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.

A free virtual seminar series will be held from 13-17 December, hosted by the Freshwater Fisheries Research Center, Chinese Academy of Fisheries Sciences, in partnership with NACA and the Chinese Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs. The seminar will be held via Zoom. It will give participants a background in aquatic resource conservation practices, recommend options for sustainable aquaculture farming systems with potential for intensification with intervention strategies, and build a communication and experience exchange platform for information dissemination and future collaboration. Participation is free. Registration closes 10 December.

In this issue:

Habitat breeding and seed rearing of a near threatened featherback, Chitala chitala; Wild seed collection and modified-extensive farming of Mystus gulio in inland water bodies of South 24 Parganas, West Bengal; Freshwater pearl culture practices and challenges in India; Next generation probiotics: Future therapeutics for sustainable aquaculture; NACA Newsletter.

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.