Document Type

Internship Report

Publication Date

Fall 2015


Across the globe the availability of and access to aquaculture zones and sites with favorable characteristics, including those areas that minimize interactions and conflicts with other activities, represent constraints for the expansion of the sector. Meeting the future demand for food from aquaculture will largely depend on the availability of space for aquaculture. In several countries where aquaculture is already well established, the spatial distribution of the sector has not been well planned. Moreover, in countries where aquaculture is a novel activity, a comprehensive and coordinated spatial plan to secure an adequate allocation of space in waters and land for sustainable growth of aquaculture is under development. Managing space is then of high importance whether it is for sustainable or economic development of the industry. A well-organized spatial planning will improve farms’ production, reduce environmental impacts, ease permitting process, encourage funding from private or public organizations, and bring confidence among workers (who usually work part-time in developing countries). It is important for countries to know the initial steps in spatial planning when their areas offer some potentials and advantages of developing the aquaculture industry. Countries need to do an inventory at each main stages of their development before moving forward. Site inventory is a basic step when a country wants to structure its part of sea, ocean or inland area for aquaculture purposes; it enables them to know what have been done, and what remains to be done. Sites inventory provides essential information when evaluating environmental, social, and economic feasibility of an aquaculture facility. It can enhance facility siting and management, assess environmental impacts to sensitive ecosystems and habitats, and monitor illegal farming and facility licensing process. There are several ways to conduct an inventory; it can be done through field work or through imagery analysis. Field work data collection mainly consists of going on sites so as to collect basic information that would be delivered by farmers. Primary data gathered on site include geographical coordinates, name of the farms, administrative levels, and other information that farmers would be willing to provide. On the other hand, additional data can be collected from spatial analysis using a variety of spatial tools. For instance, Travaglia et al. (2004) have shown that inventory through Satellite imaging radar (SAR) was successful to correctly identify fishponds and fish pens with a precision of 95% and 100%, respectively. However, analysis through SAR is quite expensive, and other assessment tools using imagery are now being offered at reasonable costs. In this study, the program Google Earth was the assessment tool to collect spatial information and support field project. In contrast to SAR, Google Earth is really user-friendly, simple to use, cost-efficient, and support field study. The utility of gathering such data help international organization make statistical estimates for countries in order to evaluate the countries’ economic state in general and the contribution of aquaculture to their economy. However, many farmers do not report, misreport, or incorrectly report data from their production, size of farms, or number of cages, etc. There are many reasons for this lack of data reporting especially in countries where aquaculture businesses are mostly family owned. It could be either due to scarcity of assessment capacity coming from the lack of education or workers availability. The role of FAO in aquaculture is to promote the sustainable development of the industry with an Ecosystem Approach to Aquaculture (EAA), share information and knowledge through analysis and reporting, and improve socioeconomic feasibility by promoting and implementing legal guidelines and policies for aquaculture planning and management. FAO also procures information on aquaculture governance, resources, and technology. The statistical department (FIPS) working closely with the aquaculture department (FIRA) is also responsible for making global production data of member countries available through an online query. Finally, the National Aquaculture Sector and Legislation Overview (NASO & NALO) fact sheets consist of synthesizing information of different subjects on member countries and provide complementary data such as statistics, graphics, and profiles.


Department: MES

MPS Track: AQU

Location: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations

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