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SUSTAINABILITY

Sustainable development is development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. It contains two key concepts: the concept of 'needs', in particular the essential needs of the world's poor, to which overriding priority should be given; and the idea of limitations imposed by the state of technology and social organization on the environment's ability to meet present and future needs. Thus the goals of economic and social development must be defined in terms of sustainability in all countries - developed or developing, market-oriented or centrally planned. Interpretations will vary, but must share certain general features and must flow from a consensus on the basic concept of sustainable development and on a broad strategic framework for achieving it.

Being a small nation with limited land resource and large seafood consumption, Singapore needs to emphasize the assessment of the safety and sustainability of our aquaculture production. Antimicrobials are used in aquaculture to treat diseases caused by bacteria. The overuse of antimicrobials can create antimicrobial resistant (AMR) bacteria that can cause problems in the water environment as well as for treatment of disease in the fish and in humans eating fish or in contact with fish.

The situation of AMR in bacteria relative to water quality and aquaculture production has not been investigated in Singapore nor in relevant neighbouring (ASEAN) countries including Malaysia, Vietnam, Indonesia, Thailand, etc. Likewise, integration of health risk assessment and sustainability (including economic sustainability) assessment of management changes affecting water quality and fish farming has not been performed anywhere. Integrated assessments will enable science-based decision support focusing not only on the efficiency or direct economic impacts of changes in aquaculture management, but at the same time evaluate changes in water quality, environmental burden, human and animal disease with novel management systems enabling reduced antimicrobial use through improved water quality systems.​