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for Responsible Fisheries No. 5. Development of Aquaculture). However, these have often not been well integrated into national policy and legislative frameworks.

      A number of policy tools have been used to regulate unsustainable aquaculture expansion, e.g., banning of mangrove utilization for aquaculture practices, determining maximum production per area, standards for feed, rules for disease control, and the use of drugs.

     Regulations focused on individual production units alone cannot guarantee sustainability at the landscape level because they do not consider the cumulative impacts of multiple farms on a particular area. In addition, existing regulatory structures for aquaculture mostly do not allow, or facilitate, a production mode or approach that is conducive to long-term sustainability. Nutrient cycling and reutilization of wastes by other forms of aquaculture (polyculture) or local fisheries are frequently prohibited or discouraged.

      FAO and progressive industries are now increasingly promoting an ecosystem approach to aquaculture which will "balance diverse societal objectives, taking into account knowledge and uncertainties of biotic, abiotic and human components of ecosystems including their interactions, flows and processes and applying an integrated approach to aquaculture within ecologically and operationally meaningful boundaries" (FAO, 2006a). The purpose of an ecosystem approach should be to plan, develop and manage the sector in a manner that addresses the multiple needs and desires of societies, without jeopardizing the options for future generations to benefit from the full range of goods and services provided by aquatic ecosystems.

      Policy options for improved environmental performance of the aquaculture sector could include:

  • Further development of guidelines for environmentally sound and sustainable aquaculture industry and promotion of compliance with the guidelines;
  • Promotion of the adoption of exclusion zones that protect wild stocks in areas considered to be essential to their continued survival in the wild and to maintain commercial wild fisheries;
  • Improved integration of aquaculture development with wild fish stock management, including, where appropriate, enhancement strategies for aquatic species to help wild stock fisheries recover and to provide additional recreational opportunities;
  • Promotion and enforcement of regulations that require Strategic Environmental Impact Assessment of potential aquaculture developments at the landscape level and develop land use plans that maintain total production within environmentally sustainable limits;
  • Adoption of production unit design and management practices that encourage integration, recycling and reuse of effluents, provide for disposal and/or processing of wastes;
  • Adoption of production unit design and management practices that minimize and, where practicable, eliminate the use of agriculture and veterinary chemicals and ensure the correct use and disposal of registered chemicals;
  • Support for the development and use of diets and feeding strategies which minimize adverse environmental impacts;


  • Promotion of improved monitoring and enforcement of management systems to reduce the risk deliberate and unintentional releases.
  • Development of appropriate protocols regarding the safe transfer and culture of exotic species and the translocation of live product within and between states, including living modified organisms (see Myhr and Dalmo, 2005)
  • Promotion of industry training and education opportunities in environmental awareness, clean production methods and best practice; and
  • Promotion of an information clearinghouse and information dissemination system for environmentally sound aquaculture. Water scarcity, water quality and the distribution of water

The broad policy recommendations which can be made for improved water management in the agricultural sector have their roots in the same fundamental paradigm shift that is required for all aspects of sustainable development-full cost accounting and recognition of the multifunctionality and interdependence of landscapes. There is a need for overall reform in the water sector which must address the following: getting technical water bureaucracies to see water management as a social and political as well as a technical issue; supporting more integrated approaches to agricultural water management; creating incentives to improve equity, efficiency, and sustainability of water use; improving the effectiveness of the state itself, particularly its regulatory role; developing effective coordination and negotiation mechanisms among various water development and management sectors; and empowering marginalized groups, including women to have a voice in water management (Merrey et al., 2007).

Improve investment in sustainable irrigation.There are four principal reasons to invest in irrigation over the next three to five decades:

  1. To reduce rural poverty-in countries and regions that rely on agriculture for a large portion of their GDP (much of SSA), increased agricultural productivity is the most viable option for poverty reduction;
  2. To keep up with food demand and changing food preferences;
  3. To adapt to changing condition-increasing competition for water will require investments that enable farmers to grow more food with less water; increasing climate variability and extremes, due to climate change, may require further irrigation development and changes in the operation of existing schemes; and
  4. To increase multiple benefits and ecosystem services from existing systems, while reducing negative impacts (Faure? s et al., 2007).

Investment has traditionally meant public expenditure on new irrigation systems (capital investment). A broader definition is needed that includes public investment in irrigation and drainage development, institutional reform, improved governance, capacity building, management improvement,