a collection of aquaculture information found on the net…


April 11, 2006 by · Comments Off · web site

click to link to I have migrated the aquaculture information to our own server, to and will be writing there in the future. Please, faithful readers, click to, and re-set your favorites/rss feed.

I must say edublogs has been a superb place to begin this work, and, thanks to James Farmer, if you have any connection to education it would be hard to find a better place to write.


rfa: cage system aquaculture

February 24, 2006 by · 1 Comment · request for advice

Bainbridge firm’s underwater fish cages like suspension bridges & ‘Guilt-free’ fish farming arrives

Both news are on the Sea Stations Aquaculture. I live in East Coast of Malaysia, where Monsoon is harsh from September till March. Would it be viable for those cage system being used along the coast as an alternative for its fishing industries? The littoral coast are populated with poor villages with agrarian-fishing based economy. Mostly a near-deep fisheries, since well-equipped boats are limited. A Monsoon would spelled months of dearth sea-outing by this poor fishermen. I’m a Marine Eng. by training not an Oceanographer or Marine Biologist, so my knowledge in aquaculture is quite limited. It would be great if you could directed me to a number of journal concering aquaculture activity in South East Asia. I’m hoping other than the traditional cage being used by the locals.

I recently received the above Request For Advice. I’m looking for some suitable sources. Meanwhile, if there are any experts or cage aquaculturalists reading who would like to share their experience please feel free to help with a comment.

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February 21, 2006 by · 3 Comments · study, web site

Blog Hui weblog conference March 2006My apologies, regular readers, for not updating this blog for some time. I am deeply involved with organising Blog Hui, New Zealand’s first international weblog conference. I will be back more regularly after the conference – March 17-18.

As an aside to this (updating some days later) to the nice people attempting to leave comments on this blog in general, I feel it’s only fair to point out that the readers here all have enormous sexual organs and other body parts. They are witty and amusing; and are hugely and independently wealthy, and so offers of 40% of an account holding in excess of $19,000,000 in the Gabon, Nigeria, Senegal, and Burkino Faso is really only small change to them. They are full insured, and the new car they drive – the other new car, is also fully insured. Their children are well educated, their pets have no vermin, and the whole family has good hair. Now, please, while we enjoy being offered some of these fascinating and endlessly tempting goods and services, please don’t worry yourself any further – the readers here have all of that stuff and whole huge amount more. They have no need of trinkets and trivia and tiny sums of money. Thank you.

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draft guide to learning and teaching ichthyology

January 15, 2006 by · Comments Off · study, web site logo The guide disappeared offline for a while and I was worried that the online draft guide to learning and teaching ichthyology was lost and gone forever. But it’s back.

This online course is free, and uses the data sets. There’s probably not a more comprehensive ichthyology course available online, and being available for free makes it a real treasure. It’s self-paced – you work through, use the FishBase data for reference, makes some notes and reflect, and all for free – a generous gift by the authors.


The guide provides a structure and case study material for a computer-based course in ichthyology for upper undergraduate and graduates students in biology or environmental science.

The key resource made accessible through this guide is FishBase, a large database on the biology of fish, available on CD-ROM (for the Windows operating system) and on the Internet (

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the crayfish – T.H. Huxley

January 14, 2006 by · Comments Off · book pile, crustacea, web site

// - photo by Johnny JensenA free version on Thomas Huxley’s classic book ‘The Crayfish‘ is maintained on online by Rich Palmer, at the University of Alberta.

The book is subtitled: ‘An introduction to the study of zoology’. I particularly enjoy the ‘kinder, gentler’ writing style and it feels (or perhaps more accurately – reads) as though Huxley is very attuned to a more holistic approach to describing the habits and lifestyles of freshwater crayfish.

The online version is supported by the original elegant woodblock illustrations and, as well, Rich has created a glossary (which was not part of the original edition).

