FAO promotes genetic improvements in aquaculture
United Nations’ (UN) Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) said that wider appropriate application of genetic improvement in aquaculture will significantly boost sustainable food supply for future generations.
This was highlighted in the recently launched FAO report called State of the World’s Aquatic Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture, which reviews He world’s use of aquatic genetic resources both in capture fisheries and in aquaculture, in areas under national jurisdiction.
The first-ever global report of its kind is based on information provided by 92 countries, together representing 96 percent of global aquaculture production and over 80 percent of capture fisheries production.
As of now, aquaculture is lagging far behind terrestrial agriculture – both crops and livestock – in terms of the characterization, domestication and improvement of its genetic resources for food production. The report concluded that countries have the opportunity to significantly enhance sustainable aquaculture production through the strategic management and development of some of the more than 550 species currently used in aquaculture.
“I strongly welcome this report which is the fruit of a multi-year, country-driven process of data collection and analysis,” said FAO Director-General Qu Dongyu.
“It highlights the pressures that a growing demand for fish and fish products will place on farmed species, their wild relatives, and the habitats they depend on, as well as the opportunities for sustainable growth. This is why it is crucial that we safeguard, manage and further develop the planet’s aquatic genetic resources, allowing organisms to grow, to adapt to natural and human-induced impacts such as climate change, to resist diseases and parasites, and to continue to evolve to help achieve the Sustainable Development Goals and our continued fight for a Zero Hunger world,” he added.