The first ever Regional Training Course on Culture-based Fisheries in Inland Waters was held at Nha Trang University from 30 October to 8 November. The objective of the course was to provide participants with the skills to assist local communities to plan and manage culture-based fisheries. These practices are an example of a relatively simple and low cost technology that can deliver nutritional and economic benefits to rural communities, which often have few livelihood options.

In this issue:

Regional network on culture-based fisheries and stock enhancement; trout fisheries in the uplands of Arunachal Pradesh - resources and opportunities; empowering young Indian women through entrepreneurship development - opportunities and constraints; a view on murrel (snakehead) fisheries in India; hybrid catfish Clarias batrachus x Heteropneustes fossilis produced by farmers in West Bengal, India; Backyard fish based pig farming using low-cost feed in Arunachal Pradesh - a success story; NACA Newsletter.

In the north-east hill region of India, integrated fish farming is one of the best alternatives for improving livelihoods as most of the houses in rural areas have access to ponds and livestock. Among livestock, pigs are a popular choice, particularly for the tribal population of the region, who account for a major portion of the population. Pigs can fit into diverse systems of management, and can be reared on a wide variety of waste materials.

In this issue:

Inspiring story of aquaculture in Sikkim - a journey from conservation to farming; farming of scampi and tiger shrimp together - a case study from West Bengal; Labeo pangusia - a candidate for diversification of hill aquaculture; sustainability of an integrated livestock-fish-crop farming system as a small scale enterprise; sustainable coastal aquaculture in India; potential scope and prospects of domestic fish market in Chhattisgarh.

Sikkim is a small Himalayan state of India with three climatic zones ranging from tropical to temperate to alpine. The moderate-cool and warm agro-climatic zones are suitable for farming rainbow trout and exotic carp species, while brown trout hatchery and ranching can be conducted in the alpine areas. We report on the status of exotic carp and trout farming in Sikkim including farming practices, constraints faced by local farmers and possible solutions.

We examined the sustainability and economic viability of a model integrated livestock-fish-crop farming system developed by the Fisheries Research Centre, Assam Agricultural University, over an extended period of 13 years. The system was developed as an ecologically sustainable alternative technology for small and margin farmers. It incorporates two livestock components, pig and poultry, with horticulture and carp polyculture. Analysis of cash flow and benefit-cost ration revealed the system to be economically sustainable over the long term.

Tilapia lake virus is a newly emerging virus that is associated with significant mortalities in farmed tilapia. This fact sheet describes the threat to industry, clinical signs, diagnosis, risk factors, prevention and control options and actions that must be taken to minimise the impact of this disease on the global tilapia aquaculture industry. All countries with a tilapia industry must be vigilant and act quickly to investigate cases of mortalities in farms.

Tilapia lake virus (TiLV) is an emerging disease of cultured tilapia in the Asia-Pacific region. Originally observed and reported in Israel, Ecuador, Colombia and Egypt, TiLV is now confirmed in cultured tilapia in Thailand causing mass mortalities. At risk is here is the US$7.5 billion global industry per annum, especially among the top tilapia-producing countries in the region including China, the Philippines, Thailand, Indonesia, Lao PDR and Bangladesh. This advisory describes signs of the disease and PCR detection methods.

The fourth major international event on giant freshwater prawns was organised by the Asian Institute of Technology from 20-24 March 2007. The conference, organised by Salin Krishna and Michael New, built on a series of highly successful events that trace back to the very beginnings of the industry. The first conference, Giant Prawn 1980 brought together all those involved in freshwater prawn research and farming for the first time and set many priorities for future research and development.

Bangana dero is one of the most popular indigenous minor carps in the north eastern states of India, fetching triple the market prices of Indian major carps. B. dero is a bottom feeder and feeds on insect larvae, molluscs, algae, zooplankton and detritus. Over the last two decades the occurrence of wild juveniles of this fish in Indian rivers has fallen drastically. A protocol for induced breeding, larviculture, nursery rearing and growout including polyculture of B. dero is described.