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.

The Asian seabass Lates calcarifer is a highly preferred foodfish in West Bengal, with a high meat content and commercial value compared to Indian major carps. Found in estuarine systems on the north-east and south-east coasts of the Bay of Bengal, Asian seabass is a hardy, euryhaline fish and suitable for culture in coastal marine, inland saline, brackishwater and freshwater ecosystems. During the past decade, Asian seabass has received greater attention and has been increasingly farmed commercially in modified-extensive systems in large freshwater impoundments (termed ‘mithen gheri’ in local dialect).

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.

Nutrient-laden canal water from Kolkata is the lifeline of two communities: Firstly the fish farmers beyond the eastern fringes of Kolkata who depend upon domestic sewage of the dry weather flow channel as a source of nutrients to sustain plankton production in fish ponds/wetlands; and secondly, the semi-poor city people, who harvest the tubifex worms (Tubifex tubifex) as a livelihood, from a stretch of derelict waterway named Adi Ganga. This article describes the practices of tubifex collectors and the market chain for the worms.

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.

FAO and NACA have signed an agreement to convene a global conference on aquaculture in 2020. This will be the fourth conference in a series that began at the dawn of the industry in Kyoto, 1976. Aquaculture 2020 will be held late in the year in China. Arrangements, programme and partner details will be announced via the NACA website in due course.

In this issue:

Concept of seed production of Heteropneustes fossilis in farmers' fields in West Bengal, India; Fishing gear and practices in flood waters of Assam; Fisherwomen empowerment: Shedding light on the invisible gender; Integrated multi-trophic aquaculture systems: A solution of sustainability.

Annual flooding of the Brahmaputra and Barak rivers provides Assam with some of the finest floodplain wetlands in India. Local people have adapted their livelihoods to the flood cycle and fishing remains a traditional activity of tremendous importance in rural communities, with a diverse range of fishing gear and methods developed. This article documents some of the major fishing gears of Assam, with reference to their efficacy and targeted fish species.

Women's engagement in fisheries can be viewed from social, political and technical perspectives, all of which show that the role of women is often underestimated. In the fisheries sector participation by women may only become visible after the landing of the catch. The inadequate recognition of women's contributions hampers development, slowing progress in reduction of poverty and food insecurity. This article examines the diversity of women's involvement in fisheries and aquaculture and highlights opportunities to increase the participation of women.

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.