scale Aquaculturists

Small-scale aquaculture is defined by its production and income, ownership, the level of intensification or inputs, capital and labor required and its purpose. According to the FAO’s

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Glossary of Aquaculture (2008), it is a “system with a small annual production (max one tone per unit and 10 tons total), made of one or more small production units; family or communally run; low to moderate input levels and limited external labor,” where “own food supply may be a motive.” In the Guidelines for Responsible Aquaculture in Southeast Asia (2005), its purpose is “to augment nutrition or income,” the operation using “limited capital and family or household labor.”

The farms, as defined in the Technical Guidelines on Aquaculture Certification (2010), have “small production volume, and/or relatively small surface area, mainly without permanent labor, and typically lacking technical and financial capacity to support individual certification. They “are typically: 1) family-sized operations; 2) using family labor; 3) based on the family’s land; and 4) owner-operated.”

Majority of fish farmers are small-scale aquaculturists who lack resources and cannot compete economically with industrial aquafarms. Their access to land has been severely limited due to corporate control. As with terrestrial farming, small farms have been absorbed by large industrial farms that can afford the demands for increased inputs and productivity (Emerson,

1999).

Technological inputs required for production are also under the control of corporations. The outsourcing to developing countries of fisheries processing has increased, with processors also being integrated with producers, who have to import raw materials due to the scarcity of fish. (FAO, 2012).They also have to contend with the consequent pollution and other damage to the environment caused by aquaculture operations. As part of the local community, their food security is also threatened.

Seaweed Aquaculture

The average annual growth rate of aquatic algae production has decreased from 9.5 % in the 1990s to 7. 4 % in the 2000s but 19 million tons was produced in 2010 estimated to be worth US$5.7 billion, while algae collected from the wild only contributes 4.5 % of the total algae production. However, cultivation is only limited to 31 countries and 99.6 % of the total production comes from only eight countries, namely China, Indonesia, the Philippines, the Republic of Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Japan, Malaysia, and the United Republic of Tanzania. China accounts for more than half of the production at 58.4 %, and is also the major exporter with Japan as the major importer. The export of aquatic plants amounts to US$0.8 billion. (FAO, 2012)

Seaweed aquaculture is promoted as a sustainable industry which provides livelihood for small-scale fisherfolk and contributes to the positive effect of aquaculture to the environment especially in cleaning water. However, the promotion of export-oriented commercial production threatens the livelihood and food security of small-scale fisherfolk.

Policy and Regulatory framework

There is a need for the development of legal and regulatory policies and guidelines and effective management programs for the economic and environmental sustainability of aquaculture, the protection of natural resources, and the promotion of the rights and welfare of small-scale aquaculturists, aquafarm workers and small-scale fisherfolk. A drastic shift of direction is essential, from an export-driven, high-input, high-output industry to sustainable aquaculture in the context of food sovereignty. Due to international commitments previously

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contracted, there must be a concerted effort of developing countries to assert their interests, which should not be compromised due to participation in international trade for profit.

Sustainable Aquaculture

There are diverse views on the concept of sustainability in aquaculture. There is a tendency to focus on the increasing role of aquaculture as the main producer of fish for human consumption in the future, as capture fisheries decline. Hence, the growth of its annual production and how it relates to the growth in population and demand is isolated from other factors.

According to FAO (2012), the four prerequisites for sustainable aquaculture development for long term prosperity and ecological well-being are technological soundness, economic viability, environmental integrity and social licence. The FAO Technical Guidelines on Responsible Fisheries (2010) recommends the adaptation of the ecosystem approach to aquaculture (EAA), defined as “a strategy for the integration of the activity within the wider ecosystem such that it promotes sustainable development, equity and resilience of interlinked social-ecological systems.”

New technologies that help manage the impact of aquaculture on the environment have been developed. Feeds are designed to stay longer in the water so that cultured species have longer access before they sink to the bottom. The application of hydrodynamics helps in waste dispersal or dilution and replenishment of oxygen. However, they are expensive and small-scale aquaculturists, who are not qualified for subsidies, lack the necessary capital to acquire them. Technology must adapt to the needs and capacities of developing countries and though crucial to sustainability, cannot by itself guarantee it.

