Don’t miss this opportunity! Only ten places are left. The Yantai Institute of Coastal Zone Research will sponsor international applicants to attend an in-person Training Course on Science and Technology for Coastal Ecological Aquaculture and Biotechnology in Qingdao, China, from 23 April to 7 May. Enrollments close soon, do not delay. Please see the enclosed application form and information sheet for more details.

In this issue:

Augmenting entrepreneurial attitude among tribal women of Jharkhand through a skill development programme in fish value added products; Culture of hilsa, Tenualosa ilisha in freshwater ponds: Progress and prospects in farming practice; Present status of medium-saline ‘bheri’ fishery and integrated mangrove aquaculture in West Bengal, India: A short study, Part I; Information for farmers on yellow tail catfish, Pangasius pangasius, for easier captive production; Captive breeding and larval rearing of Cirrhinus reba, a small indigenous fish of aquaculture importance; NACA Newsletter.

Cirrhinus reba or ‘reba carp’ is a commercially important indigenous minor carp species distributed over south Asia. It is highly popular among consumers and fetches a better price than the major carps.  An herbivorous species, C. reba can easily digest plant protein sources. It has been identified as a priority species for aquaculture diversification in India and has great scope for incorporation in carp culture and polyculture systems.

The yellow tail catfish Pangasius pangasius is found throughout the rivers of the Indian subcontinent. A large, omnivorous, and highly fecund species, it is suitable for aquaculture. Initial work on captive breeding of yellow tail catfish was carried out by scientists from the ICAR-Central Institute of Freshwater Aquaculture in the early 1990's. This article provides updated information on captive reproduction, larval rearing and nusery techniques for this species, which will be of use for farmers and entrepreneurs interested in producing it.

FAI and NACA will convene a webinar on fish welfare issues on 8 March from 9:30-11:30 am Bangkok time (GMT+7). The webinar will address the relationship between welfare, health, quality and profit in aquaculture production. The programme will feature talks on:

  • Animal welfare applied to aquaculture.
  • Preliminary tilapia welfare assessment results in Thailand.
  • A practical framework for assessments on aquaculture productions.
  • Communicating welfare to the aquaculture industry.

Participation is free but registration is required, please download the attached flyer for details.

Since the late 1960s, brackishwater rural aquaculture in West Bengal grew and improved at a fast rate, from an extensive method of farming to a modified-extensive method. The indigenous bheri fishery is a well-known extensive aquaculture system throughout all coastal states of India. Bheri fishery isn’t a capital-intensive practice. This article describes farming practices in bheri systems in West Bengal, India, including their integration with mangrove aquaculture. A second part of this article will be published in the next issue.

NACA is set to embark on a journey with FAI Farms to educate, train and support fish and shrimp farmers on animal welfare. NACA and FAI are currently working on a program for the coming year to educate and train farmers on fish and shrimp welfare through a series of workshops and webinars. Furthermore, the series of online training courses “Welfare in tilapia production guideline” will be freely available to the NACA network to disseminate knowledge on the welfare of aquatic animals. In addition to trainings, workshops and online courses, FAI has developed a Tilapia welfare application that will put welfare directly into the hands of the farmer.

Hilsa are a highly favoured food fish on the Indian subcontinent, but wild populations have been declining very fast due to over exploitation and disturbance of their riverine spawning grounds. Hilsa have a complex life cycle, migrating from the sea to riverine environments to spawn and are very sensitive to handling, which has complicated efforts to breed them in captivity. The ICAR-Central Institute of Freshwater Aquaculture has initiated a programme to domesticate hilsa to reduce dependence on wild catch. This article documents the first successful approaches to rear larvae through to table sized fish and to develop mature hilsa broodstock in a farm environment.

Today, tribal people comprise 8.6 percent of the Indian population and are one of the most disadvantaged sections of society. Many tribal groups in different parts of the country depend on natural resources for their livelihoods, to which their access has been progressively eroded. With financial support from ICAR-CIFT the College of Fisheries, Gumla, undertook seven training programmes for tribal women from economically marginalised tribal communities in the preparation and marketing of value-added fisheries products. The training encouraged women to develop small businesses building on their micro-entrepreneurship.

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 is publishing reported aquatic animal diseases submitted by countries in the Asia-Pacific region.  This report covers the third quarter of 2022 and the original and updated reports can be accessed at the QAAD page