The regional Quarterly Aquatic Animal Disease (QAAD) reporting system has been implemented since the second quarter of 1998 and continues to provide a useful mechanism for aquatic animal disease information sharing amongst 21 participating governments in the Asia-Pacific region. The QAAD reporting system is a joint activity between NACA, FAO and OIE Regional Representation (Tokyo). The 2015/1 QAAD report, 67th in the series, includes disease information from 14 governments. This issue's foreword discusses the OIE Regional Workshop on Safe International Trade in Aquatic Animals and Aquatic Animal Products, held from 22-24 July 2015 in Japan.
A Regional Proficiency Testing Program for Aquatic Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratories in Asia-Pacific (the ‘regional PT program’) was developed in 2011 to strengthen diagnostic capability across Asia—a region that produces most of the world’s aquatic animal products. This capability was identified as a requirement to facilitate the sanitary safety of trade in aquatic animal products and to assist countries to improve accurate detection of potentially damaging trans-boundary diseases. The need for improved diagnostic capabilities across Asia was widely agreed and documented prior to developing the regional PT program, however few previous activities had made significant or lasting impacts at the regional level.
The regional PT program provided 41 laboratories across the Asia-Pacific with the opportunity to assess their diagnostic performance for 10 regionally significant aquatic animal pathogens, and to adapt or modify practices where necessary to improve. Through collective participation and improvement, regional capability to diagnose important aquatic animal pathogens has been strengthened.
This report was prepared by the 13th Asia Regional Advisory Group on Aquatic Animal Health (AG) that met at Ki Royal Saigon Hotel, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam on 22nd to 23rd November, 2014. The Advisory Group was established by the Governing Council of the Network of Aquaculture Centres in Asia-Pacific (NACA) to provide advice to NACA members in the Asia-Pacific region on aquatic animal health management.
The regional Quarterly Aquatic Animal Disease (QAAD) reporting system has been implemented since the second quarter of 1998 and continues to provide a useful mechanism for aquatic animal disease information sharing amongst 21 participating governments in the Asia-Pacific region. The QAAD reporting system is a joint activity between NACA, FAO and OIE Regional Representation (Tokyo). The 2014/4 QAAD report, 66th in the series, includes disease information from 14 governments. This issue's foreword discusses key activities of NACA’s Regional Aquatic Animal Health Programme in 2014.
This document provides a brief introduction to NACA and its rolling work plan for 2015+. The research and development mandate of NACA is addressed through five interlinked thematic work programmes that support sustainable aquaculture and aquatic resource management, policy development and inter-governmental cooperation in the region. These are:
Three additional cross-cutting work programmes facilitate and support implementation of the thematic work programmes:
The programmes are implemented through the development of projects and activities by the Secretariat in collaboration with participating research centres, member governments and other partners.
Individual projects draw heavily on the personnel and facilities of participating centres. Projects are essentially implemented by the centres with the Secretariat acting as a coordinating body.
NACA also works in close cooperation with FAO, international donor agencies and other regional and international organisations in implementing the work plan.
This book is the proceedings of the “Regional Consultation on Culture-Based Fisheries Development in Asia”, held in Siem Reap, Cambodia, 21-23rd of October 2014, under the auspices of the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR), the Mekong River Commission (MRC) and the Network of Aquaculture Centres in Asia-Pacific (NACA). The consultation was jointly organised by NACA and the Fisheries Administration of the Royal Government of Cambodia.
Food and nutritional security remains problematic in many developing countries. There are many initiatives underway which are designed to increase food supply, employment and income opportunities, most of which require considerable capital inputs (for instance cropping, livestock production and aquaculture). Often overlooked, are the opportunities to produce more food from the natural productive ecology of lakes and forests. Culture-based fisheries are one example of a relatively simple and low cost technology which can deliver nutritional and economic benefits to communities which often have few livelihood options.
