Ladies and Gentlemen,
It is my pleasure to meet you in the great country, Denmark, and have the honour to address you about a very great field for world food security which we call Aquaculture, the blue revolution or under-water agriculture!!!
As you all know, aquaculture is a multi-disciplinary science which includes biology, ecology, animal physiology, pathology, animal nutrition, feed technology, soil science, water chemistry, farm engineering and farm economics. Yet no conference has taken most of these aspects into consideration as the one you are attending now in Copenhagen.
Thomas T. George
Global Aquaculture Consultants(GAC)
World demand for seafood is sky-rocketing while capture fisheries has already reached a maximum sustainable yield of about 95 million tons since 1980 because over-fishing, degradation of coastal marine-freshwater ecosystems and habitat caused drastic decline in global catches. About 90% of the Oceans population of edible fish like cod, halibut and tuna has been cut off due to high technology in global fishing, using sonar and satellite combined with extremely long fishing nets. As a result of the status quo, aquaculture has emerged as an environmentally friendly production system that farms over 210 species of fin fish, molluscs, crustaceans, seaweeds and large quantities of low-price food fish. Now, it is the fastest growing food production sector in all regions of the world except sub-Saharan Africa
Personally, I had started my life career as an aquaculturist since 1968 and had attended many aquaculture conferences held in many countries of africa, Europe, Asia, middle east, USA and Canada, most important were the following: the Kyoto declaration on aquaculture at the first international FAO technical conference on aquaculture in 1976, Kyoto, japan, urged all governments of the world to give high priority to aquaculture development in national planning and. also, the international financial agencies to recognize aquaculture as a priority sector for investment and provide adequate financial support for aquaculture in developing countries. I had participated in this conference with a black and white film, "aquaculture, and Democratic republic of Sudan".
However, in response to the Kyoto declaration, Canada which has the largest coastline, the largest offshore economic zone, the largest freshwater system, and the world's greatest tidal range, the Hon. Brian Tobin, ex-minister, fisheries and oceans, released in 1995 on behalf of the government of Canada, the federal aquaculture development strategy in Halifax, at prince George hotel. I had attended this historic occasion and made significant comments, Another country which has a tremendous potential for aquaculture development is Sudan, the largest country in africa with tremendous freshwater (white Nile and blue Nile) and marine (Red Sea) resources. Oyster culture of mother-of-pearl oyster (Ponctada) had been practiced on a commercial scale in Dongonab bay of the Red Sea by a British scientist (dr. crossland) since 1929. In 1975, I had prepared a detailed national plan for aquaculture development in Sudan at the FAO regional workshop on aquaculture planning and development in Africa, Accra, Ghana!!
The subsequent FAO world conference on aquaculture, held in Venice (Italy) in 1981 highlighted the importance of (1) technology development and importance through research, (2) training of personnel (3) information dissemination in strategies for rapid and orderly development of the sector. Furthermore, the first Arab symposium on aquaculture, held in Kuwait, in 1983, urged all Arab countries to give utmost responsibility in developing aquaculture, i had participated as head of session in this symposium and presented a paper on aquaculture in Sudan.
I would like to thank Mr. Smith Walker, scientific program coordinator, Cenetri Publishing group, USA, for inviting me as a plenary speaker at this conference
My best wishes to you all to promote aquaculture.