PD/A CRSP Hosts
Delegation From China
by Roger Harris
aquaculture tradition stretches back two thousand years or more. Yet
the Chinese feel they have much to learn from the rapid developments
in aquaculture technology in other parts of the world.
As part of a US Department of
Agriculture-sponsored fact-finding mission to the US, seven delegates
from the Peoples Republic of China were hosted by the PD/A CRSP
at Oregon State University, 30-31 October 2002.
The group began at the Environmental
Protection Agency facility on the OSU campus. Discussions focused on
the legal and environmental aspects of aquaculture, especially with
regard to the regulation of potentially hazardous chemicals such as
fungicides and masculinizing hormones.
During a tour of the OSU Food Toxicology
Nutrition Laboratory, Dr. Dave Williams, Director, explained how
intensive culture of rainbow trout was providing material for
investigation of environmental carcinogens.
Nearby is the Salmon Disease Laboratory where
Rob Chitwood described pathogens affecting hatchery-raised fish in
Oregon. The delegates showed a keen interest in novel technologies to
apply antibiotics through medicated feed. The group was also
fascinated with the sturgeon being raised at the laboratory for
research into caviar production.
At the OSU Food
Toxicology Nutrition Laboratory, Dr. Dave Williams (Director NIEHS
Marine/Freshwater Biomedical Sciences Center), explains aspects of
the laboratorys operations. (Pictured: Li Xiaozheng, Chen Hong,
Huang Zhen, Wan Xun, Xiong Fengming, Zeng Hui, Wang Guoli, Dave
Photo By: Roger
After lunch, the group met on the OSU campus
with Dr. Hillary Egna, Director of the PD/A CRSP, and also with Dr.
John Bolte, Interim Dean of OSUs Bioengineering Department. Dr. Bolte
developed the POND© software package, designed to facilitate
decision-making by aquaculturists. Mr. Zeng Hui, Vice Director of
Guangxi Fishery Research Institute, had previously corresponded with
Dr. Bolte on the prospects of converting the software to a Chinese
language interface. Dr. Egna helped facilitate an agreement for the
Guangxi Fishery Research Institute to begin the process of converting
the software, and OSUs Bioengineering Department to train a student
from China in the C++ programming language needed to compile the
In the Political Science Department the group
met with Professor Bill Lunch, Head of Department and well-known
commentator. Also present were Professor Pat Corcoran, Professor
Brent Steel, and Assistant Professor Hua-yu Li, who is also Chinese.
Professor Lunch replied to numerous questions from the visitors,
including a technical but illuminating discussion on the USs stricter
limits for contaminants in fish food products from China compared to
The final visit of the day was back at the
Salmon Disease Laboratory where the group met with Professor Michael
Kent. Dr. Kent enjoyed showing the group the facilities for
pathological work on fish, including the well-equipped histology
The PD/A CRSP then hosted the group for a
second day, this time to visit various locales in Newport on the
First stop was the Oregon Oyster Farm, where
owner and manager Liu Xin introduced the group to the practical and
economic aspects of oyster farming. The group savored the local
product raw, with a fiery hot sauce.
Next was a visit to the Oregon Coast
Aquarium, renowned for its displays of marine life.
At Hatfield Marine Science Center (HMSC), the
group met with Carol Delancy of the Marine Mammal Program who spoke
on current research issues. Dr. Chris Langdon, a professor in OSUs
Fisheries and Wildlife Department and a Principal Investigator for
the CRSPs OSU Kenya project, discussed the Centers Molluscan
Broodstock Program. Next, the group sampled dulse (Palmaria palmata),
a rhodophyta (seaweed) that is cultured as abalone food. They were
then shown the clownfish broodstock system that is being used to test
With the increasing pressure on global food
resources and the potential of aquaculture to meet the demand, such
cultural exchanges will become ever more valuable. Effective
communication between aquaculture practitioners and experts from
widely varying backgrounds is essential to ensuring that
technological advances remain focused on providing the most efficient
means of raising fish.