The incumbent Director General, Dr Huang Jie will be completing his term of office in April 2024. 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 2024 for a fixed period of five years. The selected candidate is expected to assume the position by 1 May 2024 after a brief handover period. Applications will close at 5 PM (Bangkok time) on 31 January 2024.

In 2023, FAO and NACA initiated a consultation process on aquaculture effluent management in Asia and the Pacific in collaboration with NACA member governments. Experts across the region gathered information to assess the state of governance, advancements in technology and innovation in aquaculture effluent management. The consultative process culminated in an expert workshop, convened from 14 to 15 November, funded by FAO, to share views and national experiences on aquaculture effluent management.

In this issue:

  • How welfare assessments of farmed white leg shrimp (Penaeus vannamei) can benefit the whole industry
  • Thai Fish Project: A path towards a sustainable aquaculture
  • Nationally-recognised ornamental fish breeder Kripan Sarkar - a man to remember
  • Tilapia parvovirus disease: An emerging threat for the tilapia aquaculture industry
  • Naihati fish seed market as state-of-the-art for sustainable support services to fish growers, buyers and traders
  • NACA Newsletter

A second High Level Meeting on Aquaculture Transformation: A Call for Collective Action was held in Bangkok from 8-9 November 2023 to further facilitate regional collaboration towards the Blue Transformation vision. The purpose of the meeting was to review progress made after the First HLM and discuss specific actions and mechanisms needed to enhance regional cooperation and progress transformation at scale by 2030. The meeting discussed and reviewed a draft Action Guide for Aquaculture Transformation for Asia and the Pacific Region. A proposal to develop an Asia-Pacific Aquaculture Innovation and Investment Hub as a regional mechanism providing policy advice, monitoring, resource mobilisation, partnership and capacity building functions as a regional platform driving aquaculture transformation was also considered.

The Thai Fish Project began in 2019, and involves around 200 research members and multiple institutions in Thailand and Japan. The project aims to promote domestication and wise use of two Thai native aquatic species, namely the Asian sea bass Lates calcarifer and banana shrimp Penaeus merguiensis through increasing productivity, reducing the impact of infectious diseases, and preserving genetic resources. The project also encompasses several specific research topics to ensure that it comprehensively addresses the concerns on safeguarding the food security and enhancing the environmental sustainability as much as possible. This article describes the main research activities, outputs and future expectations of the Thai Fish Project.

Naihati fish seed market of West Bengal was established in 1976 and is the largest seed market in India. With the advent of induced breeding technology and hatcheries, fish seed is now available almost year-round, catering to the need of Indian farmers. Situated in North 24 Parganas, Naihati wholesale fish seed market is a well-known establishment that provides multifaceted services to stakeholders including fish seed growers, retailers, sellers, and mediators. This article describes the state of the market as aspects of its evolution over time.

In late 2022 tilapia parvovirus (TiPV) was found to be associated with mass mortalities of tilapia in Odisha, India, both individually and in co-infections with tilapia lake virus. Infections have also been reported from Thailand and China. Clinical signs include lethargy, scale loss, redness on the body with haemorrhages on the operculum, base of fins and ventral part, opaqueness of the eyes, swimming near the pond edge and loss of appetite before death. This article describes the epidemiology of TiPV disease including its diagnosis, transmission, prevention and control, and its potential impact on the tilapia aquaculture industry.

The Late Sri Kripan Sarkar was an enterprising ornamental fish breeder-cum-farmer par excellence, exporter and supplier of the same from northern part of West Bengal. As proprietor of Rainbow Ornamental Fish Farm, at Bakshipara Village in Jalpaiguri District, he was an expert and authority in scientific breeding, larval rearing, propagation, research and experimentation on economically important freshwater ornamental fishes. There was a time when Sri Sarkar was the only commercial ornamental fish breeder in north Bengal. This article documents his experiences and career as an influential pioneer in the ornamental fish culture trade.

The welfare of decapod crustaceans, the largest group of farmed animals worldwide, is gaining prominence in the aquaculture industry. Taking better care of the billions of shrimp farmed annually not only responds to certification standards and consumer demand, it is the right thing to do. Embracing a welfare approach has the potential to address current challenges in shrimp farming by providing insights into farming conditions and animal health, ultimately boosting production performance. Recording welfare data enhances transparency along the supply chain, ensuring that every actor, from hatcheries to shrimp buyers, understands the quality of the breeder, post larvae, or shrimp they purchase. This article also details a free online training course on shrimp welfare created by FAI Farms.

With the implementation of the new aquatic animal disease reporting in the Asia Pacific region from January 2021, and in lieu of the published QAAD Reports (last issue published was 4th quarter of 2020), NACA is publishing reported aquatic animal diseases submitted by countries in the Asia-Pacific region. This report covers the second quarter of 2023 and the original and updated reports can be accessed from the QAAD page