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PD/A CRSP Aquanews-Summer 2002

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PD/A CRSP Hosts Delegation From China

by Roger Harris

hina’s 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 People’s 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 laboratory’s operations. (Pictured: Li Xiaozheng, Chen Hong, Huang Zhen, Wan Xun, Xiong Fengming, Zeng Hui, Wang Guoli, Dave Williams.)

Photo By: Roger Harris

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 program.

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 western countries.

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 lab.

The PD/A CRSP then hosted the group for a second day, this time to visit various locales in Newport on the Oregon coast.

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 Center’s 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 microparticulate diets.

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.

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