Cartoon Calendars: China

Over the years of the project’s investigations SEAT has learnt a lot about the state of the aquaculture systems in the focus countries. The project findings have been published in numerous peer-reviewed journals and policy meetings have been held within the countries for law makers, private enterprises and other stakeholders. Not all the stakeholders, particularly the small-scale farmers who have been at the heart of the project, have access to these platforms and so SEAT has devised a novel way of disseminating the project’s finding to those who can make use of them.

Working in collaboration with professional, local cartoonists in Bangladesh, China and Vietnam, Worldfish has created calendars displaying key messages/lessons from the project, specific to each of the countries. These calendars are being distributed to farmers, shops and farmers clubs etc to reach the widest possible audience.

Below you can view a slide show of the images and read an outline of some of the messages featured in the Chinese version of these calendars, and their relevance to small scale farmers.

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Conduct pre-treatment of animal excreta before using it to fertilize the pond water

Contamination from pathogens in animal excreta (zoonotic trematode, microbiological contamination) and of the antibiotic residue from the same can lead to deterioration of water quality.

Why should farmers care about this? Contamination from antibiotics and pathogens will affect the safety of seafood. Failing to prevent this contamination will also mean the cost of controlling the water quality will increase and there will be a greater possibility of break outs of diseases. It is advised that farmers pre-treat excreta with disinfectants before using and ultimately reduce the use of excreta.

Use good quality seed, from hatcheries supplied by the national breeding centre.

There can be genetic degeneration and the growth ability of the farmed species can be affected while disease resistance can also decrease

Why should farmers care about this? The total production will be affected and there is a greater possibility to be infected by pathogens. Farmers are advised to pre-test the seed quality before buying, make sure they choose seed from certificated hatcheries and not base their purchasing decisions on price alone.

Most of seafood imported into the EU is from Asia and the majority comes from aquaculture.

Fish demand is increasing, especially for warm water species such as tuna and shrimp that cannot be caught or produced in the cold waters of Europe. Frozen seafood is the most common product bought and the supermarket is the most important outlet to buy seafood.

In the past 50 years, European consumers have experienced changing social realities and eating habits.

Men and women are now working both and there are also more single households. People spend less time on preparing meals. People desire more convenient foods that are easy and fast to prepare and they are eating in restaurants more than in the past.

There is also a globalization of diets. People eat more international food, for example Thai, Indian, Mexican. Other equipment in the household has also changed the way people prepare and buy food through the use of freezers and microwaves.

There is a flood of information to consumers about seafood, which leads to confusion.

European consumers receive information on seafood from many different sources, for example from European NGOs and media. There are questions about the sustainability and ethics of the way seafood is produced.

Many European consumers have a negative perception of aquaculture because of limited knowledge about the sector.

They have concerns over animal welfare and they would like fish and shrimp to be produced with the least possible level of pain and discomfort.

Consumers also are concerned about negative environmental impacts of aquaculture production.

They also care whether people involved in production or processing of seafood are negatively affected due to poor working conditions on farms and in processing plants. “Political consumerism” is rising, especially among the younger generation. They believe that they can influence global issues through the products that they buy.

Photo © Loni Hensler