National Planning of Aquaculture Development
The need for clearly defined policies and plans for aquaculture in both developing and industrially advanced countries has been widely recognized in recent years, irrespective of whether the country adopts a centrally planned or market economy. Based on such macroplans, specific development projects or plans can be formulated by the private or the public sector, following detailed feasibility studies, including site surveys and studies of technical and economic viability in the proposed areas.
Some of the basic considerations in overall planning are discussed, with a view to pinpointing its role in the fisheries sector and in the national economy. Many of these will come in for further discussion in some of the succeeding chapters dealing with actions involved in establishing and operating aquaculture farms and related activities. An attempt is made to outline the various steps involved in designing a national plan and methods of revising and updating it. Being a new and emerging industry in many countries, a national plan is a prerequisite for the orderly development of aquaculture, which is why it is included in this book before descriptions of technological aspects.
The objectives of aquaculture development depend on the socio-economic conditions of the country and on environmental suitability. National priorities may differ very significantly between countries, but in the majority of situations aquaculture can have an important role, as for example in:
1. Increasing food production, especially of animal proteins, and achieving self-suffi-ciency in aquatic product supplies.
2. Producing food near consuming centres in rural areas, thus contributing to improvement in human nutrition.
3. Supplementing or replacing capture fishery production of over-exploited fish and shell-fish stocks.
4. Generating new sources of employment in rural areas, including part-time employment of farmers and small-scale fishermen, and arresting the migration of people from rural to urban areas.
5. Overall development of rural areas through integrated projects, including aquaculture.
6. Earning foreign exchange through export or saving foreign exchange through import substitution.
7. Using waste lands productively and using organic wastes for food production and environmental management.
8. Creating and maintaining leisure-time activities, including sport fishing and home and public aquaria.
9. Promoting agroindustrial development, which could include processing and marketing of fishery products, feeds and equipment for aquaculture, and seaweed culture for the production of marine colloids, pearl oyster culture, etc.