This research project seeks to: provide baseline information on the present status of the aquaculture sector from a human development perspective; identify the types and numbers of people employed by the sector; and explore the role of aquaculture in providing social and economic services at a global level, with a particular emphasis on small-scale stakeholders. The research findings presented here are based on a global synthesis of information from various sources and 9 country case studies in Asia, Africa and Latin America. The findings suggest that previous employment estimates of the global aquaculture sector based on official statistics are likely to be underestimates. Employment generated at farm level is found to be much higher than employment at other links in the value chain. The majority of fish farms are small-scale, integrated, household operations and value chains oriented around small-scale producers are estimated to generate more employment than those from medium- and large-scale producers.