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.

Creative Commons Attribution.


Subject tags

A collection of subject tags relating to technical matters.

In this collection

Development of a conservation strategy for the critically endangered Mekong giant catfish: Quantitative assessment report

This report provides a quantitative assessment of the conservation of the Mekong giant catfish, Pangasianodon gigas, and an evaluation of the likely effectiveness of different conservation options. The report conisders the history of fisheries exploitation and environmental change, the estimated wild population size of P. gigas, the role of captive populations held by the Thailand Department of Fisheries and interactions with cultured fish. It makes a series of recommendations for conservation of this species.

Development of a conservation strategy for the critically endangered Mekong giant catfish: Project brief

This is a brief of a project to develop an overarching conservation strategy for the Mekong giant catfish integrating supportive breeding with harvest and habitat management. This will involve (1) quantitative assessment of population status based on existing information, (2) quantitative assessment of the likely effectiveness of different conservation measures (3) review and improvement of captive breeding procedures; (4) promotion of appropriate adaptive policies for the further development of the strategy; and (5) definition of an overall conservation strategy.

Development of a species conservation action plan for the Mekong giant catfish

This is the report of the Second Mekong Giant Catfish Working Group Meeting, held in Phnom Penh 12-13 November 2005, under the project Development of a conservation strategy for the critically endangered Mekong giant catfish. The purpose of the workshop was to review existing knowledge on Mekong giant catfish, identify future conservation and research priority activities, and to continue the joint planning process aimed at developing an overarching conservation strategy.

Assessment of freshwater fish seed resources for sustainable aquaculture

This publication contains the proceedings and major recommendations of the expert workshop which tackled three major themes: Seed quality, genetics, technology and certification; seed networking, distribution, entrepreneurship and certification; and how rural fish farmers can benefit from the seed sector. It also contains the outcomes of a desk study consisting of three regional syntheses, twenty-one country case studies and five thematic reviews (seed quality, genetics and breeding, seed networks, role of seed supply, farmer innovations and womens' involvement).

Better management practices for sustainable scampi (freshwater prawn) farming

This manual provides practical advice on good management practices for sustainable freshwater prawn (scampi) farming in India. The manual covers general principles of sustainable farming, relevant legal issues including for hatcheries, land and water use, impact on natural habitats, hatchery, nursery and growout management, and environmental and social responsibility. The manual was developed via a multi-stakeholder consultation held at the Head Office of the National Centre for Sustainable Aquaculture (NaCSA), Kakinada, 6-7 December 2007.

Guidelines for broodstock management, propagation and culture of semah, Tor douronensis and empurau, Tor tambroides

The Project 'Artificial propagation of empurau, Tor tambroides and semah, Tor douronensis, two species of commercial and conservation value to Sarawak, Malaysia' successfully achieved captive breeding and larval to fingerling rearing. An enhancement strategy for the long-term management of semah and empurau broodstock, and conservation of wild stocks, based on genetic findings is discussed. Guidelines on best husbandry management practices to ensure a supply of physically and genetically healthy quality seed are provided.

Report of the Workshop on Research Needs in Sustaining the Aquaculture Sector in Asia-Pacific to Year 2025 and Beyond

IDRC and NACA convened a workshop to identify the main research issues and needs to sustain Asian aquaculture into the first quarter of the 21st century, and also to bring them to the notice of relevant planners, managers and policy makers, and potential donors. The workshop was held in Rayong, Thailand from 4-7 June 2007. This report contains the issues papers drafted in preparation for the meeting and a summary of the discussions.

Aquaculture Asia Magazine, January-March 2008

In this issue:

Developing guidelines for sustainable freshwater aquaculture planning in Vietnam. Aquaculture production, certification and trade for small-scale farmers. Backyard hatcheries for crustaceans in Thailand. Alternative carp species for diversification in India. Genetic and reproduction technologies for aquaculture and fisheries management of Murray cod. Status of sahar domestication in Nepal. Comparative advantage analysis of shrimp production in Asia. Strategies to improve the livelihoods of the rural poor, Vietnam, and more.

NACA Newsletter Volume XXIII, No. 1, January-March 2008

In this issue:

Better management practices for catfish aquaculture in the Mekong Delta, Vietnam. Developing better management practices for marine finfish aquaculture. Workshop on modelling carrying capacity for tropical finfish cage culture: Towards a consensus view. First comprehensive genetic management plan for Asian fish species: Mahseer. NACA and World Fisheries Trust sign agreement on collaboration. Fish Health Master Class. Second Workshop on Application of Molecular Genetic Techniques in Inland Fisheries and Aquaculture Management. Two new species of spiny eels described from Myanmar. Importance of species identification in conservation. Koh Yao Noi mangrove replanting in celebration of 80th birthday of His Majesty the King of Thailand. Responsible movement of live food finfish within ASEAN: Implementation workshop. Consultation on aquaculture certification guidelines. Strengthening regional mechanisms to maximise benefits to small-holder shrimp farmer groups adopting better management practices.

Guidelines for genetic management and conservation of empurau, Tor tambroides and semah, Tor douronensis

This document presents current status on genetic diversity of empurau and semah in Sarawak, Malaysia, including taxonomic status and a management guideline based on genetic data. Inadvertent mixing of the two species, especially during breeding, may lead to hybridisation, a threat to the genetic integrity of wild populations. Surveys on current status of genetic variability of empurau and semah are reported herein, and the results from which are used as baseline data for development of a genetic management plan.