Aquaculture has seen spectacular growth in recent years, and Aqua 2018 celebrated aquaculture’s role as one of the most important food industries worldwide. Held 25-29 August in Montpellier, France, Aqua 2018 brought together scientists, practitioners, students, industry and civil society to highlight the latest global developments in aquaculture research and innovation.

The ASEAN Regional Consultation on Aquatic Emergency Preparedness and Response Systems for Effective Management of Transboundary Disease Outbreaks in Southeast Asia was held in Bangkok, 20-22 August. The objective of the consultation was to bring together ASEAN member states and technical experts to discuss the current status of emergency animal disease preparedness and response systems, and to identify gaps and opportunities for regional cooperation in management of transboundary disease.

Antimicrobial resistance is a growing issue with significant implications for both human and animal health. However, data on pathogen resistance in aquaculture and other livestock industries has not been routinely or systematically collected. The purpose of these regional consultations, held in Bangkok, was to initiate action on this issue, identifying interventions to assess antimicrobial usage in Asian aquaculture, monitor antimicrobial resistance and develop guidelines and a strategy to minimise the long term risks. 

The incumbent Director General, Dr Cherdsak Virapat will be completing his term of office on 30 April 2019. The NACA Governing Council has instructed to call for applications from suitably qualified and experienced persons from NACA member states for the position of Director General, tenable from May 2019 for a fixed period of five years. The selected candidate is expected to assume the position by 1 May 2019 after a brief handover period. Applications will close at 5 PM (Bangkok time) on 15 January 2019.

Asian Aquaculture 2018 is dedicated to the sustained progress of aquaculture in the Asian region. The conference will provide a better understanding the systems practiced, highlighting regional needs and constraints within the global context of sustainable intensification of aquaculture. The conference is organised by and will be held at the Asian Institute of Technology, Thailand. Abstract submission and early bird registration is available until 30 September. Please visit the conference website for further information.

The 77th edition of the Quarterly Aquatic Animal Disease Report contains information from nine governments. The foreword discusses an intensive seven-day training course on tilapia lake virus (TiLV) that was jointly organised by China's National Fisheries Extension Center, Sun Yat-Sen University and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.

In the ornamental fish markets of India, the euryhaline spotted scat Scatophagus argus and pearlspot Etroplus suratensis are popularly sold as ornamental fish. This article describes the nursing of wild-caught spotted scat seed and in-pond breeding of pearlspot to produce marketable sized fish at the Joykrishna hatchery and fish seed farm, located in the Hooghly River estuarine zone in coastal West Bengal, India. The fish are reared in brackishwater ponds for commercial utilisation as ornamental fish, supplying Hyderabad and other cities.

Makhana, Euryale ferox is a perennial aquatic herb with gigantic floating leaves that grows in still, shallow water. The sowing and harvesting of makhana seeds, a casual food for rural folk, is conducted by groups of migratory people belonging to the Mallah or Sahini community of Bihar. The makhana seeds are usually fallen and scattered over the bottom of the wetlands (beels) and must be collected manually by diving during September-November. The raw seeds sell for Rs. 60-70 per kg in Assam.

India’s share of the international ornamental fish trade is marginal but has been able to show consistent growth over the years. Of the total ornamental fishes traded by India, approximately 85% are native fishes sourced from the Western Ghats and North East India. The aquaculture of native fishes in seasonal water bodies can play a role in both conservation and generation of livelihoods. Imparting knowledge regarding ornamental fish trade and establishing market linkages is required to further develop the industry.

The use of sludge or ‘tubifex’ worm, Tubifex tubifex, as a live food for juvenile fish has been long practiced in farmers’ fields and it is an important fish food for spawn rearing. The cost of tubifex worm becomes prohibitive in the dry season, when supplies are limited. We conducted trials to test the feasibility of culturing tubifex using a selection of agro-industrial wastes. Net biomass production was highest using rice mill sludge as a food source, over a culture period of 20 days.