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.

Related

Subject tags

A collection of subject tags relating to technical matters.

In this collection

Webinar: Culture-based fisheries for rural development

Join us on 31 May for a free webinar on Culture-based fisheries for rural development, with leading experts from the Asian region. Culture-based fisheries (CBF) are practices to enhance fish stocks in waters that don't have enough natural recruitment to sustain a fishery. CBF practices are usually applied in small water bodies such as village dams and irrigation reservoirs. Fish growth is driven by the natural productivity of the waters, foraging on natural food supplies. The simplicity and low capital requirements of CBF make it easy for farming communities to learn and adopt.

Integrated taxonomy, conservation and sustainable development: Multiple facets of biodiversity

Focussed explorations from the ICAR-National Bureau of Fish Genetic Resources (NBFGR), an organisation mandated for cataloguing of genetic resources of India include surveys of various ecosystems ranging from fauna of deep sea to the high-altitude regions of the Himalaya, falling under diverse biogeographic zones and unexplored regions of the country, including North-eastern India, Western Ghats, Lakshadweep and the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. This article describes the results of these efforts, which include discovery of 14 new fish species and six new distribution records between 2015 to 2020.

Aquaculture Asia Magazine, October-December 2020

In this issue:

Framework for participatory linkage of marine ornamentals germplasm conservation to livelihoods: Is community aquaculture an inclusive option? Induced breeding of farm-bred and pond-raised critically endangered peninsular carp, Hypselobarbus pulchellus; A way forward for utilisation of aquatic genetic resources in Asia-Pacific: Synthesis from deliberations during the Regional Workshop on Underutilized Fish and Marine Genetic Resources and their Amelioration 2019; Cast nets: The dominant active fishing gear in the Kashmir Valley; Moyna model of major carp farming in Purba Medinipur District, West Bengal, India; NACA Newsletter.

Induced breeding of farm-bred and pond-raised critically endangered peninsular carp, Hypselobarbus pulchellus

Hypselobarbus pulchellus is endemic to the peninsular rivers of India, mainly the Krishna, Godavari, Tungabhadra, Sita and Tunga. It once formed a major fishery of the Tungabhadra reservoir but has declined to the status of a critically endangered species. H. pulchellus is a bentho-pelagic species which inhabits the deeper part of large streams and rivers along the base of ghats. It is the only indigenous fish that consumes aquatic weeds and submerged grasses, and could play a role in controlling aquatic vegetation in reservoirs, tanks and irrigation canals. Capable of attaining 8 kg, H. pulchellus would make a welcome addition to pond culture practices of India, especially for composite fish culture. This article gives an overview of the breeding and seed production technologies developed by ICAR-CIFA for farm-bred and pond-raised H. pulchelllus.

A way forward for utilisation of aquatic genetic resources in Asia-Pacific: Synthesis from deliberations during the Regional Workshop on Underutilized Fish and Marine Genetic Resources and their Amelioration 2019

The Regional Workshop on Underutilized Fish and Marine Genetic Resources and their Amelioration organised by the Asia-Pacific Association of Agricultural Research Institutions (APAARI) was organised on July 10-12, 2019, in collaboration with the Sri Lanka Council of Agricultural Research and Policy (SLCARP) and National Aquatic Resources Agency (NARA) in Sri Lanka. About 95 participants from thirteen countries of Asia-Pacific region participated in the workshop. The perspectives gained will be instrumental in increasing awareness of the importance of underutilised aquatic genetic resources and to formulate strategies for strengthening their sustainable use at the regional level. 

Free online Training on Mariculture Technologies for the Asia-Pacific Region

The Yellow Sea Fisheries Research Institute, Chinese Academy of Fisheries Sciences and NACA are organising a free online training course on mariculture technologies, to be held from 21-25 September 2020. The programme will cover breeding, disease control and prevention, nutrition and feed research, breeding model construction, farm technology development, engineering, quality, safety and inspection technology for aquatic products. The course is open to government officials, researchers, enterprise managers and technicians from developing countries. The deadline for applications is 19 September 2020.

NACA Newsletter, Vol. XXXV No. 3, July-September 2020

In this issue:

Vale Professor Sena De Silva; the State of World Fisheries and Aquaculture 2020; Viral covert mortality disease (VCMD): Disease card; Disease advisory: Decapod iridescent virus 1 (DIV1): An emerging threat to the shrimp industry; Infection with decapod iridescent virus 1 (DIV1): Disease card; Proceedings of the Regional Workshop on Underutilized Fish and Marine Genetic Resources and their Amelioration; Latest special issue of Gender, Technology & Development examines new learnings on women and fisheries; Development of a global information system for farmed types of aquatic genetic resources; Quarterly Aquatic Animal Disease Report, October-December 2019.

Regional Workshop on Underutilized Fish and Marine Genetic Resources and their Amelioration – Proceedings and Recommendations

The workshop was held from 10-12 July 2019, Colombo, Sri Lanka. The objectives of the workshop were to i) assess the current status of underutilised aquatic genetic resources at the regional level and to assess R&D status of priority species with potential for use in food and agriculture; ii) discuss knowledge gaps and regional priorities concerning underutilised genetic resources and create awareness on their role and value for diversification of food supplies and livelihoods; and iii) formulate strategies for strengthening the institutional framework for management and conservation of genetic resources at the regional level.

Lovesome chum of the aquarium are wreaking havoc in the East Kolkata Wetlands, India

Loricariid catfish species of the genus Pterygoplichthys, known in the aquarium trade as 'plecos' and 'algae eaters', have extensively invaded and proliferated in the East Kolkata Wetlands in West Bengal. Loricariids have capacity to alter the ecosystem and biodiversity of invasion sites, by physically altering the invaded habitats and by competing with native animals for food and space. The aquarium trade pathway is the most significant source of loricariid introductions globally. This article discusses the invasion of loricariid catfish in the East Kolkata Wetlands, and the environmental and economic impact on local fishers.

Aquaculture Asia Magazine, January-March 2020

In this issue:

Mahseer sanctuaries of Meghalaya: A conservation and recreational perspective; Impacts of climate change on aquaculture in Vietnam: A review of local knowledge; Simple means of water aeration adopted by progressive fish breeders in West Bengal, India; Breeding striped snakehead (Channa striata) using the concrete tank method in the Cangkringan Area, Special Region of Yogyakarta; NACA Newsletter.