Shanghai Ocean University is offering PhD scholarships for the majors of Aquaculture, Hydrobiology, Fishery Economics and Management, Fishery Resources Management and Fishery Environment Protection and Management. The scholarship program is open to international candidates under 35 years old who have a master’s degree with a good academic record and outstanding research potential. The scholarships include a full tuition fee waiver, accommodation, living allowance and medical insurance. Applicants are highly recommended to submit the application before March 30, 2022. The final application deadline is April 15, 2022.

In this issue:

Exploration of canal resources as a potential source for fish production in the Indian Sundarbans; Expansion of new host range of isopod Tachaea spongillicola infestation to fish species could pose a risk to aquaculture food industry in southeast Asian countries; Aspects of air-breathing fish farming practiced at Mathurapur-II Block, West Bengal, India; Magical role of live foods in boosting spawn survival of climbing perch: A success in the farmer’s field; NACA Newsletter.

Climbing perch inhabit water bodies ranging from fresh to brackish waters across a wide range of environments, and are widely distributed throughout south and southeast Asia through to southern China. In India it is prized both as a foodfish and as a traditional medicinal food. This article describes the induced breeding of climbing perch and the interaction of scientists and farmers to improve survival of larvae and fry in through the use of live feeds (rotifer) in small-scale hatcheries in India.

Climbing perch Anabas testudineus is a high-priced fish, nutritious and economically profitable for small- to medium-scale fish farmers, who can obtain fry from local paddy fields and low-lying inundated areas in late summer, monsoon and post-monsoon periods. Climbing perch is a facultative air-breathing fish that is able to move between water bodies by undertaking short migrations overland. This article describes techniques for climbing perch and major carp aquaculture, including use of biofloc systems, preparation of live feeds including mealworms, and some concerns regarding the hybridisation of native Indian strain of A. testudineus with an imported Vietnamese strain.

Our article in the journal Aquaculture highlighted the first record of the isopod Tachaea spongillicola infesting wild fish species of aquaculture importance, particularly of carps. T. spongillicola was first recorded in freshwater sponges, 114 years ago and later recorded infesting freshwater prawns. Our recent study has further recorded infestation of this isopod in wild fish species. The expansion of host range from freshwater sponges to freshwater prawns and now to freshwater fish could pose a risk to aquatic industries in the years to come. We hypothesise that climate change could be a major factor contributing towards the expansion of the host range of parasites.

Fisheries is next to agriculture in offering employment opportunities for poor rural communities in Sundarbans. With around 17 million hectares of canals in India, there is considerable potential to generate jobs and improve the food security of rural populations if canals can be used for aquaculture production. This study explored the feasibility of aquaculture as a secondary use of canal infrastructure through use of net barrier partitions, installed and managed by local communities.

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 2021. The original and updated reports are available from the QAAD page.

In this issue:

  • 31st NACA Governing Council held online.
  • SDG-aligned Artemia Aquaculture Workshop held in China / online.
  • Policy brief on sustaining the future of the global seaweed industry.
  • Quarterly Aquatic Animal Disease Report
  • Training Course on Mariculture Technology in Asia-Pacific.

The 31st Governing Council Meeting of NACA was held from 29-30 November via video conference. The meeting was attended by 44 participants including the representatives of 16 member governments, the Regional Lead Centres for China, India, Iran and Thailand, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, the Asia-Pacific Association of Agricultural Research Institutions, the Network of Aquaculture Centres in Central and Eastern Europe, the Pacific Community, the Bangladesh Shrimp and Fish Foundation and the Centre for Integrated Rural Development for Asia and the Pacific. The main agenda item for the meeting was consideration of the new NACA Strategic Plan 2021-2024.

The Fish Health Section of the Asian Fisheries Society will hold a free webinar on significant bacterial diseases in aquaculture on 8 December, via Zoom. Presentations are: Overview of bacterial diseases of aquatic animals (Prof. Indrani Karunasagar, Nitte University); Relationship between shrimp gut health, microbiota and AHPND (Prof. Han-Ching Wang, National Cheng Kung University), and The gut as the first line of defence against bacterial diseases: Comparing fish and shrimp (Dr Pikul Jiravanichpaisal, Mani Genetics Co.). Participation is open but registration is required.