New Aquaculture Management Guide Provides Seafood Farmers with Sustainability Best Practices

November 26, 2018

The guide makes actionable a set of best practices in zonal aquaculture management as suggested in the Food and Agriculture Organization’s Ecosystem Approach to Aquaculture:

  1. spatial planning and zoning,
  2. waterbody carrying capacity limits, and
  3. aquaculture disease management areas.

The guidance applies to seafood farming worldwide and uses Indonesia as a case study for implementation.

“Typically, aquaculture development and management have largely focused on siting, licensing and monitoring at the farm level,” the guide’s authors wrote in an executive summary. “This perspective fails to acknowledge that aquaculture industries are dependent on public resources (namely water and space) and are tightly coupled to the surrounding ecosystems in which they operate. Even if a farm is operating at the highest level of performance, it is at risk if neighboring farms or industries have poor environmental practices.”

Other actionable recommendations from the guide apply for both industry and government institutions that set policies in areas where seafood farms operate such as in Indonesia where the guide has been well received. Supply chain stakeholders are encouraged to work more closely with farmers and governments to initiate and support coordinated management practices to reduce environmental impacts and disease risks.

“SFP has been promoting a zonal approach to aquaculture for more than five years,” said Anton Immink, SFP’s Aquaculture Director. “This guide is a new way of not only sharing the importance of zonal management, but also providing clear, actionable recommendations for implementation.”

Dean of the Faculty of Fisheries and Marine Sciences of Padjajaran University Yudi Nurul Ihsan, Ph.D said “this guide could be used as a model for fisheries development in the future.” Yudhi, who was also involved in preparing this guide, said, “Aquaculture will save Indonesia’s national economy as well as the local economy because it absorbs labor, alleviates poverty and supports Indonesia’s food security.”

Conservation International, SFP, and partners are now working to pilot the implementation of these best practices in the shrimp aquaculture industry in Indonesia. The pilot project is expected to help the industry produce more seafood, with fewer disease losses and negative environmental impacts.

About The Sustainable Fisheries Partnership Foundation:

Founded in 2006, the Sustainable Fisheries Partnership Foundation — known as Sustainable Fisheries Partnership (SFP) — is a nonprofit organization dedicated to rebuilding depleted fish stocks and reducing
the environmental and social impacts of fishing and fish farming through engaging fishery stakeholders (communities, NGOs, government, etc.) and seafood businesses in every part of the supply chain. The organization works to improve fisheries through fishery improvement projects (FIPs) and aquaculture improvement projects (AIPs), which are multi-stakeholder bodies that seek to advance the sustainability of fishing and fish farming operations. SFP also supports Supply Chain Roundtables which allow seafood suppliers to work in a pre-competitive environment to promote improvement throughout the supply chain. Visit us at

About Conservation International

Conservation International uses science, policy and partnerships to protect the nature that people rely on for food, fresh water and livelihoods. Founded in 1987, Conservation International works in more than 30 countries on six continents to ensure a healthy, prosperous planet that supports us all. Learn more about Conservation International, the groundbreaking “Nature Is Speaking” campaign and its series of virtual reality projects: “My Africa”, “Under the Canopy” and “Valen’s Reef.” Follow Conservation International’s work on our Human Nature blog, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.

About The Sustainable Fisheries Group

The Sustainable Fisheries Group (SFG), founded in 2006, is a research team that is run collaboratively between the Bren School of Environmental Science & Management and the Marine Science Institute at the University of California Santa Barbara (UCSB). The mission of SFG is to provide leadership to develop new science and transform it into solutions for sustainable oceans. Since its inception, SFG has leveraged the strengths of the Bren School, drawing upon student and faculty talent. Learn more about this project and others.