Page Banner

United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: NATIONAL ANIMAL GERMPLASM PROGRAM (NAGP)

Location: Plant And Animal Genetic Resources Preservation Research Unit

Title: The Relationship between Conservation Policy and Aquatic Genetic Resources. In: T.R. Tiersch and C.C. Green (eds.) Cryopreservation in Aquatic Species, 2nd Edition. World Aquaculture Society, Baton Rouge, LA.

Authors
item Long, Jennifer - UNIV OF CHICAGO, IL
item Blackburn, Harvey

Submitted to: Book Chapter
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: September 10, 2010
Publication Date: March 1, 2011
Citation: Long, J., Blackburn, H.D. 2011. The Relationship between Conservation Policy and Aquatic Genetic Resources. pp. 977-983. In: T.R. Tiersch and C.C. Green (eds.) Cryopreservation in Aquatic Species, 2nd Edition. World Aquaculture Society, Baton Rouge, LA. Book Chapter.

Interpretive Summary: Globally there is an increased awareness of how important genetic resources are for all forms of agriculture. This awareness has resulted in questions concerning the policies countries and the international community should pursue to ensure the sustainable use of diverse genetic resources. For aquaculture intellectual property rights or other forms of exclusive ownership or access have rarely been sought or enforced to date for farmed fish. At issue will be to what degree access and benefit sharing (ABS) has relevance to the market place and to what extent the CBD or an emergent ABS agreement has a role in the maintenance, utilization and conservation of aquatic genetic resources used in aquaculture. While national sovereignty over wild fish populations is provided by the CDB, arguments can be made for recognition of new countries of origin for strains, hybrids or other forms of alien fish species that have acquired distinctive properties by being farmed outside their native ranges. Management and utilization of aquatic genetic resources will require access and utilization of populations that have been developed to meet various production system needs throughout the world. There are viable markets and exchange of aquatic germplasm, the issue at hand then becomes what sort of policies are needed to protect genetic diversity and ensure that the aquaculture sector can continue to develop and contribute to nutritional and economic well-being of people. In addition there is a need to offer appropriate levels of protection to wild populations so they potentially can be used to contribute to the industry. This issue can be addressed at the country level by the development of national programs (which include development of cryopreserved collections) to assist in the management of aquatic genetic resources. A component of such a national effort is the development of a gene bank capable of storing cryopreserved samples of the species a country deems important. In addition such programs with their cryopreserved collections can facilitate the CBD obligations a country may have. In addition to policies on conservation there is a critical need to develop and implement policies that address: incentives (excluding subsidies) to produce, access to markets for outputs and inputs, and facilitate integration of conservation, demand and environmental elements of aquaculture production. The global agriculture community has to contend with contracting genetic diversity, the ability to introgress genes of interest into productive populations and an increased awareness about the public/private rights associated with these resources. In this arena aquaculture has special challenges due to the industries ability to access and utilize wild populations and the vast array of life forms the industry uses to feed a hungry world. While the production challenges may be significant, the multilateral agreements and initiatives need the aquaculture industry’s attention to insure that effective and rational agreements are developed. This will require aquaculture representatives to quickly become familiar with the topic and some long term understanding as to where the industry and its sub-sectors are headed. Only then will policy makers be in a position to effectively develop the needed policies for aquatic genetic resources.

Technical Abstract: Globally there is an increased awareness of how important genetic resources are for all forms of agriculture. This awareness has resulted in questions concerning the policies countries and the international community should pursue to ensure the sustainable use of diverse genetic resources. For aquaculture intellectual property rights or other forms of exclusive ownership or access have rarely been sought or enforced to date for farmed fish. At issue will be to what degree access and benefit sharing (ABS) has relevance to the market place and to what extent the CBD or an emergent ABS agreement has a role in the maintenance, utilization and conservation of aquatic genetic resources used in aquaculture. While national sovereignty over wild fish populations is provided by the CDB, arguments can be made for recognition of new countries of origin for strains, hybrids or other forms of alien fish species that have acquired distinctive properties by being farmed outside their native ranges. Management and utilization of aquatic genetic resources will require access and utilization of populations that have been developed to meet various production system needs throughout the world. There are viable markets and exchange of aquatic germplasm, the issue at hand then becomes what sort of policies are needed to protect genetic diversity and ensure that the aquaculture sector can continue to develop and contribute to nutritional and economic well-being of people. In addition there is a need to offer appropriate levels of protection to wild populations so they potentially can be used to contribute to the industry. This issue can be addressed at the country level by the development of national programs (which include development of cryopreserved collections) to assist in the management of aquatic genetic resources. A component of such a national effort is the development of a gene bank capable of storing cryopreserved samples of the species a country deems important. In addition such programs with their cryopreserved collections can facilitate the CBD obligations a country may have. In addition to policies on conservation there is a critical need to develop and implement policies that address: incentives (excluding subsidies) to produce, access to markets for outputs and inputs, and facilitate integration of conservation, demand and environmental elements of aquaculture production. The global agriculture community has to contend with contracting genetic diversity, the ability to introgress genes of interest into productive populations and an increased awareness about the public/private rights associated with these resources. In this arena aquaculture has special challenges due to the industries ability to access and utilize wild populations and the vast array of life forms the industry uses to feed a hungry world. While the production challenges may be significant, the multilateral agreements and initiatives need the aquaculture industry’s attention to insure that effective and rational agreements are developed. This will require aquaculture representatives to quickly become familiar with the topic and some long term understanding as to where the industry and its sub-sectors are headed. Only then will policy makers be in a position to effectively develop the needed policies for aquatic genetic resources.

Last Modified: 9/20/2014
Footer Content Back to Top of Page