Farming in the mid hills is largely characterised by small land holdings, low productivity, scarcity of agricultural land and irrigation facilities, and uneven terrain. Low returns in farming and unemployment problems in the mid-hills are compelling youth to move to the cities to find livelihoods. Adoption of integrated farming practices utilising available land, water and waste products more efficiently can improve farm productivity and income. The achievements of a young farmer from a remote village working to motivate others are documented in this article.

In this issue:

Collection of tubifex worms from the Adi Ganga canal, West Bengal as means of livelihood; Some facts for the grow-out culture of an endangered catfish, Clarias magur; The cryptic domain of gut microbiota in composite culture of Indian major carps; Integrated rice-fish farming in hilly terraces of the Apatani Plateau, Arunachal Pradesh.

Although relatively slow growing, market demand for Clarias magur is sufficient to make it economically attractive for aquaculture. Supply of this species is through a combination of wild caught and cultured fish. However, a drastic reduction in wild populations has led to C. magur being listed as endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. Only limited quantities of cultured fish are available. The article communicates the aquaculture practices of C. magur including hatchery, nursery and grow out.

The digestive tract of all vertebrates including fish is known to harbour a complex microbial ecosystem with a large, diverse and dynamic collection of microorganisms. These microbes become an integral component of the host animal with intimate host-microbe associations. In the following study, we employed both bacterial enumeration and culture independent DNA fingerprinting approach to examine the presence of host-specific gut microbiota in Indian major carps related to their occupancy of distinct ecological niches.

Rice-fish farming is a popular activity amongst the Apatani tribe of the Ziro valley, conducted in their wet rice terraces. The strains of fish cultured include mirror carp Cyprinus carpio specularis, scale carp C. carpio communis and leather carp C. carpio nudus, cultivated synchronously with local rice cultivars (Oryza sativa), viz. eamo, ampu, mipya, pyapu, pyaping and eylang. This article describes the integrated farming practices and socio-economic circumstances of the Apatani in the Yachuli, Hapoli, Hong, Hari, Hija, Bula, Dutta and Old Ziro villages.

In this issue:

Current status of freshwater cage aquaculture in India; Fattening of mud crab Scylla serrata in estuarine region of south-eastern West Bengal; Aquaponics - sustainable farming method in the fight against hunger; aquatic invasive apple snails (Pomacea spp.) in Timore-Leste - current status, spread and management in rice fields; NACA Newsletter.

Initial attempts to develop freshwater cage aquaculture in India focussed on air breathing catfish and Indian major carps in the Yamuna and Ganga rivers, with later efforts in several large reservoirs. Cage-based aquaculture in inland waters is currently being promoted by some state governments with a view to enhancing fish production. This article examines the history of cage aquaculture in India and some of the factors to be considered in cage design and site selection.

An Expert Consultation on Invasive Alien Fish Species: Need for a Risk Benefit Assessment and Management Framework for Healthy Freshwater Systems will be organised on 19 December 2018 in New Delhi, India. The consultation will flag the need for an equilibrium between access to non-native germplasm and the minimisation of risk to ecosystems and native fish diversity from such introductions. As a major outcome, an objective tool is expected to be developed, which can be used to evaluate prospective introductions and support decision making.

Aquaculture has seen spectacular growth in recent years, and Aqua 2018 celebrated aquaculture’s role as one of the most important food industries worldwide. Held 25-29 August in Montpellier, France, Aqua 2018 brought together scientists, practitioners, students, industry and civil society to highlight the latest global developments in aquaculture research and innovation.

The Sindh Province of Pakistan is very rich in aquatic resources and has a strong irrigation network. Farmers, after facing immense agricultural problems, now are considering aquaculture as an alternate option and converting their properties for aquaculture production. Commercial pond-based carp culture has significantly expanded and is now widely practiced in Sindh. Carp farmers have been making good profits and achieving high yields. Although aquaculture presently plays a modest role in the national economy of Pakistan its future prospects are bright.