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PD/A CRSP Aquanews-Summer 2003

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Aquaculture CRSP Works with Colleagues in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

by Le Thanh Hung and Vu Cam Luong, University of Agriculture and Forestry

lthough Aquaculture Collaborative Research Support Program (CRSP) researchers worked informally with Vietnamese colleagues for years as part of the Global Experiment, they recently broke new ground in Ho Chi Minh City. Last year the Aquaculture CRSP supported an investigation at the University of Agriculture and Forestry (UAF) entitled, “Development of a Trophic Box Model to Assess Potential of Ecologically Sound Management for Cove Aquaculture Systems in Tri An Reservoir, Vietnam.”

Working from basic principles of limnology, numerous studies have been carried out to construct a trophic model of cove aquaculture in Tri An Reservoir.

Setting up equipment for field measurements in Tri An Reservoir.

Photo by: Vu Cam Luong

One of the most important priorities was to set up a team for the project. Necessary teamwork involves researchers, lab assistants, field assistants, government officers, and farmers.

Dr. Le Thanh Hung, vice dean of Faculty of Fisheries of UAF, was a team leader of the project. One Asian Institute of Technology (Thailand) doctoral student and three UAF bachelors students also participated. Other team members were two lab assistants, one field assistant, one government officer, and two local farmers.

In constructing a trophic box model of natural food chains in the reservoir’s cove, all trophic levels were investigated for biomass and productivity: terrestrial vegetation, detritus, phytoplankton, zooplankton, benthos, shrimp, and fish. Water quality parameters including pH, dissolved oxygen, temperature, Secchi disk depth, and nutrients in water (nitrogen and phosphorus) were also measured. Eighteen sampling stations inside and outside of the cove were set up.

It took from two to four hours to get around the stations by small boat. Field work, therefore, had to be carefully scheduled to fit the plan.

We usually spent around four days every month working intensively in the field, while the rest of the time was spent working in the laboratory.

When traveling in the reservoir accompanying researchers and field assistants, the government officer plays an important role in securing and managing relationships between researchers and farmers. For their part, while cooperating with the project, farmers imparted their indigenous technical knowledge and learned much from the researchers.

Throughout our research, we never lost focus of our core mission: better utilization of all natural food resources for higher economic returns is the goal of cove aquaculture in reservoirs.

After one year working together, all our team members still have many good memories from the project.

A new CRSP investigation, “Mitigating Environmental Impact of Cage Culture through Integrated Cage-Cum-Cove Culture System in Tri An Reservoir of Vietnam,” is supported under the Eleventh Work Plan.

The Aquaculture CRSP became a beloved name to all members, who hope the Aquaculture CRSP will be staying at UAF for many years.

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