The important contributions made by fisheries and aquaculture, in meeting the world food and nutritional demands need to be comprehended and their sustainable management is imperative for food security and nutrition. According to the FAO report (FAO 2012), fisheries and aquaculture contributed around 16 % of animal protein intake and support to the livelihood of 10–12 % of the world population. Employment in the fisheries and aquaculture primary sector has continued to grow faster than employment in agriculture, so that by 2010 it represented 4.2 % of the 1.3 billion people economically active in the broad agricultural sectors worldwide, compared with 2.7 % in 1990. Aquaculture is the fastest growing form of food production in the world with tremendous annual growth rates of 8.8 % per year, having expanded by almost 12 times in the last three decades (1980–2010), providing now more than 40 % of the fish consumed worldwide, allowing to keep pace with the growing demand while capture fisheries are stagnating. However, the rapid development of aquaculture has come with associated environmental costs such as habitat degradation, disease and pollution. The inland capture fisheries sectors are threatened by habitat degradation, pollution, invasive species, landscape fragmentation, disruption of river flows by dams and overexploitation of upstream water resources. Most of the stocks of the top ten species, which account in total for about 30 % of world marine capture fisheries production are fully exploited and, therefore, have no potential for increases in production. Integrated aquatic resource management with multiple objectives to meet economic, social and biological goals adapting ecosystem approach is vital for the sustainable development, equity and efficiency. As a concept, a stabilised aquatic resource system aims to ensure that resource exploitation contributes to sustainability, inclusive social development and economic growth, while seeking to counter the notion that sustainability and growth are mutually exclusive.

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