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aquaculture for youth and youth educators

January 9, 2006 by · Comments Off · study, web site

In May, 1993, Eileen M. McVey produced a revised edition of Aquaculture for Youth and Youth Educators, National Agricultural Library Aquaculture Information Center. The document – a curriculum and teacher resource – is hosted by

This revision of the original Aqua-Topic, titled _Aquaculture for Youth and Youth Educators_, was created in response to continued demand from teachers, youth leaders, and students who are interested in receiving information and ideas on aquaculture for projects and study. The information which follows is for students at upper elementary through high school learning levels. Recommended activities at the end of the text are organized by level of difficulty; Level I being the least difficult and Level III being the most difficult. The activities can be modified depending on geographic area and availability of resources. A glossary is also included at the end of the text for those students who need assistance with vocabulary. Words that are marked by asterisks in the text can be found in the glossary. Bibliographies are also included at the end for both students and teachers.

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starting an aquaculture business

January 1, 2006 by · Comments Off · study, web site

The Australian Government Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry has produced a brief overview of aquaculture and a checklist of questions to ask yourself before getting starting in an aquaculture venture.

The focus is on starting an aquaculture enterprise in an Australian-type of context – i.e. where an investment of millions of dollars is required, rather than a backyard type of operation where the goal is to raise fish for yourself, or perhaps a small local market. The information is still valuable, with the checklist covering site, species etc being relevant to fish farming everywhere.

Setting up in aquaculture can be an expensive exercise and is not for the faint-hearted. First you need to acknowledge that this represents a significant business decision and requires a serious commitment.

Just like any other business venture, aquaculture requires a detailed feasibility study before investment decisions are made. Anything less than that puts you in the category of hobby farming, which is an excellent lifestyle choice but may not earn income.

The perception of aquaculture as an appealing lifestyle choice is a commonly held belief in Australia, possibly fuelled by our by our preference for coastal living. This has led on occasions to emotional rather than hard economic reasons driving what can be a ‘make or break’ financial decision. In retrospect, it appears that there are a number of conceptual hurdles at which the prospective aquaculturist may stumble. They are:

  • a too ready acceptance of new or untried technology
  • ignorance of the fact that aquaculture is a farming/business enterprise
  • under capitalisation
  • lack of market intelligence
  • failure to understand that the product is a living organism with special requirements, because of its specific water quality requirements.

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Aquaculture Health magazine

December 21, 2005 by · Comments Off · diseases, journals

image of cover of the new aquaculture journal 'Aquaculture Health International'Aquaculture Health International is a new journal, with free .pdf format copies available for download. The publishers are based in New Zealand and so it is no surprise that the journal has a strong New Zealand emphasis, however the view is not limited to the New Zealand perspective.

Here’s the table of contents from the latest edition:
3 EDITORIAL – The European Commission Directive on Fish and Shellfish Health
8 NEWS – Updates from around the globe
10 REPORT: PROBIOTICS IN TROUT FEED – The benefits of probiotics in aquaculture: a two-year study
12 FOCUS ON FINFISH – Diseases of kingfish (Seriola lalandi) in Australasia
15 FOCUS: THE MARINE HARVEST TRIALS UNIT IN SCOTLAND – The Trials Unit broadens its focus from salmonids to other species
16 DISEASE PREVENTION FOCUS – Farm-level biosecurity and white spot disease of shrimp
21 FOCUS: AQUAFIN CRC AND SOUTHERN BLUEFIN TUNA HEALTH – Southern bluefin tuna are Australia’s most valued cultured finfish
23 FOCUS ON RESEARCH – The effects of AquavacTM ErgosanTM on juvenile Chinook salmon

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African Catfish (Clarias sp.) potential

November 25, 2005 by · 1 Comment · development, freshwater fin fish

image of african catfish, clarias, in bangladesh - image from In 1998-1999 the Nefisco Foundation implemented the Homestead Magur (catfish) Culture Programme, also known as the Chari in the Bari programme in the Compartmentalization Pilot Project in Bangladesh. With this programme they tried to reach the poorest of the poor, and wanted to show this group that it is possible to grow high-value fish with limited resources.

The main idea behind the programme was that while magur (African catfish, Clarias gariepinus) is a good fish to be grown, because of its high growth rate, disease resistance, ability to take up oxygen from the air, etc., most local people were not aware of the potential of this fish. A few households in the CPP area had already been growing magur on their homesteads. This method proved to be successful, so CPP has taken up the task to spread this local knowledge among other households with emphasis on professional fishermen, landless, and other poor people. Initially 200 households joined the Chari in the Bari programme.

According to the African catfish Clarias gariepinus is one of the most suitable species for aquaculture in Africa. Since the 1970s it has been considered to hold great promise for fish farming in Africa. The African catfish has a high growth rate, is very resistant to handling and stress, and is very well appreciated in a wide number of African countries, including Nigeria (where it is often referred to as lungfish).

The FAO have produced a free document Artificial Reproduction and Pond Rearing of the African Catfish Clarias Gariepinus in Sub-Saharan Africa – A Handbook, edited by Gertjan de Graaf and Hans Janssen, from the Nefisco Foundation mentioned above.

Research has also been conducted in Brazil – Dietary canitine maintains energy reserves and delays fatigue of exercised african catfish (Clarias gariepinus) fed high fat diets effectively exploring better diets – which should lead to better growth patterns.

Rhodes University offer a free, online Clarias husbandry manual. They observe:

The African sharptooth catfish, Clarias gariepinus, is undoubtedly a remarkable and fascinating beast. Biologically it has all the attributes of a premier aquaculture species. Its biology, ecology and life history is well known and documented. From a teaching point of view this makes it an ideal species, allowing students to obtain an insight into how natural history information can be used for the development of culture technologies. Despite the technological know-how, total production of clariid catfish in Africa in 1993 has been estimated at a mere ca. 4500 tons. Despite the fact that there may be a considerable margin of error in the reported production figures, the farming of catfish in Africa is still a marginal activity. The reasons for this are manifold and can be primarily pinned on market forces, inadequate regional infrastructures, production costs, the socio-economics of fish farming and the underlying philosophy upon which aquaculture development in Africa is still largely based. Nevertheless the future potential for the farming of Clarias gariepinus throughout its distributional range is immense.

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Australian fish names

November 24, 2005 by · Comments Off · web site

Fishes of AustraliaThe Australian Fish Names Committee have recently launched a web site to support consumers and industry with fish names. The Australian Fish Names List is also available in csv and .pdf (which is the most recently approved (official) version of the lists). It is also possible to search the CSIRO’s CAAB (Codes for Australian Aquatic Biota) database.

A Fremantle (West Australia) restaurant has had a $A15,000 fine imposed on it after the restaurant proprietors pleaded guilty to cooking less expensive varieties of fish and serving them as more expensive varieties. This should serve as a valuable reminder to industry of the importance of using the correct names for seafood whenever it was sold. The Australian seafood industry had been concerned that consumers were not receiving adequate information regarding fish names in order to make informed choices.

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Tilapias as Alien Aquatics in Asia and the Pacific: A Review

November 23, 2005 by · Comments Off · ecosystems, journals

Tilapia farm in Sarawak, Malaysia. Image from Sena S. De Silva, Rohana P. Subasinghe, Devin M. Bartley, and Alan Lowther; from the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO) authored a review (FAO Fisheries Technical Paper. No. 453. Rome, FAO. 2004. 65p.) on tilapia as an alien aquatic species, available online.

The abstract:

Tilapias are not native to Asia but have been a significant component of inland fisheries and aquaculture in the region for over half a century. They have been introduced into over 90 countries worldwide, with a global distribution second only to common carp. The contribution of tilapias to global aquaculture production has increased over the past three decades with production in 2002 exceeding 1.5 million tonnes with an estimated value of US$1.8 billion. The average annual growth rate in aquaculture and capture fisheries production of tilapias from 1970 to 2002 has been 13.2 percent and 3.5 percent, respectively. In the present context of development, success of a species is determined not only by its contribution to production per se, but also by its social, cultural, economic and environmental impacts. Although tilapia has been associated with adverse environmental impacts, detailed analysis of the literature suggested that other factors, such as overfishing, environmental degradation from land-based activities, and changes in hydrological regime have probably been more responsible for adverse impacts. It is clear that numerous factors working together can impact biodiversity. It is also clear that tilapias, as a group of alien species, have made a significant contribution to food production, poverty alleviation and livelihoods support in Asia and the Pacific. In spite of the wide-scale introduction into Asian waters, there is scant explicit evidence to indicate that tilapias have been overly destructive environmentally.

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backyard aquaculture in Hawaii

November 22, 2005 by · 1 Comment · book pile, development

image from www.wcc.hawaii.eduBackyard Aquaculture in Hawaii: A Practical Manual by James Szyper, Ph.D., is available as a free .pdf download.

This large document (93 pages), is written for the beginning aquaculturist. It focuses which plants and animals to grow, and how to grow them with a minimum investment in land and equipment. The basics are covered, and then there’s added value with information on such subjects as pond management and water recycling. The manual has numerous valuable tables and drawings. While this manual is written to be an effective guide to backyard aquaculture for Hawaii, the principles hold true anywhere.

In this book, the terms “backyard” and “small-scale” generally refer to systems larger than home aquariums, but no larger than ponds of about one acre, a size range that takes in many possibilities. Many excellent books on aquarium-keeping are available for people with that interest, and a great number of works have been written on large-scale commercial aquaculture.

This book will provide a starting point and information source for individuals interested in learning more about backyard aquaculture, or in starting up a small-scale culture system. It will present information to help you decide whether this kind of activity will be possible and enjoyable for you; suggest an orderly approach to maximize your chances for success; present some detail on how to accomplish necessary tasks and start up some specific culture systems; and serve as a source of reference materials for further or more detailed reading.

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uses for water hyacinth

November 21, 2005 by · Comments Off · development, ecosystems

Illustration provided by IFAS, Center for Aquatic Plants, University of Florida, image from msucares.comWater Hyacinth (Eichhornia crassipes) usually floats free in large masses but may be rooted in the mud. The plants may range from a few inches to as much as 90cm (3 feet) in height. They have slender rootstocks with rosettes of leaves and dark, fibrous, branching roots dangling beneath the plant. Flowers may be blue, violet, or white and are usually quite showy.

In many regions Water Hyacinth is regarded as being amongst the worst of aquatic weeds. However, there is a continued theme from some researchers that there is significant benefit to be obtained from seeing the Hyacinth a resource rather than a rogue.

In an abstract from 1985, Ricardo B. Jacquez and Walter H. Zachritz II report on Combining nutrient removal with protein synthesis using a water hyacinth-freshwater prawn polyculture wastewater treatment system. They report overall performance of the polyculture system for the removal of total COD, TSS, total coliforms (MPN), and turbidity (NTU) indicated removals of 58, 98, 99.9, and 94 percent, respectively. Other parameters for the two stage system were monitored including temperature, Ortho-P, biomass, productivity, alkalinity, pH, and specific conductance.

F. Shoeb and H. J. Singh (2000) have published Kinetic Studies of Biogas Evolved from Water Hyacinth. The paper deals with the kinetics of gas produced from Water Hyacinth. The study was done in a batch fed digester. Attempts have been made to reach an optimum condition for the production of maximum amount of gas by the addition of lower volatile fatty acids, cow dung and inoculums etc. The conclusions that were drawn from the study is that biogas plants can be run even on the cold winter nights by using certain additives. After digestion, Water Hyacinth inoculums can be used as good manure for soil fertility. They are free from harmful chemicals – a boon for sustainable agriculture practices.

[email protected] have captured information about Uses for water hyacinth – Las Gaviotas project from August 2002. The information lists two links which are now invalid. Sad, because it would be interesting to see how the information had updated over time. This focus of this research has taken a rather different approach:

Oyster Mushrooms:
Scientific research initiated by Margaret Tagwira for ZERI Foundation demonstrated that dried water hyacinth is the best substrate for farming mushrooms. This program directed by Prof. S. T. Chang, an authority on the matter, confirmed that the water hyacinth is a blessing in disguise. Sociological studies confirmed that nearly all African cultures had mushrooms as a part of their diet. The spent substrate after fungi harvesting is rich in protein from the mycelia of the mushrooms and are excellent feed for earthworms, which convert it all into humus and can be fed to chickens, ducks and pigs.

After only 30 days, the dried substrate from water hyacinth produced a variety of mushrooms. Once harvested, it did not take more than ten days to harvest a second and even a third flush. One hundred kilograms of dried water hyacinth generates more than 100 kilograms of mushrooms. The water hyacinth outperforms traditional substrate materials such as sawdust. In addition, since the substrate of water hyacinth is rich in minerals and nutrients, the oyster and straw mushrooms cultivated ended up enriched with potassium, magnesium, iodine and calcium, along with numerous other components that are critical to a healthy food diet. Much of what was lost in the form of washed away topsoil can be recovered in the mushroom. The water hyacinth can also recover harmful metals such as cadmium and lead and store them in their roots if these metals are found in the rivers or lakes.

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Blog Hui 2006 – New Zealand’s first international blog conference

November 20, 2005 by · Comments Off · web site

link to the Blog Hui - New Zealand's first international weblog conference siteSlightly off the aquaculture topic, the Blog Hui 2006 site has been launched. The call for papers and posters is now on.

Blog Hui 2006 – New Zealand’s first international blog conference
March 17-18, 2006 – Wellington, New Zealand

Theme: Activate!


phytoremediation of aquaculture effluents

November 20, 2005 by · 1 Comment · edible plants, freshwater fin fish

Paul Adler examines young lettuce seedlings which are grown for about 3 weeks in a separate hydroponic system before they are set in the “conveyor production system” to remove nutrients from the rainbow trout effluent. (Photo by Keith Weller, USDA-ARS) image from www.ias.unu.eduPaul Adler examines young lettuce seedlings which are grown for about 3 weeks in a separate hydroponic system before they are set in the “conveyor production system” to remove nutrients from the rainbow trout effluent. (Photo by Keith Weller, USDA-ARS).

Adler, P.R. 1998. Phytoremediation of aquaculture effluents. Aquaponics J. 4(4):10-15.


The study is on an integrated system for rainbow trout production, effluent treatment and production of lettuce. The objective was to reuse water by removal of the nutrients in a vegetable product. The microscreen filter removes about 80% of the P excreted by the fish with the biosolids, leaving about 20% of the P in the effluent. A mass balance of system nutrients was conducted and it was determined that it takes 7.5 – 10 heads of lettuce to remove the P excreted in the effluent by the production of 1 pound of trout or 13 – 18 lettuce heads for each kg of feed consumed. Greenhouse studies demonstrated that by using the conveyor production strategy (CPS), phosphorus could be removed to <0.01 mg/L by lettuce without an apparent reduction in production or quality.

Conventional thinking regarding the use of food crops to clean aquaculture effluents has been that plants cannot remove nutrients in water to low levels without a reduction in productivity and quality. If water is distributed in a horizontal plug-flow pattern, all nutrients will be luxury consumed at the inlet, making nutrients limiting at the outlet and significant greenhouse space will be dedicated to growing plants that have no market value.

Because greenhouse space is expensive, productivity is critical for a profitable operation. A unique production system for lettuce, called the conveyor production strategy (CPS), was developed using thin-film technology for plant production in dilute aquaculture effluents. With the CPS, young plants are positioned near the solution inlet and are moved progressively, like along a conveyor belt, towards the outlet as they grow. Luxury consumption by lettuce (Lactuca sativa Ostinata) enabled them to store P in their tissues early in their growth cycle for use later as water P levels decreased and influx could no longer meet current demands.

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aquaculture in Chile

November 19, 2005 by · Comments Off · study, web site

At a salmon farm in southern Chile, a worker pulls in fish for processing. image from www.tucsoncitizen.comAccording to a speech presented at Aquavision 2002, the profile of the salmon industry in Chile is extensive:

• Modern salmon aquaculture first appeared in Chile around 1980 and has been developed in the southern Regions.

• Today, aquaculture is Chile’s fourth largest exporter, making Chile the world’s leading trout farming country and world number two in salmon farming. In 2001, the Chilean salmon industry exports were worth close to US $964 millions.

• Chile offers optimal environmental conditions: the temperature of the water, the quality of the water, geography, availability of fishmeal, and availability of suitable production sites.

• Aquaculture has a huge potential for development in Chile and investigations are progressing with several new species.

• The success of salmon farming has led to a number of social and economic effects. The southern regions now have some of the highest levels of employment in the country; currently 40,000 direct and indirect jobs result from the industry. These developments have also led to cultural changes as aquaculture requires trained people, at all levels.

The School of Aquaculture of the Catholic University of Temuco has hatchery and fish farming facilities, and offers aquaculture technician and degree courses. The web site offers content in spanish and english.

The FAO has published a profile of fisheries in Chile, (2000) which includes aquaculture. The FOA observe:

In Chile, this sector has been characterized for being one with bigger dynamics and importance of the national fishing sector, and for having reached a high development which began in the 80′s, mainly based in the culture of salmonoids and, at a lower level, molluscs, clams and seaweeds.

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after the tsunami – rehabilitation of fisheries and aquaculture in coastal communities

November 18, 2005 by · Comments Off · development, journals

download a free copy of this reportAPFIC have published a number of reports available as free downloads about the rehabilitation of fisheries and aquaculture in coastal communities in those countries affected by the 1994 tsunami.

Strategic framework – Rehabilitation of fisheries and aquaculture in tsunami affected countries represents a regional strategic framework that has been developed in support of recovery and rehabilitation efforts following the earthquake and subsequent tsunami waves that originated off the west coast of northern Sumatra on the 26 December 2004 and that caused extensive damage to coastal communities in the region.

The framework presented consists of a vision for the rehabilitation of the fishery and aquaculture sectors which reflects an “ideal state” towards which all strategies and activities contribute and which avoids the mistakes of the past.

In response to the disaster, a consortium (CONSRN) of key regional agencies was formed with the objective of supporting coordination and harmonization of rehabilitation efforts in fisheries and aquaculture. In particular, it was agreed that activities were to focus on collating and disseminating information, carrying out assessments and supporting partners and governments to build a common vision for post-tsunami rehabilitation of the sector.

Other documents available as free downloads include: the report of the FAO/MOAC Joint tsunami assessment mission – Thailand. This is a report of a joint FAO/Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives (MOAC) detailed technical damage and needs assessment mission in the fisheries and agriculture sectors.

report available as a free downloadThis is the final report of the Regional Workshop on Rehabilitation of Fisheries and Aquaculture in Coastal Communities of Tsunami Affected Countries in Asia held in Bangkok, Thailand from 28 February to 1 March 2005 is also available as a free download. Major topics discussed were: introduction to workshop and regional strategic framework; country priorities for rehabilitation; the rehabilitation vision and guiding principles; rehabilitation strategies; aligning donors/agencies/ countries to strategies and the workshop recommendations.

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Myanmar aquaculture and inland fisheries

November 17, 2005 by · Comments Off · crustacea, journals

free downloadAPFIC (The Asia-Pacific Fishery Commission) established by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations publish a range of research documents, including research into Myanmar aquaculture and inland fisheries (note: 6.84 MB) available as a free download.

This report is the outcome of two concurrent missions, one to coastal areas and one to inland areas, fielded by FAO-RAP, the Network of Aquaculture Centres in Asia-Pacific (NACA) and the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR). The purpose was to review the status of aquaculture and small-scale inland fisheries, identify areas for technical assistance related to sustainable development of coastal and inland aquaculture and management of aquatic resources, and identify immediate assistance opportunities. The report includes the findings of the missions as well as conclusions and recommendations in support of the long term sustainability of fishery resources in Myanmar.

Fish and fish products are crucial in the nutrition and livelihoods of the Myanmar people. Whilst it is certainly recognized that fish is second only to rice in the diet of Myanmarians, little information is available on their patterns of consumption, inter-regional differences, availability and types of fish consumed. In this respect Myanmar is similar to many south-east Asian countries where emphasis is paid to rice production as a crucial element of food security, with little or no recognition of the fish component, which gives the rice-based diet much of its nutritional value outside of calories and crude protein.

Myanmar has impressive freshwater capture fisheries. The aquatic resource area of the river systems within Myanmar encompass a total of 8.2 million ha of permanent and seasonal water bodies. There were 29000 ha of freshwater fishponds and a further 40716 ha of shrimp ponds in 2001. These resources support, in many ways, the livelihoods of the people of Myanmar. Myanmar has a long coastline of nearly 3000 km and coastal aquaculture contributes significant export earnings and shows potential for future development and diversification. Of the total aquaculture production, an estimated 18794 tonnes comes from coastal aquaculture. Shrimp farming in particular has grown significantly in the past ten years, and small amounts of marine fish and crabs are also produced.

The FAO have also published this 1997 report on Support to Special Plan for Prawn and Shrimp Farming which gives some interesting insights into backyard scale shrimp hatcheries in Myanmar.

Neither intensive nor semi-intensive culture of shrimps has developed in Myanmar. Farming of marine shrimps has spread rapidly in South-east and South Asia, with exception of a few countries, including Myanmar. Myanmar’s neighbors Bangladesh to the north and Thailand to the south are both major producers of cultured marine shrimps. Culture of marine shrimps is now spreading rapidly in India. In all these countries export of cultured marine shrimps is a major earner of foreign exchange. There are about 30,00 acres (12,000 hectares) of traditional shrimp farms in operation which are mainly located in Rakhine State which borders with Bangladesh. The yield from the ponds are very low – 100 kgs/ha/year.

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Lake Victoria

November 16, 2005 by · Comments Off · ecosystems

image of Lake Victoria from Victoria is shared by Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda. It was named after the Queen of England and is the world’s largest tropical lake and the second largest freshwater lake. Since 1858, when the British explorer John Speke ‘discovered’ Lake Victoria, there has been a great deal of research undertaken on the lake, its inhabitants, the ecosystems and surrounding environments.

Nancy Chege, of the Worldwatch Institute, writes in, Lake Victoria: a sick giant.

The ecological health of Lake Victoria has been affected profoundly as a result of a rapidly growing population, clearance of natural vegetation along the shores, a booming fish-export industry, the disappearance of several fish species native to the lake, prolific growth of algae, and dumping of untreated effluent by several industries. Much of the damage is vast and irreversible. Traditional lifestyles of lakeshore communities have been disrupted and are crumbling. There is a consensus among scientists that if an accelerated push to save the lake is not made soon, this much-needed body of water will cease to sustain life.

image of nile perch Lates niloticus, showing size from Victoria represents a large scale issue to be resolved by governmental and business interests. Some cross-border responsibility is called for, rather than the pursuit of money with scant consideration for the health and welfare of the local communities whose livestyles and health depend on the health of the lake According to a Greenpeace report, “In the 1960s, for instance, the Nile perch was introduced into Lake Victoria in Africa and, within a decade, the local population of over 400 different smaller fish species declined from 80% to 2% of the lake’s total fish stocks. Probably 50% of the native species disappeared from Lake Victoria because they were not able to cope with the new invader exhibiting its insatiable hunger.”

image of water hyacinth from www.cayugalandscape.comAt its fifth session, the Sub-Committee for the Development and Management of the Fisheries of Lake Victoria reviewed a variety of action programmes and made recommendations to Member Governments on their implementation. Programmes reviewed were concerned with fisheries development, management measures, protection of the environment and prevention of pollution, the water hyacinth, development of aquaculture, fish processing and marketing and technical, scientific and socio-economic issues involved in research policy. It was agreed by members that the concept of the International Code of Conduct for Responsible Fishing was applicable to Lake Victoria. The sub-committee agreed on procedures for the establishment of the Lake Victoria Fisheries Organization. The report is available online.

Chenge, again reports:

A more recent threat to the lake is the water hyacinth. With the deceptive appearance of a lush, green carpet, the hyacinth is a merciless, free-floating weed, reproducing rapidly and covering any uncovered territory. First noticed in 1989, the weed has already spread like wildfire, and has covered areas in all three countries. It forms a dense mat, blocking sunlight for organisms below, depleting the low concentrations of oxygen and trapping fishing boats and nets of all sizes. The hyacinth is an ideal habitat for snails that cause bilharzia and for snakes. Scientists are desperately trying to control the weed: their most promising approach involves harvesting the hyacinth and using it either for compost or for biogas production.

Richard O. Abila, Researcher, Kenya Marine and Fisheries Research Institute, Kisumu, Kenya; writes in Fish Trade and Food Security: Are They Reconcilable in Lake Victoria?:

The Lake Victoria fishery has come under increasing pressure in the last two decades. Fish production peaked in the early 1990s and currently catches of most species are showing downward trends. Despite this, there is greater demand for fish of Lake Victoria, chiefly Nile perch (Lates niloticus) and ‘dagaa’ (Rastrineobola argentea), in the export market and for fishmeal respectively, as well as for domestic consumption. The present situation is the consequence of the tremendous commercial transformation that the fishery of Lake Victoria has undergone in those 20 years. From a local-based subsistence fishery before 1980, it is presently dominated by fish processing factories funded from international sources, which aim at enhancing fish exports from East Africa to the developed world, so as to earn more foreign exchange. This takes place against a backdrop of a protein-starved local community whose livelihood depends on the lake. In the past, international trade on fisheries was taken for granted as the means to tackle poverty and food insecurity for fisheries-dependent communities. That idea has, however, been challenged in the last few years as researches look critically at the benefits of global fish trade vis-à-vis the costs, particularly in relation to food insecurity and environmental implications. This report is a further contribution to this debate. It tries to establish a link between the increased liberalization of trade in the fisheries of Lake Victoria and the food insecurity indicators. The paper is based on primary and secondary data collected at various times, published and unpublished documents as well as the author’s own observations over several years working as a researcher on socio-economic aspects of the Lake Victoria fishery. Because of the large investment already made in industrial fish processing, it would be in order to allow some amount of exports to continue. However, the quantities of exportable fish must be limited to ensure sustainable fisheries and reconciliation with the food security needs. Recommendations are made in four broad directions to make Lake Victoria fisheries more relevant to the food security needs of the local population. They include specific policy interventions, interventions in fisheries management, steps to enhance fish supply and refocusing the fish marketing strategies. There is also need for more incisive studies on the fish industry and at household level to understand in greater depth how the various factors raised in this study relate to each other and the magnitude of their contribution to food insecurity.

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publishing research

November 15, 2005 by · Comments Off · journals, web site

Dear readers
There has been some interest from people with previously unpublished research that they would like to offer to the aquaculture community.

If you have undertaken some research and would be interested to see it published so that it is accessible easily to the international aquaculture community please contact me directly – lynsey[@]consultant[.]com and we can discuss how that might happen.


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