Culture-based fisheries are based in lakes and reservoirs, where fish populations are supplemented by hatchery-produced fingerlings. The stocked fish may breed naturally in the lakes, or they may be species which are desirable but which do not breed in the still-water environments. Fish growth is driven by the natural productivity of the water bodies. Generally, local communities have ownership of the fish, with the benefits shared or used for communal purposes. However, there are other options for management and ownership depending on local needs, cultural arrangements and other uses of the water.
Research and development of culture-based fisheries has been a major endeavour for NACA and ACIAR since the mid-1990s. This has involved projects in Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Vietnam, Lao PDR and Cambodia, the results of which have been reported in previous publications, as noted below. In this volume, we bring together an update from research conducted in those countries and others. We trust the information will foster further development and spread of culture-based fisheries in Asia and beyond, and in doing so, bring livelihood and nutritional benefits to otherwise resource-poor communities.
In the wake of increasing population and rising average per caput consumption of food fish and a plateauing off of the traditional food fish supplies there is an urgent need to close the increasing gap between supply and demand. It is generally acknowledged that aquaculture would increasingly contribute to closing this gap. Aquaculture production is still and likely to continue to be dominated by freshwater finfish production well into the foreseeable future, concentrated in developing countries.
However, increasing intensification of inland aquaculture is confronted with resource limitations such as land and water, and biological inputs such as feeds and consequently other plausible alternatives have to be explored. One such alternative is to utilise small and medium sized water bodies, which are estimated to be found in great abundance in developing countries of the tropics (e.g. estimated around 67 x 106 ha in Asia alone). These are mostly incapable of supporting even subsistence fisheries through natural recruitment, but could be utilised, secondarily, for culture-based fisheries development (CBF).
CBF is essentially a stock and recapture strategy, where the stocked fish feed and grow on naturally produced food resources, and which are most effective when communally managed. The returns from CBF could be very significant in terms of nutritional as well as monetary benefits to the communities.
In this presentation the relevant background information on food fish needs and the ways and means of introducing CBF practices in inland waters are dealt with. The importance of this environmentally “friendly” practice to enhance food fish production in rural communities are emphasised and the way such practices need to be conducted for optimal benefits are discussed.
Stocking occurs in freshwater, estuarine and marine environments worldwide to replenish, maintain or enhance populations of aquatic organisms, especially fish as well as gastropods and crustaceans. Stock enhancement is used by fisheries managers to restore depleted populations of recreationally and commercially significant fish species. Stock enhancement is also used to increase productivity of a fishery by augmenting the natural supply of juveniles, and optimising harvests by overcoming recruitment limitation. Stock enhancement in culture-based fisheries is most often undertaken in small waterbodies on a regular basis to sustain or increase yields. Stocking typically involves the release of large numbers of early-life stage animals that are mass-produced in hatcheries.
The primary purposes of stocking in developed countries is for recovery of threatened species and to support recreational fishing, whereas in developing countries it ismore to increase food fish supplies for rural communities and improve their livelihood through income from fish harvested.
Stocking programs use seedstock produced for aquaculture purposes and in some cases captive breeding techniques have been established specifically to support stocking programs. Advances in techniques to breed fish in captivity have seen a proliferation in the number of species and quantities of juveniles produced in hatcheries for stocking.
In recent years, however, stocking programs have been subjected to substantial criticism due to perceived impact of hatchery-bred fish on genetic structure and fitness of wild stocks, transfer of disease, introduction of exotic species and non-target species, and their effects on other aquatic species and the environment.
To maximise the potential benefits to fisheries from stock enhancement, and to address the above criticisms, a responsible and ecologically sustainable approach should be adopted for all stocking programs. This requires, clear and well-defined objectives, an a priori evaluation of the need for stocking, well-formulated stocking strategies that consider the risks, benefits, the water to be stocked, and the fish to be used (e.g. species used, source of fish, size of fish, and number stocked). Equally important is the evaluation of stocking success in terms harvest yields as well as social, economic and cultural benefits. Other fisheries management measures will also need to be implemented to support stock enhancement, such as fisheries policies, regulations and guidelines for dealing with property and access rights. There are also technical aspects to consider, such as managing the stocked water bodies, harvesting, marketing, and education and training for participating communities.