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Information sought for new website on Codes of Practice for shrimp farming

A website is being developed to share information and enhance communication among stakeholders on shrimp aquaculture certification.

October 7, 2003

A  website is being developed to share information and enhance communication among stakeholders on shrimp aquaculture certification.

The website, an initiative of the World Bank, NACA (Network of Aquaculture Centres in Asia Pacific), WWF (World Wildlife Fund) and FAO (Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations) joint program "Shrimp Farming and the Environment", will provide access to the various Codes of Conduct, Codes of Practice, and standards available around the world, and information and opportunities for comment on shrimp aquaculture certification schemes (either existing, or under development). Information on other forms of aquaculture certification, involving other aquaculture commodities apart from shrimp, will also be included.

The program is seeking information on existing Codes of Conduct, Codes of Practice and aquaculture management standards; and aquaculture certification schemes and standards for inclusion on the web site. Information on shrimp, and other aquaculture commodities, are also welcome.  Please send any information to: shrimp@enaca.org. Respondants will be advised of the launching of the web site.

Background
Recognizing the need for better management of shrimp aquaculture, a Consortium Program entitled Shrimp Farming and the Environment was initiated in 1999. The program, a joint initiative of the World Bank, NACA, WWF and FAO, undertook wide-ranging studies of shrimp aquaculture between 1999 and 2002. The Consortium supported 35 complementary case studies prepared by more than 100 researchers in more than 20 shrimp farming countries, through the unprecedented participation of industry, NGO’s, academics, and governments, and numerous stakeholders throughout Asia, Africa and the Americas. Cases range from specific interventions within single operations to thematic global reviews of key issues in shrimp aquaculture. Between 2000 and 2002, cases were presented and discussed at more than 150 meetings and workshops worldwide. The cases document and analyze global experiences in management of shrimp aquaculture, and identify key environmental and social issues, and identify better management practices (BMPs) that can be applied to enhance positive social and economic impacts of shrimp farm and reduce negative social and environmental impacts (see www.enaca.org/shrimp).

In March 2002 the Consortium organized a Stakeholder Consultation hosted by The World Bank in Washington DC, USA. This Consultation was important because of its participation by a broad range of people sector stakeholders, from different regions where shrimp farming is important, providing perspectives from industry, governments, civil society/NGOs and regional and international organizations. The meeting created a rare opportunity for stakeholders to interact and share experiences across different levels in the market chain and across regions. The meeting, conducted in a very positive atmosphere, came to broad agreement on future actions to support implementation of better management practices in shrimp aquaculture.

One important recommendation from the Consultation was that a set of “core” management principles should be developed, and agreed by a wide range of stakeholders, incorporating the better management practices (BMPs) identified during the consortium studies. This is a key and important agreement that provides an opportunity for development of an internationally acceptable set of principles for responsible management of shrimp aquaculture. The recent FAO Sub-Committee on Aquaculture held in Norway in August also recommended work on development of a global set of harmonized principles for shrimp aquaculture management be initiated. Further, the FAO Sub-Committee has recommended exchange of information on aquaculture certification. In response, a web site is being developed to share information and enhance communication among stakeholders on shrimp aquaculture certification.

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