IU-ECOAQUA participation to the FAO seminar on aquaculture and blue growth development opportunities in SIDS.



Gercende Courtois de Viçose, researcher belonging to the Aquaculture Research Group (GIA), from the IU-ECOAQUA of the University of Las Palmas participated to the seminar on aquaculture and blue growth development opportunities in Small Island Developing States (SIDS). The event took place on the 23rd of October in FAO Headquarters in Rome and brought together representatives from four Pacific region SIDS, five Caribbean SIDS, eight Atlantic, Indian Ocean, Mediterranean and South China Sea (AIMS) SIDS, as well as representatives of financial institutions, higher education, aquaculture professional associations and research.

The purpose of this seminar was:

1) to review the various challenges SIDS face in developing a sustainable aquaculture sector in the face of climate change at the different stages of the Blue Growth process;

2) to share the positive and negative experiences in addressing these challenges and identify priorities;

3) to discuss the way forward, to formulate recommendations and actions needed to address the challenges through a Blue Growth approach, especially with regard to efficient resource use, energy efficiencies, decent work and innovations.

The Seminar was in line with the FAO’s Initiatives for SIDS and Strategic Programmes, particularly those regarding food insecurity and malnutrition (SP1), a more productive and sustainable agriculture (SP2), rural poverty alleviation (SP3), food systems (SP4) and increased resilience (SP5).

The presentation of Gercende Courtois de Viçose, entitled “Guidelines for the application of an Ecosystem Approach for the development of sustainable aquaculture in ORs and OCTs” focused on the importance to further develop sustainable aquaculture research and technology to initiate innovative approach for aquaculture development within the Ecosystem-based approach in European Overseas regions and territories.

In order to promote sustainable aquaculture, as part of the blue economy development in these regions, it is necessary to obtain a clear view of their specific challenges and biological resources, the global overview of the sectors’ existing needs to link them to the innovative scientific inter-disciplinary capacities and technologies based on low environmental impact production systems in order to establish adapted protocols and strategic development plans. Consequently, the aim of these guidelines is to highlight the opportunities being offered by these territories to contribute towards the European Blue Growth Strategy and to provide useful recommendations to ensure sustainable aquaculture practices in the EU Overseas under an ecosystem approach, taking into account local realities and integrating latest available knowledge. The final aim is to promote best practices in sustainable aquaculture to improve marine food production within the local environment of ORs and OCTs taking into account associated interactions and design an effective and innovative research governance framework based on sound scientific knowledge.