The University of the Sunshine Coast, Australia, is launching a new two-year Master’s program in Applied Genetics by Research (Aquaculture) for international and national students. The program combines a coursework component with a research thesis. This innovative hybrid structure is unique in Australia as it embeds the necessary advanced and hands on discipline training integrated with tailored courses in quantitative and population genetics, reproductive biotechnologies, omics, applied statistics and bioinformatics, and analysis of breeding, genetic and genomic data.
Application for the first intake to start semester 1 (February), 2017 is now open. Further information about the program structure, admission requirements and career perspectives can be found at the University of the Sunshine Coast website.
FAO and NACA organised the Regional Workshop on the Status of Aquatic Genetic Resources in Asia-Pacific at Hotel Centara Grand Ladprao, Bangkok from 23-26 March 2015. This was the first workshop in the series of four to be conducted globally by FAO. The workshop was intended to enhance the capacity of national focal Points on Aquatic Genetic Resources within Asia-Pacific Region regarding the preparation of national reports on the current status of aquatic genetic resources for food and agriculture (use, conservation and management). These will be used as the major source of information for the first State of the World’s Aquatic Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture report, under the umbrella of the FAO Commission on Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (CGRFA).
The national focal points from fifteen countries in Asia; Thailand, Cambodia, Lao PDR, Vietnam, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, India, Pakistan, Nepal, Myanmar, Japan, South Korea and the Pacific participated in the workshop, along with Fiji and global experts. FAO staff including Dr Devin Bartley, Dr Halwart Matthias and NACA staff Dr Kuldeep K. Lal facilitated the process of workshop with expert input from Dr Graham Mair (Australia), Dr Tim Pickering (SPC), Dr Clemens Fieseler (Germany) and Dr Ruth Garcia Gomez (FAO consultant).
The twelfth meeting of NACA’s Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) was held in the coastal town of Cha-am, Thailand from 9-12 March, approximately two hours’ drive south of Bangkok. The meeting was attended by participants from sixteen NACA member states, the Regional Lead Centres for China, India, the Philippines and Thailand and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.
The TAC meets every two years to review NACA’s rolling work programme and propose amendments to realign it with the current needs of member governments and to account for new and emerging issues. In proposing changes, the TAC prioritises issues of common concern to multiple member governments where there are good prospects for regional collaboration. The NACA Secretariat uses the output to revise the work programme, which is submitted to the next meeting of the NACA Governing Council for consideration and adoption.
Asia produces nearly 90% of world aquaculture output. However, growth of the industry is increasingly constrained by various factors, including poor broodstock quality and genetic deterioration of domesticated stock. This has arisen in part from a general lack of planning, knowledge and skills in broodstock management. Capacity building across the region is urgently required for hatchery operators at different scales through information exchange, experience sharing and training.
A regional consultation was held to discuss culture-based fisheries development in Asia from 21 to 23 October 2014 in Siem Reap, Cambodia. The consultation was funded by the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR) as part of the project Culture-based fisheries development in Lao PDR and Cambodia. The consultation provided the opportunity to discuss the outcomes of a series successful projects that have been implemented over the past decade in the Asian region by both Deakin University and NACA with financial support from ACIAR.