Aquaculture has a strong potential to contribute to reducing hunger in the world said Kofi Annan, twice Secretary General of the United Nations, when addressing AquaVision 2012 delegates in Norway last month. He asked the major aquaculture companies represented at the conference to look beyond their bottom line and share knowledge and partner with the small fish farmers in developing countries. If the industry leaders do that it will accelerate the reduction in hunger and lead to sustainable food production. He added that aquaculture also needs the facilitation of governments and support of society because we are struggling today to feed seven billion people. In 2050 it will be nine billion.
The farming of fish is about more than producing food, it is good protein that provides excellent nutrition and generates a means of earning an income, leading to economic development. In particular, women are often involved in small scale enterprises and when that happens their children benefit from better nutrition. We often talk about food security but forget the word nutrition. Hunger and poor nutrition damage health and inhibit development and growth, which leads to continuing failure.
Kofi Annan congratulated the industry for its focus on improving sustainability, with initiatives such as the Aquaculture Stewardship Council, then asked for more attention to the potential long term impacts of climate change to increase productivity in conditions to come, in the developing countries as well as the developed world. Reviewing the industry’s current approach to improving productivity and sustainability he commented; “I do not ask you to change direction, but I ask you to accelerate progress. We need to work together if we are to overcome world hunger.”
(file from AquaVision 2012 management brief – Issue 3)