Meeting social and economic challenges in Southeast Asian aquaculture: Targeting rural aquaculture development for poverty alleviation
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In 2010, five Southeast Asian countries led by Vietnam and followed by Indonesia, Thailand, Myanmar, and the Philippines, have successfully joined the ranks of the world’s top 10 producers of food fish from aquaculture. Taking into account aquaculture production in general which includes seaweeds, the region’s production from aquaculture had contributed more than 45% to the region’s total fishery production, about 24% to the world’s production from aquaculture, and about 10% to the world’s total fishery production in 2010. As shown in the statistics reports, most of the aforementioned countries recorded double-digit growth rates in aquaculture production from 2006 to 2010, ranging from 18 to 62 percent. Another milestone in the fisheries sector of the region is the engagement of about 11 million people in aquaculture and its ancillary industries. In spite of these figures, the region’s rural areas where aquaculture development is taking giant strides remain the most impoverished groups in most countries of Southeast Asia. In an attempt to address this concern, SEAFDEC Aquaculture Department compiled the results of the implementation of its program on Meeting Social and Economic Challenges in Aquaculture which had been tried in local setting in the Philippines, with the objective of developing aquaculture technology adoption pathways that could be promoted in the other Southeast Asian countries with the same conditions as those in study sites in the Philippines, as means of alleviating poverty in rural areas.