Genetics and biodiversity

The Genetics and Biodiversity Programme supports member states to improve scientific knowledge of aquatic genetic resources and to guide strategic planning in their management. The programme addresses both the conservation aspects of genetic resources and their responsible usage in aquaculture to minimise impacts on biodiversity and wild strains and to assist members to meet their obligations under international treaties.

The programme promotes international linkages between member states, capacity building, research programs to develop improved strains of finfish and shellfish, genetic characterisation of existing strains, adoption of new genetic tools and technologies and consortia regional programmes to address common issues, species and strains of value from conservation and/or aquaculture perspectives.

Key activities

Key activities of the programme include:

  • Building capacity in aquatic genetic resource management and application of new molecular technologies, tools and strategies.
  • Characterising aquatic genetic resources to discover species, stocks and valuable genomic resources.
  • Facilitating national and regional programs for domestication, genetic improvement and conservation.
  • Applying conservation aquaculture models to support diversification, fishery enhancement and in-situ conservation of indigenous fish species.
  • Facilitating responsible exchange of germplasm, safe propagation and access-benefit sharing.

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Subject tags

A collection of subject tags relating to technical matters.

In this collection

Safeguarding salt lake brine shrimp (Artemia) resources for aquaculture: A training project

A training project addressing Artemia management and conservation from hydrological, biological, ecological, aquaculture, wildlife and legislative perspectives will be held in Rome, Italy, from 2-6 September 2024. The training is being organised by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the Network of Aquaculture Centres in Asia-Pacific (NACA), with the financial support of the Alliance of National and International Science Organizations for the Belt and Road Regions (ANSO) and the Royal Academy for Overseas Sciences (RAOS), in cooperation with the International Artemia Aquaculture Consortium (IAAC). The project will address hydrological, biological, ecological, aquaculture, wildlife and legislative aspects of Artemia management and conservation.

Neolissochilus hexagonolepis (chocolate mahseer): A flagship species for diversification of hill aquaculture in Northeast India

This article investigates the ecological, economic, and cultural importance of Neolissochilus hexagonolepis, commonly known as chocolate mahseer and its potential for hill aquaculture in Northeast India. The taxonomy, distribution, and distinct features are described. Chocolate mahseer populations are in decline due to habitat degradation, overfishing and environmental changes, and it is designated as "near threatened" by the IUCN. Breeding patterns, growth parameters, and culture techniques are explored in depth as a candidate species for aquaculture development. Conservation initiatives and the need to balance economic utilisation with species conservation in chocolate mahseer farming are discussed.

Aquaculture Asia Magazine, October-December 2023

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

Thai Fish Project: A path towards a sustainable aquaculture

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.

NACA Newsletter, Vol. XXXVIII, October-December 2023

In this issue:

Kingdom of Saudi Arabia joins NACA; Applications for the position of Director General, NACA; NACA awarded the Aziz-Ul Haq Rural Development Medal; Training Course on Risk Analysis in the Aquaculture Value Chain held in Bangkok; Free FAO publication: Genetic management of Indian major carps; 7th International Symposium on Cage Aquaculture in Asia; PhD scholarships: Shanghai Ocean University PhD Programme 2024; WAS Journal Special Issue: Global Conference on Aquaculture Millennium +20 Thematic Reviews; Seminar on Artemia Research and Production: Videos; Reported aquatic animal diseases in the Asia-Pacific Region during the first quarter of 2023.

WAS Journal Special Issue: Global Conference on Aquaculture Millennium +20 Thematic Reviews

Eight thematic reviews prepared as preparation for the Global Conference on Aquaculture Millennium +20 (GCA +20) have been published in a Special Issue of the Journal of the World Aquaculture Society "Aquaculture for Food and Sustainable Development". A group of experts prepared advanced working drafts of each thematic review and the key findings from each theme were presented and discussed by expert panels during the GCA +20. Participants were then invited to provide their feedback and perspectives on the reviews and their key messages for consideration in finalisation of the papers. The reviews are available for free download.

Genetic management of Indian major carps

Collectively carps represent the largest global aquaculture sector, contributing over 20 percent of global aquaculture production. The Indian major carps including catla (Catla catla), rohu (Labeo rohita) and mrigal (Cirhinnus mrigala) are cultured widely across the Indian sub-continent with the main culture system being a multi-species polyculture in ponds, often including other carp species. This production sector is supported by major seed supply systems producing over 50 billion seed per annum. This case study analyses genetic management of Indian major carps since they were first domesticated with the development of hypophysation techniques in the 1950s. A review of literature and a survey of common hatchery practices identifies significant problems prevalent in the sector brought about by a lack of application of best practices in genetic management resulting in loss of genetic diversity, inbreeding and uncontrolled hybrid introgression.

NACA Newsletter, Vol. XXXVIII, July-September 2023

In this issue:

Artemia side event at the FAO Sub-Committee on Aquaculture, Mexico; Great Salt Lake Brine Shrimp Fishery Meets MSC’s Fishery Standard; Reported Aquatic Animal Diseases in the Asia-Pacific Region during the Fourth Quarter of 2022; Report of the 21st Asia Regional Advisory Group on Aquatic Animal Health; Thai Fish Project; NACA participates in Coordinating Working Parties on Fisheries Statistics; NACA signs MOU with Cagayan Valley R&D Consortium; Shrimp Summit, 24-26 July, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.

13th Asia-Pacific Marine Biotechnology Conference, 2-6 October 2023, Australia

The 13th APMBC and 5th ANZMBS conference are combining to engage marine biotechnologists, industry, investors, and policy makers in current marine biotechnology research, and industry development in the Asia-Pacific region. The conference will be held from 2-6 October 2023 in Adelaide, Australia. This provides a great opportunity to participate in the growth and future development of the marine biotechnology industry in the region and globally. A key objective of the joint Conference is to encourage academic-industry partnerships across the region. Abstract submissions and early bird registrations are now open!

Update: 2022 Global Forum on Sustainable Development of Fisheries to be held on 13 December

Update: The forum will now be held on 13 December and and updated conference agenda is available below. Please register your attendance using the form linked below. A Zoom link will be sent to all registered participants before the meeting, thank you.

A free online forum will be organised by the Agriculture Trade Promotion Center, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs of the People’s Republic of China, and Yellow Sea Fisheries Research Institute, Chinese Academy of Fishery Sciences, and NACA. The forum aims to strengthen international exchange and cooperation in aquatic trade, promote high-quality development of fisheries, disseminate advanced concepts, technologies, and models of aquaculture in the Asia-Pacific region and Silk Road countries, and promote the health and sustainable development of global fisheries. Participation is free but registration is required.