Policies for the mitigation of pollution produced by aquaculture are urgently needed. Feeds cannot contain excessive nutrients, only that which is sufficient for cultured species, and fishmeal production must make better use of fish waste and capture fisheries discard. Antibiotics cannot be allowed in feeds, and must instead be vaccinated individually as needed. The mangrove cover must be replenished to compensate that which has been destroyed.

FAO promotes agroecological practices such as fish culture in rice fields. Polyculture helps reduce eutrophication and the use of toxic antifouling compounds. The aquaculture of mollusc and seaweed is proven to improve the quality of water by minimizing feed accumulation. Shellfish are natural filter feeders that remove toxins and sediments. (Kura, 2004) The shift of aquaculture to herbivorous species is also recommended.

There must be effective management and regulation of aquaculture facilities and operations, from site selection to water treatment. The inherent limitation of the production capacity of aquaculture farms must be recognized. Overfeeding to increase production and boost growth must be stopped. Fishmeal can be substituted with livestock byproducts, plant oilseed and grain legume meals, and cereal byproduct meals, while fish oil can be substituted with vegetable oil and protein.

The government of developing countries must be integral to the development and implementation of policies. The interests of foreign countries and corporations must not impede the formulation of policies for the conservation of the national patrimony and the protection of local industries, such as providing subsidies.

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Food Security and Food Sovereignty

Aquaculture is recognized to have an important role in solving the problems of hunger and malnutrition in the world and the correct framework for policies and guidelines is necessary in order to guide the industry along this path.

The Rome Declaration on World Food Security which resulted from the 1996 World Food Summit in 1996 provides that “food security exists when all people, at all times, have physical and economic access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food to meet their dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy life.”

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the three pillars of food security are food availability, food access, and food use. Food availability is having “sufficient quantities of food available on a consistent basis.” Food access is “having sufficient resources to obtain appropriate foods for a nutritious diet.” Meanwhile, food use is the “appropriate use based on knowledge of basic nutrition and care, as well as adequate water and sanitation.” FAO recognizes a fourth pillar, food stability, which is access to food at all times.

Food security, however, is focused merely on the sufficient production of safe food to meet the nutritional requirements and demands of consumers, failing to take into consideration the imbalance in the distribution of food production and consumption. The concept was found to be limited and food sovereignty was proposed as an alternative at the World Food Summit in

1996.

According to the Primer of the People’s Food Sovereignty Network (2004), food sovereignty is the people’s and communities’ fundamental right to determine their food and agricultural policies, to access and control of their means of production, and to safe, culturally appropriate foods and sustainable food production. It allows them to prioritize their own subsistence, gaining independence from low-cost subsidized imports from developed countries, and the continuous food supply for generations to come.

According to the February 2004 report of the UN Rapporteur on the Right to Food to the UN Commission on Human Rights, the key element is the reclamation of national sovereignty over food policies that have been overtaken by trade liberalization policies under WTO agreements. Each country should be able to determine its reliance on local production or imports for its consumption needs how to protect its local industries from dumping of subsidized products and the standards that should apply to food safety without the influence of large-scale, multinational businesses. There should be priority and support for local small-scale producers of food for domestic consumption, concurrent with equitable access to resources.

Small-Scale Fisherfolk

Policies and guidelines on sustainable aquaculture should also ensure sustainable employment for workers and small-scale aquaculturists, and must not marginalize small-scale fisherfolk. The right of workers in aquaculture, including post-harvest, must be protected, not only as to humane working conditions but adequate income and widespread employment as well.

Multi-trophic aquaculture, which is less damaging to the environment and contributes to food security, should be promoted to small-scale aquaculturists. Small-scale fisherfolk in communities that have been dislocated economically due to aquaculture operations require

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compensation. The formation of cooperatives for small-scale fisherfolk to venture into intensive aquaculture, primarily for local consumption, should be aided.

Small-scale fisherfolk must have proper representation in negotiations regarding policies and guidelines that have a significant consequence on their livelihood, food security, environment and communities. They must assert that their plight and circumstance be considered in the discussion and resolution of particular issues and in the development of technologies.

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