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VI. Project Development

VI. Project Development

With its extensive international network of researchers, the CRSP is well positioned to identify needed areas of research and opportunities for aquaculture development. Emerging themes in development and in aquaculture are addressed by the CRSP in the Continuation Plan for 1996-2001.

An analysis of constraints to aquaculture revealed seven main areas:

* Aquacultural productivity
* Socioeconomics
* Environmental effects of aquaculture
* Information management
* Networking
* Human capacity
* Target economies

The focus of the CRSP efforts will consist of research in production systems and capacity building through research support activities. Production systems research will concentrate on specific themes in the areas of production optimization, social and economic aspects, and environmental effects. Research support activities are proposed in information management, networking, and human capacity development. The structural changes needed to remove constraints to target economies are beyond the scope of this program. However, the CRSP is specifically designed to address the other constraints, through its multidisciplinary systems approach to the task of generating information and developing more sustainable production technologies.

The PD/A CRSP is committed to extending aquaculture development to appropriate sites. The Continuation Plan calls for establishment of regional research centers in Asia, Africa, and Central and South America. These centers will serve as springboards for extending activities to other countries in the region while maintaining the research focus at the main site. Several new institutions and new sites have been included in the Continuation Plan. The Sagana Fish Culture Farm in Kenya is under consideration as a possible primary site in Africa. Possible companion sites include the Kibos fish culture station near Kisumu in Kenya and the Bunda College of Agriculture and the Domasi Fish Farm in Malawi. The Honduras site at La Lujosa in Choluteca will continue to be the primary Central American site, with continuing activities funded at the El Carao station in Comayagua. Guatemala, Panama, and Nicaragua are being considered as possible companion sites. In South America, the Universidad Nacional de la Amazonia Peruana aquaculture facility at Iquitos and the Instituto de Investigaciones de la Amazonia Peruana are being considered as primary sites. Bolivia and Ecuador are being considered as possible companion sites. AIT in Bangkok will continue to serve as the primary CRSP site in southeast Asia, with companion sites planned for the Philippines and other countries in Indochina.

New U.S. institutional collaborators will include: Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute, Ohio State University, Southern Illinois University at Carbondale, University of Alabama at Birmingham, University of Arizona, University of Oklahoma, and University of Pittsburgh. Potential new host country institutional collaborators are the National University of the Peruvian Amazon and the Kenya Ministry of Tourism & Wildlife/Department of Fisheries.

Development of Sustainable Aquaculture Systems

Aquaculture is projected to continue filling an important niche as a food source and cash crop in developing countries. The greatest challenge of aquaculture development is to help create systems that can be self-sustaining. The CRSP recognizes that the development of sustainable aquaculture systems depends upon identifying and addressing major constraints. Major areas that limit the development of sustainable aquaculture systems currently include: inefficient and inconsistent aquacultural productivity; a poor understanding of the socioeconomic factors that impact aquaculture; negative environmental effects resulting form aquaculture operations; insufficient human capacity development; poor or outdated information management; and limited networking capacities. The Continuation Plan directly addresses these constraints in the major research areas mapped out by CRSP researchers. Past CRSP accomplishments have helped further the sustainability of aquaculture endeavors, as evidenced by the continued growth and interest in aquaculture at all sites.

In southern Honduras, CRSP researchers are making progress in developing efficient farming practices for shrimp farmers and in determining the carrying capacity of the Gulf of Fonseca. An understanding of the Gulf's carrying capacity will give development planners information needed to insure the protection the estuarine environment surrounding the gulf. The impact of the CRSP as a research and education project is evidenced by the increased awareness on the part of Honduran shrimp farmers that the health of the Gulf of Fonseca and its estuaries is essential for their continued economic survival. For example, research results have shown farmers that they can lower their feed costs while lessening the nutrient load in the estuary. Further research will continue to integrate environmental issues with production concerns.

Water quality concerns are also on the research agenda in Thailand. Studies of deep rain-fed ponds help farmers determine the most efficient and effective fertilizer regime to boost yield while maintaining water quality. CRSP researchers at all sites demonstrate a concern for the effects of aquacultural production on the wider environment.
Biotechnology opens alternative avenues for the production of monosex tilapia. Although the Egypt project ended during this reporting period, research begun under that project is being continued in the U.S., focusing on the safe use of masculinizing hormones with a special emphasis on minimizing impacts on humans, fish, and the environment.

