PHUKET: The world’s leading experts on aquaculture convened in Phuket yesterday for a four-day seminar on the future development of the industry.
Phuket’s selection as venue for the “Global Conference On Aquaculture 2010” can be seen as an acknowledgment of the Andaman region’s importance to the industry.
The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the Network of Aquaculture Centers in Asia-Pacific (NACA) and the Thai Department of Fisheries jointly organized the event, which kicked off at 9am at the Moevenpick Resort and Spa on Karon Beach.
Thammarat Wanglee, advisor to the Minister of Agriculture and Cooperatives, chaired the seminar. It was attended by Fisheries Department Director-General Dr Somying Piumsomboon, as well as academic and business leaders in aquaculture from Thailand and around the world.
The seminar aimed to assess the current situation in world aquaculture, identify trends for the future and formulate development strategies for the next decade.
Among the specific goals was to evaluate the success in implementing the “Bangkok Declaration and Strategy for Aquaculture Development Beyond 2000”, which set out strategies to ensure sustainability and competitiveness on a global level over the past decade.
The seminar also aimed to identify emerging issues and new opportunities in aquaculture.
In an address to the conference, Dr Somying said the aquaculture industry was growing rapidly, particularly in Asia and South America, where it had grown by more than 33% since 2000.
More than 40% of seafood consumed globally, including fish, crabs, shrimp and shellfish, is now farmed, she said.
Thailand was the fifth-largest producer of farmed seafood in the world, producing 1.38 million tons worth more than 78 billion baht every year, she said.
Nevertheless, Dr Somying warned that the industry faces obstacles to future development including environmental degradation, disease outbreaks and natural disasters.
In order for the industry to remain stable and continue to serve as a reliable global food source, there must be an appropriate framework for sustainable development, she said.
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