Improvements to fish yield in small water bodies as well as to the incomes and nutritional status of rural communities have been demonstrated. in Laos, Sri Lanka and Vietnam but culture-based fisheries practices are not yet widespread, despite having significant potential in tropical climates. A project to introduce culture-based fisheries to Cambodia is described. Participating communities reported improved catch per unit effort, an increase in the number of people engaged in fishing and lower food costs.

In this issue:

Changes to the magazine and website. Status of alien fish species farming and it's implications for Andhra Pradesh, India. Bridging the research-extension-farmer-input and market linkage gap in coastal aquaculture through application of ICT. Bio-remediation of domestic sewerage recycled in aquaculture: A Central Institute of Freshwater Aquaculture model. Role of family farming in marine and coastal ecosystem management in India. Conservation of fish genetic resources: An introduction to the state fishes of India.

CBF is essentially a stock and recapture strategy, where the stocked fish feed and grow on naturally produced food resources, and which are most effective when communally managed. The returns from CBF could be very significant in terms of nutritional as well as monetary benefits to the communities. In this presentation the relevant background information on food fish needs and the ways and means of introducing CBF practices in inland waters are dealt with.

In recent years, stocking programs have been subjected to substantial criticism due to perceived impact of hatchery-bred fish on genetic structure and fitness of wild stocks, transfer of disease, introduction of exotic species and non-target species, and their effects on other aquatic species and the environment. To maximise the potential benefits to fisheries from stock enhancement a responsible and ecologically sustainable approach should be adopted for all stocking programs.

A shift away from exotic speces towards the use of indigenous ones was believed to counter negative impacts of culture-based fisheries. However, hatchery-produced fingerlings can also pose a potential threat to genetic diversity and integrity of their wild counterparts. This paper entails the pros and cons in the use exotic vs. indigenous species in CBF and steps to be followed when decisions are made on species choice for CBF.

A summary of culture-based fisheries developments in Lao PDR based on publications, either in the primary literature, or as manuals and reports posted on the website of the Network of Aquaculture Centres in Asia-Pacific, that have originated from projects funded by the Australian Centre for International Agriculture research (ACIAR) since 1997.

The application of culture-based fisheries in Cambodian waters commenced with a project in sixteen small reservoirs located in four provinces. Initial consultations with the village communities responsible for the water regime management were held and their agreement obtained for monitoring and cooperating through the trial period. One common feature in all the reservoirs selected is the provision of a “conservation zone”, generally in the deeper areas of the water body, where fishing is prohibited.

Culture-based fisheries in village reservoirs of Sri Lanka is a communal activity involving agricultural farmers without prior experience in fisheries. Awareness programs have facilitated establishment of CBF in small village reservoirs. Dissemination of research findings through means such as production of a documentary film, publication of a monograph which was translated to several regional languages, and holding a series of regional workshops were instrumental for CBF development at the regional level.

Fish stocking in Indonesian lakes and reservoirs has been conducted for a long time. Since 1999, culture-based fisheries (CBF) practices based on scientific evidence such as using suitable fish species, consideration of the primary productivity, stocking density, economic evaluation and community participation, have been conducted in some reservoirs and lakes and have showed encouraging results. CBF is highly recommended and prioritised in small reservoirs with an area less than 200 ha.

Sri Lanka is blessed with a large number of irrigation reservoirs. Culture-based fisheries (CBF) in seasonal reservoirs was initiated in the 1980’s and the government has recognised CBF as an effective way of increasing fish supplies in rural areas, at affordable prices, while providing employment and income to farmers and thereby contributing towards alleviation of poverty. The role of fisher community based organisations and fisheries management for effecting successful CBF are discussed.