Climate change and aquatic animal disease
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Mohan CV. 2015. Climate change and aquatic animal disease. CCAFS Working Paper no. 117. Copenhagen, Denmark: CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS).
Permanent link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10568/66594
More than 4.5 billion people receive at least 15% of their average per capita intake of animal protein from fish. Fish is therefore a key element in food security and human nutrition. Analysis of future fish supplydemand scenarios suggest that farming of fish and other aquatic products will need to double production by 2030 to meet growing demand. About half of the demand for these foods is now met by aquaculture and Asia accounts for the bulk (90%) of the global aquaculture production of 66 million tonnes. However, aquaculture operations in the tropics experience higher cumulative mortalities and faster progression of diseases and this could be exacerbated by climate change leading to selection of virulent pathogens that have the potential to spread. This can result in the introduction and spread of more virulent pathogens to natural fisheries and aquaculture landscapes, threatening a significant part of the global supply of nutritious animal foods. Understanding the interaction between climate sensitive aquaculture landscapes along with their aquatic hosts and climate sensitive aquatic animal diseases, mapping of potential risks, and identification of suitable adaptation/mitigation intervention strategies should be the focus of research and development, if we are to meet the future seafood demand for 9 billion people by 2050. There is paucity of information as to how aquatic animal disease outbreak dynamics are mediated by climate driven changes and what impact this will have on the future of aquaculture growth in the world, especially in Asia and Africa. We propose the following policy and research related recommendations for consideration: