This report summarises the proceedings of the 17th meeting of the Advisory Group, held 13-14 November 2018 in Bangkok, Thailand. The group's role includes reviewing disease trends and emerging threats in the region, identifying developments in global aquatic disease issues and standards, evaluating the Quarterly Aquatic Animal Disease Reporting Programme and providing guidance on regional strategies to improve aquatic animal health management.

In the ornamental fish markets of India, the euryhaline spotted scat Scatophagus argus and pearlspot Etroplus suratensis are popularly sold as ornamental fish. This article describes the nursing of wild-caught spotted scat seed and in-pond breeding of pearlspot to produce marketable sized fish at the Joykrishna hatchery and fish seed farm, located in the Hooghly River estuarine zone in coastal West Bengal, India. The fish are reared in brackishwater ponds for commercial utilisation as ornamental fish, supplying Hyderabad and other cities.

India’s share of the international ornamental fish trade is marginal but has been able to show consistent growth over the years. Of the total ornamental fishes traded by India, approximately 85% are native fishes sourced from the Western Ghats and North East India. The aquaculture of native fishes in seasonal water bodies can play a role in both conservation and generation of livelihoods. Imparting knowledge regarding ornamental fish trade and establishing market linkages is required to further develop the industry.

In this issue:

Rearing of spotted scat and pearlspot in coastal West Bengal, India; harvesting Eurayle ferox (makhana) from wetland fisheries of Assam; prospects of ornamental fish culture in seasonal water bodies in Assam; production of tubifex, a new dimention in aquaculture in feeding juvenile fish; invasive apple snails in Brunei Darussalam; aquaculture trends and opportunities in Sindh, Pakistan; NACA Newsletter.

Apple snails have become a major pest of wetland rice in much of Southeast Asia. Two species are involved, Pomacea canaliculata and P. maculata. One or both of these species have become widely established not only in many parts of Southeast Asia but also in other parts of the world. This book provides an update on research into the biology, management and use of apple snails and highlights the need to prevent further spread of these species.

In this issue:

Workshop on mainstreaming gender in NACA. Fish Farmer Field School: Towards healthier milkfish / shrimp polyculture and fish farmer empowerment in South Sulawesi. A success story of Maa Tarini Self Help Group Ornamental Fish Unity, India. Use of lactic acid bacteria in fish farming. AFSPAN field surveys underway. Anti-viral treatment for healthier black tiger prawns. Jungle perch on the comeback trail. Nursery management of grouper manual. Hatchery management of tiger group manual.

In this issue:

Aquaculture in Hubei Province, central China. Ornamental fish farming - a successful cottage industry in rural and urban India. Measuring empowerment of women through self-help groups in aquaculture. Pigeon pea Cajanus cajan cultivation over fish pond dykes - an economically viable farming approach. Culture of freshwater climbing perch Anabas testudineus. Augmentation of fish production from a small reservoir of Vidarbha: A success story. Emergency consultation on early mortality syndrome of shrimp.

In this issue:

Visit to the AwF funded small-scale aquaculture project in Nepal. Success story of the Barakhandapat Ornamental Fish Breeding Unit, India. From Kyoto 1976 to Bangkok 2000 and Phuket 2010: Aquaculture development and personal transitions. Embryonic and larval development of Waigieu seaperch Psammoperca waigiensis. Culture feasibility of freshwater mullet Rhinomugil corsula in ponds in India. Management in seed production of an endangered catfish Horabagrus brachysoma during its hatchery phase.

Species movement for farming can be one of the many sources of biological threats to the well-being of farmed aquatic animals, humans and ecosystems. Transboundary aquatic animal diseases may occur due to illegal introductions and transfers of live animals. This session will discuss aspects of biosecurity as possible and will identify successes and failures, issues of importance and the role of biosecurity in the sustainable increase in aquaculture production. 

We are passing through an era of increasing population, food shortages and unsustainable farming practices. We cannot think of food security unless issues connected with poverty and livelihoods are addressed. Since 75 percent of global aquaculture production comes from small-scale farms in developing countries we have to address a number of issues to ensure that the livelihoods and food security of all those involved in the sector are not threatened.