Vulnerabilities in aquatic animal production

The role of aquatic animals in global food and nutrition security is increasingly recognised. The global demand for fish is increasing, leading to a need to significantly increase its supply. Securing future fish supplies through sustainable production is a challenge as major resources such as fresh water and land are becoming limited worldwide. Aquaculture and capture fisheries face various threats from both human-mediated and natural environmental change, including climate change. Aquaculture systems and practices are vulnerable to such changes. Moreover, aquatic animal diseases are currently considered one of the most important constraints to sustainable global fish production. The need to increase global production, combined with climate change, may increase losses due to diseases. This paper examines key vulnerabilities, their impacts and management to achieve increased and sustainable global fish production. The authors focus on the need to apply international standards, and to develop biosecurity and capacity in aquatic animal health to improve global fish health. Research needed to underpin the development of improved detection and control of fish diseases is also discussed.