Aquaculture is the fastest-growing sector of the animal food producing sectors. Between 1970 and 2000, the sector grew at an average annual rate of about 9 percent, compared to 1.4 percent for capture fisheries and 2.8 percent for terrestrial farmed meat production systems.1 The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) estimates that aquaculture contributions of fish, crustaceans and mollusks have grown from 3.9 percent of total world production by wieght in 1970 to 29.9 percent in 2002.2

In many parts of the world, this development was rendered possible by a number of factors including, but not limited to:

• the increasing demand for aquaculture products as a result of the decrease or status quo of the supply from capture fisheries;

• the scientific breakthroughs in production technologies; and • governments’ will and determination to establish enabling policies and

legal and regulatory frameworks.