Next generation probiotics (NGP) or live biotherapeutics are organisms that have been designed to be used as living medicines to treat, cure or diagnose disease. They differ from traditional probiotics in that they are likely to be registered under a drug regulatory framework. At present, conventional probiotics are used as either functional foods or as supplements, whereas NGPs are mainly used as therapeutics and hence are subject to the full range of registration processes and clinical trials. This article describes the issues and regulatory processes in the development and registration of next-generation probiotics, and their potential for application in aquaculture.

In 1987, ICAR-CIFA initiated research on the culture and production of freshwater pearls and since then it has been working towards the development of the technology of producing pearls in freshwater environments. Though the breeding protocol for seed production of Lamellidens marginalis is under progress, the culture practice for pearl production has already been standardised. This article describes the culture practices used for freshwater pearl farming in India, including site selection, implant techniques, post-operative care and growout conditions. Challenges and future prospects of the industry are also discussed.

The cultivable small- to medium-sized bagrid catfish Mystus gulio is an estuarine species sold as a high-priced food fish in retail markets in cities and towns of southern West Bengal. M. gulio is a good addition to mixed species culture-based fisheries in canals in the Indian Sundarbans region. It adapts and grows well in freshwater ponds and is recommended for freshwater fish culture in areas of the Sundarbans vulnerable to saline water intrusion. This article describes the seed collection, nursery and grow-out practices of M. gulio as practiced in modified-extensive mixed culture systems in West Bengal, India.

A policy brief on “Ensuring the Sustainable Future of the Rapidly Expanding Global Seaweed Aquaculture Industry – A Vision” authored by 37 experts from 30 organisations worldwide was published by the UNU Institute on Comparative Regional Integration Studies on 10 November 2021. The policy brief highlighted the key challenges that must be addressed for the long-term sustainability of the global seaweed industry, ensuring its role in providing nature-based solutions within the sustainable ocean economy agenda and contributing to the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development (2021 – 2030). The report makes policy recommendations for promoting wider environmental, gender-responsive and socially inclusive approaches to upscaling the seaweed industry.

The humped featherback, Chitala chitala is considered to be one of the most commercially important food, sport, aquarium and highly priced cultivable fish in Assam. However, over exploitation, habitat degradation and pollution has caused wild populations to decline in recent decades, to the point where the species is categorised as Near Threatened on the IUCN Red List. Here we present the biological aspects of breeding and larval rearing protocols of the humped featherback, which has been prioritised as a new candidate species for freshwater aquaculture in India. The information will also aid in stock enhancement and conservation of this species.

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 will be reporting aquatic animal diseases that are occurring or present in the countries of the region, on quarterly basis.  This report covers the first and second quarters of 2021 and the original and updated reports are also available.   

The 2021 Global Forum on Sustainable Fisheries Development, Fisheries Trade Development Summit and the 4th International Forum on Aquaculture for Silk Road Countries will be held on 27 October during the 25th China International Fisheries Expo. The programme will include lectures on fisheries trade, aquaculture genetics, sustainable shrimp farming systems, response to the COVID pandemic and Atlantic salmon farming, among others. Participation in the event is free, but registration is required.

In this issue:

Global Conference on Aquaculture Millennium +20;  Workshop on SDG-aligned Artemia aquaculture;  Professor Sena De Silva Memorial Oration, 8 October 2021; Apply now: Training Course on Mariculture Technology in Asia-Pacific; New project on “Blue transformation in aquaculture”; Webinar on Status of Artemia cyst use in fish and crustacean hatcheries.

A free training course on mariculture technologies will be offered online via Zoom from 18 October to 5 November, by the Yellow Sea Fisheries Research Institute (YSFRI), People’s Republic of China. The course will cover genetics and breeding of mariculture species; large-scale propagation; disease control and prevention; nutrition research and feed development; technology for different farming models; equipment research, engineering and construction of farming facilities; quality and safety inspection technology for aquatic products. Space is limited, applications close 11 October.

In this issue:

Opinion: Benefits of animal welfare in Indian aquaculture; Imparting skill on formulated fish feed preparation to women’s self-help groups in villages – an experience; Farming of the anadromous shad, Tenualosa ilisha: Signs of taking off in India; Some facts on cannibalism in Wallago attu and its management during captive seed production; NACA Newsletter.