Safety nets for improved tilapia
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CTA. 2002. Safety nets for improved tilapia. Spore 100. CTA, Wageningen, The Netherlands.
Permanent link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10568/47610
Internet URL: http://spore.cta.int/images/stories/pdf/old/spore100.pdf
With more farmers adopting aquaculture as an option for improving food production and farm income, scientists are looking at ways to raise productivity through genetic improvement. This carries a number of risks, principally in terms of the fish...
With more farmers adopting aquaculture as an option for improving food production and farm income, scientists are looking at ways to raise productivity through genetic improvement. This carries a number of risks, principally in terms of the fish escaping into the wild and endangering endemic species. Much of the fish breeders focus has been on the Nile tilapia species, Oreochromis niloticus, which has captured a place in both the local and export markets of many countries in Africa, the Caribbean and beyond. The Netherlands growing import volume of tilapia, for example, comes mainly from fish farms in Jamaica. Specialists, almost 50, from 10 African countries and scientific and international organisations gathered in Nairobi in February 2002 to develop guidelines to foster the development of aquaculture while maintaining biodiversity. The meeting, organised by ICLARM the World Fish Centre, in collaboration with the Convention on Biological Diversity, CTA, FAO, IUCN and UNEP, issued the sort of Declaration that is so fashionable in seminars these days. All good stuff: identifying areas in Africa with unique wild stocks and managing them as conservation areas, protected from alien or genetically altered species; strengthening the collection of baseline data on fish genetic diversity; drawing up international codes for the movement of germplasm; drafting incentives and legislation for ensuring that those 'to whom benefits accrue' also bear the costs of rectifying damaged environments. These safety nets, though, are full of holes before they start. Delegates spoke of poor implementation of existing protocols, weak institutions, and lack of trained personnel and financial resources. Get darning! [caption to illustration] Any movement of fish between natural ecological boundaries such as watersheds may involve risk to biodiversity