The Advisory Group (AG) is a body of technical experts that meets annually to provide advice to NACA member governments on aquatic animal health management. The group is drawn from academia, the private sector and government. The role of the AG is to review disease trends in the region, identify emerging threats and developments in global aquatic disease issues and standards, evaluate the Quarterly Aquatic Animal Disease Reporting Programme operated by NACA/FAO/OIE and regional governments, and to provide guidance on strategies to improve aquatic animal health management. This year’s meeting took place from 18-19 November at the Amari Don Muang Airport Hotel in Bangkok.

Shrimp 2019 was held in Bangkok, Thailand from 12-14 November at the JW Marriot Hotel, jointly organised by INFOFISH, the Thai Department of Fisheries, NACA and the Thai Shrimp Association. The conference provided a forum for publicising shrimp farming technology, production standards, harvesting, and processing products, as well as related trade and investment. Over 200 participants attended from all regions of the world. The theme of the conference was “Modelling for Sustainability”.

Two consultations were held back to back in Thailand from 5-7 November, namely the Consultation on Strengthening Governance of Aquaculture for Sustainable Development in Asia-Pacific and the Consultation on Demographic Changes in Fishing Communities in Asia. The consultations were held at the Centara Grand Hotel at Ladprao, Bangkok. The consultations were attended by 29 participants from 15 countries in the Asia-Pacific region. The consultations were jointly organised by FAO and NACA. Audio recordings are available of some presentations.

In this issue:

Cooperation with the Bangladesh Shrimp and Fish Foundation; Global Conference on Aquaculture 2020 update; Quarterly Aquatic Animal Disease Report, January-March 2019; A fresh look at inland fisheries and their role in food security and livelihoods; Tuskfish 2 Beta: Testers wanted; APAARI Regional Workshop on Underutilized Fish and Marine Genetic Resources and Their Amelioration; Joint Research Project on Utilization of Thailand Local Genetic Resources to Develop Novel Farmed Fish for Global Market; Impacts of climate change on fisheries and aquaculture.

The 81st edition of the Quarterly Aquatic Animal Disease report contains information from twelve governments. The foreword discusses the proposed Regional Collaboration Framework on Aquatic Animal Diseases in Asia and the Pacific. This will initially focus on building a framework of actors with the aim of strengthening laboratory capacity for aquatic animal disease activities in Asia and the Pacific, for example to support emergency response. 

In this issue:

Farming of Asian seabass Lates calcarifer in freshwater impoundments in West Bengal, India; An integrated approach to contemporary fish farming practice incorporating traditional knowledge in mid hills in India: A success story; Mud crab farming: An alternative livelihood in the Indian Sundarban; Trout fisheries resources and potentialities in the Menchukha region of Arunachal Pradesh; NACA Newsletter.

The success of any aquaculture project or fish farm depends to a large extent on selection of a suitable site. Site selection using the conventional method, based on very limited data, can result in inaccurate information and cause discrepancies among the implementing agencies. The utilisation of remote sensing and geographic information systems can provide a useful source of additional information. This article provides a GIS-based analysis of the suitability of sites for trout farming and the establishment of sport fisheries in the Menchukha valley, Arunachal Pradesh.

In this issue:

First announcement: Global Conference on Aquaculture 2020, 26-30 October, Shanghai, China; Bangladesh delegation visits Thailand to study shrimp aquaculture; Expert Consultation on Development of Sustainable Aquaculture Guidelines, Rome; Report of the Seventeenth Meeting of the Asia Regional Advisory Group on Aquatic Animal Health; Quarterly Aquatic Animal Disease Report, October-December 2018; Tuskfish 2 Alpha: Testers wanted.

Mud crab is one of the most valuable crustaeceans in both domestic and export markets. They are hardy and can survive out of water for extended periods at lower temperatures, making them idea for live export. Mud crab fattening predominates farming practices in Sundarban as opposed to grow-out culture. This report describes current practces adopted by mud crab farmers in India with special reference to the Indian Sundarban, where mud crab capture and farming are an important livelihood for small holder farmers.

Farming in the mid hills is largely characterised by small land holdings, low productivity, scarcity of agricultural land and irrigation facilities, and uneven terrain. Low returns in farming and unemployment problems in the mid-hills are compelling youth to move to the cities to find livelihoods. Adoption of integrated farming practices utilising available land, water and waste products more efficiently can improve farm productivity and income. The achievements of a young farmer from a remote village working to motivate others are documented in this article.