Fifty fellowships are available for young scientists and researchers under the ASEAN-India Research Training Fellowship Scheme (AIRTF), to study at Indian academic and R&D institutions. The fellowships are for a period of up to six months and include travel and financial support. The fellowships are intended to build capacity among young ASEAN researchers in science and technology and to further strengthen the bond between India and ASEAN member states.

NACA welcomes Dr Huang Jie as the incoming Director General of NACA. He will serve a five year term beginning in May 2019. Dr Huang succeeds Dr Cherdsak Virapat, who will complete his own five-year term in April. Dr Huang was elected at the 30th Governing Council Meeting held 26-27 March in Guangzhou, China. Dr Huang, a Chinese national, obtained his BSc on virology in Wuhan University in 1987, an MSc in the Wuhan Virology Institute, Chinese Academy of Science in 1990, and his PhD on marine biology in the Ocean Institute in 2010.

The 30th Governing Council was held in Guangzhou, China, 26-27 March. 74 participants attended the Governing Council Meeting representing fifteen member governments, with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia attending as an observer. The host Government, China, was elected as Chair of the 30th Governing Council. Hong Kong SAR was elected as Vice Chair. Key outcomes included the election of Dr Huang Jie as the next Director General of NACA, and preparations for the Global Conference on Aquaculture 2020.

Climate variability and change are affecting hydro-meteorological cycles and altering aquatic ecosystems, driving shifts in physical and chemical processes, ecological communities and the distribution and abundance of species. These changes have implications for fisheries management, food security and the livelihoods of more than 600 million people worldwide. The FishAdapt conference was held in Bangkok from 8 to 10 August, 2016. It provided a forum to share practical experiences in understanding the vulnerabilities associated with climate change and ocean acidification and the development of risk management and adaptation strategies.

The theme for Shrimp 2019 is "modelling for sustainability". The conference will be held from 12-14 November in Bangkok, Thailand. The conference will consider at length the present and future of the industry, focusing on moving towards sustainability. A large part of the sessions will be devoted to production and trade at the domestic and international levels, as well as the latest developments in the shrimp industry. Some 250 delegates, both international and local, representing various segments of the seafood industry, are expected to participate.

A regional proficiency testing workshop for aquatic animal health laboratories was held from 13-14 March in Bangkok, Thailand. The workshop is part of a programme to provide laboratories with the opportunity to assess their own diagnostic performance, and improve their practices. Eight rounds of proficiency testing will be carried out over a period of four years. 34 laboratories from thirteen countries in the region are participating in the programme. The programme is an initiative of the Australian Government.

AGRISI, a new information system on aquatic genetic resources of India, has been launched by the National Bureau of Fish Genetic Resources. AGRISI is a unique platform presently covering 3138 native fish species of India. The system provides information on systematics, biology, distribution, nutrition, nutrition, and other characteristics. AGRISI includes information on museum specimens, and accessions from different NBFGR repositories. These include data on germplasm, cell lines and links to other molecular resources developed under the National Agricultural Bioinformatics Grid such as the Fish Barcode Information System.

The ICAR-NACA School on Aquatic Epidemiology and Disease Surveillance was held at the ICAR National Bureau of Fish Genetic Resources (NBFGR) from 1-6 March. The school was a collaboration between the Indian Council of Agricultural Research and NACA. The school covered:

  • Concepts and principles of epidemiology.
  • Use of epidemiological principles in design and implementation of surveillance programmes.
  • Sampling considerations for surveillance programmes.
  • Population surveys.
  • Estimation of sensitivity and specificity of diagnostic tests.
  • Questionnaire design.

A Regional Expert Consultation on Genetically Responsible Aquaculture was convened by the ICAR National Bureau of Fish Genetic Resources and NACA, from 26-27 February. The immediate objective of the consultation was to discuss mechanisms for establishing quality seed production systems to improve hatchery and on-farm genetic diversity. A long-range objective is to establish networks of registered broodstock holdings. Linked via IT systems, such networks will form a virtual global aquaculture gene pool that can, collectively, sustain high genetic diversity and adaptive capacity, while checking inbreeding depression.

The 79th edition of the Quarterly Aquatic Animal Disease report contains information from eleven governments. The foreword discusses the outcomes of the 17th Meeting of the Asia Regional Advisory Group on Aquatic Animal Health, held in Bangkok, 13-14 November 2018.