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A global assessment of potential for offshore mariculture development from a spatial perspective










Kapetsky, J.M., Aguilar-Manjarrez, J. & Jenness, J. 2013. A global assessment of potential for offshore mariculture development from a spatial perspective. FAO Fisheries and Aquaculture Technical Paper No. 549. Rome, FAO. 181 pp.


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    Expanding mariculture farther offshore - Technical, environmental, spatial and governance challenges 2013
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    This document contains the proceedings of the technical workshop entitled “Expanding mariculture: technical, environmental, spatial and governance challenges”, held from 22 to 25 March 2010, in Orbetello, Italy, and organized by the Aquaculture Branch of the Fisheries and Aquaculture Department of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). The objective of this workshop was to discuss the growing need to increasingly transfer land-based and coastal aquaculture production systems farther off the coast and provide recommendations for action to FAO, governments and the private sector. The workshop experts proposed general “operational criteria” for defining mariculture activities in three broad categories: (i) coastal mariculture, (ii) off the coast mariculture and (iii) offshore mariculture. Offshore mariculture is likely to offer significant opportunities for food production and development to many coastal countries, especially in regions where the availability o f land, nearshore space and freshwater are limited resources. Mariculture is also recognized as a relevant producer of the protein that the global population will need in the coming decades. It is likely that species with the highest production today, such as salmon, will initially drive the development of offshore mariculture. Nevertheless, the workshop agreed that additional efforts are necessary to define optimal species and improve efforts in the development and transfer of technologies that can facilitate offshore mariculture development. The workshop discussions and reviews indicate large potential for the development of offshore mariculture although more detailed assessments are needed to determine the regions and countries that are most promising for development. It is also recommended that efforts be increased to farm lower trophic levels species and optimize feeds and feeding in order to minimize ecosystems impacts and ensure long-term sustainability. Similarly, risk assessme nts and/or environmental impact assessment and monitoring must always be in place before establishing offshore farms, and permanent environmental monitoring must be ensured. All coastal nations should be prepared to engage actively in developing the technological, legal and financial frameworks needed to support the future development of offshore mariculture to meet global food needs. The workshop report highlights the major opportunities and challenges for a sustainable mariculture industry to grow and further expand off the coast. In particular, the workshop recommended that FAO should provide a forum through which the potential importance of the sea in future food production can be communicated to the public and specific groups of stakeholders and to support its Members and industry in the development needed to expand mariculture to offshore locations. The proceedings include the workshop report and an the accompanying CD–ROM containing six reviews covering technical, environmental, economic and marketing, policy and governance issues, and two case studies on highfin amberjack (Seriola rivoliana) offshore farming in Hawaii (the United States of America) and one on salmon farming in Chile.
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    Report of the Regional Technical Workshop on Spatial Planning for Marine Capture Fisheries and Aquaculture
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    The Regional Technical Workshop on Spatial Planning for Marine Capture Fisheries and Aquaculture, held in Doha, the State of Qatar, from 24 to 28 October 2010, was attended by 21 delegates from seven Member countries of RECOFI (the Kingdom of Bahrain, the Islamic Republic of Iran, the State of Kuwait, the Sultanate of Oman, the State of Qatar, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates) and representatives from FAO. The workshop achieved three objectives: (i) it created awarenes s and initiated capacity building through a technical seminar on basic concepts and emerging issues concerning spatial planning for marine capture fisheries and aquaculture; It received feedback from each RECOFI country presentation on the present status of the use of spatially-based planning tools, including case studies, present issues and challenges; (ii) it presented the results and analysis of the RECOFI regional spatial planning for marine capture fisheries and aquaculture questionnaire su rvey; and (iii) it prepared and finalized a Proposal for a Regional programme for Implementing a Strategy on Spatial Planning for Marine Capture Fisheries and Aquaculture in RECOFI Member countries based on the survey outcomes and workshop deliberation and brainstorming. The long-term vision of the regional strategy for implementing spatial planning capacity in the RECOFI member countries is: To illustrate how spatial planning tools are one essential element to achieving sustainable clean, healt hy, safe, productive and biologically diverse marine seas in the RECOFI region, and how they allow for mariculture and marine fishery production activities to be maximized whilst at the same time taking into account the other users of the marine space.
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    The potential of spatial planning tools to support the ecosystem approach to aquaculture. 2010
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    Attention is presently turning to the processes, methods and tools that allow practical implementation of the ecosystem approach to aquaculture (EAA).This will require the use of various tools and methodologies, including environmental impact assessments and risk analysis. Ecosystem-based management involves a transition from traditional sector-by-sector planning and decision-making to the more holistic approach of integrated natural resource management at different scales and for ecosystems tha t cross administrative boundaries. An essential element for the implementation of the EAA will be the use of spatial planning tools including Geographic Information Systems, remote sensing and mapping for data management, analysis, modelling and decision-making. These proceedings focus on the status and process of implementing these tools which, in turn, necessitate the development of capacity building, training and promotion of spatial planning among decision-makers and technical staff. The doc ument is organized in two parts. The first, the workshop report, deals with the background of the EAA effort and the genesis of the workshop. Most importantly, it captures the salient contributions of participants from their formal presentations and general discussions. The main conclusions of a review of the status and potential of spatial planning tools, decisionmaking and modelling in implementing the EAA are also included. The review itself, along with an abstract, forms the second part.

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