FAO has formulated its own definition which was approved by FAO council in 1988. It states 'sustainable development is the management and conservation of natural resources base and the orientation of technological and institutional change in such manor as to insure the attainment and continued satisfaction of human needs for present and future generations. Such sustainable development (in the agriculture, forestry and fisheries sectors) conserves land, water, plant and animal genetic resources, is environmentally non – degrading, technically appropriate, economically viable and socially acceptable"
If aquaculture is to develop and provide for current and future needs in a sustainable manner, there is need to take stock and address, as necessary, number of issues, including:
i. The establishment of an enabling environment (e.g. strengthening of institutional capacities, appropriate institutional linkage, legal and administrative framework, development policies and plans, improved communications and collaboration among stakeholders, allocation of resources to aquaculture, EIA, etc…)
ii. Adoption of an integrated planning and management framework, i.e. the integration of aquaculture into catchment and coastal area management as one of several sector users of natural resources, and as part of managed resource system, and into rural and agriculture development.
iii. Increasing the efficiency of resources use and productivity in general at the farm level (e.g. lowering of water requirement, improved water management, better feeding, less polluting feeds, genetically improved stocks, improved health management, integration with agriculture).
iv. Reducing externalities and avoiding irreversible damage, i.e. negative human and environmental impacts (e.g. through risk assessment, systems management, improved site selection, better engineering of farms, waste treatment and reduction, preventive health management,
v. Establishing reliable database and effective information management system.
vi. Maximizing positive sustainability attributes (e.g. contribution to food security.
- Maximizing positive sustainability attributes (e.g contribution to food security, conservation of genetic material, reduction of pressure on key hunted stocks by provision of farmed alternatives, improvement of coastal water through culture of mollusk and aquatic plants, small- scale integrated aquaculture- agriculture farming systems, complementing restoration efforts, contribution to pest control).