Socioeconomic Studies

The CRSP has long recognized that social and economic factors play an important role in the development and adoption of aquaculture technologies and management strategies. Limited funding for this CRSP has constrained research in these areas. In the Continuation Plan, the CRSP allocates significant resources to the study of socioeconomic issues that constrain aquaculture. Socioeconomic concerns are identified as one of the core themes in the new Continuation Proposal and will be firmly integrated into the CRSP research agenda.

The global social sciences project, "Socioeconomic Dimensions of Aquaculture Development: A Comparative Assessment of Financial Returns, Adoption Barriers, and Impacts of Tilapia Production Regimes," identifies the level and type of technology available to tilapia farmers in Honduras, Thailand, and the Philippines. That work describes the role of CRSP technology in the evolution of tilapia production practice, and the relationship of these technologies to the larger research and technology development systems. It also profiles the economic context that shapes farmers' decisions concerning technology adoption. The results of the study will have implications for future research proposals, development policy, and farm-level decision-making about tilapia technology.

Participation in International Scientific Meetings and Conferences

CRSP researchers contribute to the general aquaculture community through their participation in international scientific meetings and conferences. During this reporting period, CRSP researchers took part in the following activities.

Jim Diana served as president of the North Central Division of the American Fisheries Society. Diana attended the 1994 Midwest Fish and Wildlife Conference in Indianapolis, Indiana.

David Teichert-Coddington served on the technical organizing committee of the Third Central American Shrimp Symposium, which was held in Tegucigalpa in April 1995. The shrimp symposium has helped to establish Honduras as a leader in shrimp culture in Central America. In addition to Teichert-Coddington, other CRSP-related symposium presenters included: Daniel Meyers, L. Milla, R. Rodriguez, W. Toyofuku, J. Harvin, Delia Martinez, Bart Green, and Claude Boyd.

J.J. Newman attended the Fifth International Symposium on Reproductive Physiology of Fish in Austin, Texas, in July.

C.K. Lin and Claude E. Boyd served as Technical Program Chairmen for the 1996 World Aquaculture Society (WAS) meeting in Bangkok, Thailand, held 29 January-2 February 1996. Other CRSP participants who served on the Technical Program Committee were Gary Jensen, Raul Piedrahita, David Teichert-Coddington, and Kamonporn Tonguthai. Kitjar Jaiyen, former CRSP Host Country Principle Investigator, served on the Organizing Committee for the WAS meeting.

The following CRSP participants attended the World Aquaculture Society '95 meeting in San Diego, California: Jim Bowman, Hillary Egna, Doug Ernst, Martin Fitzpatrick, Robert Fridley, Bill Gale, Brigitte Goetze, Terry Hanson, Daniel Jamu, Eduardo Lopez, Leonard Lovshin, Joe Molnar, Shree Nath, J-J Newman, Raul Piedrahita, Tom Popma, James Szyper, and Karen Veverica.

The following papers were presented at WAS '95 by CRSP researchers:

* Abdelghany, A.E. Effects of feeding 17a-methyltestosterone and withdrawal on feed utilization and growth of Nile tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus L.) fingerlings, presented by Abdelghany;
* Bowman, J.R. and J.E. Baham. Effects of calcium carbonate treatments on soil and water chemistry in laboratory microcosms, presented by Bowman;
* Boyd, C. E. Chemistry and efficacy of amendments used to treat water and soil quality imbalances in shrimp ponds, presented by Boyd;
* Boyd, C. E. Sustainability of channel catfish farming in the southeastern United States, presented by Boyd;
* Boyd, C. E. Water quality characterization needs related to effluent permitting, presented by Boyd;
* Brinkop, W.S., and R.H Piedrahita. Intensive aquaculture systems model, presented by Brinkop;
* Emberson, C. and K. Hopkins. Intensive culture of Penaeus stylirostris in plastic-lined tanks, poster presentation;
* Gale, W.L., M.S. Fitzpatrick, C.B. Schreck. Binding sties for the masculinizing steroid mibolerone in the gonadal tissue of adult tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus), presented by Gale;
* Green, B.W., Z. El Nagdy, H. Hebicha, and A. R. El Gamal. Nile tilapia grow-out pond management strategies in Egypt, presented by Green;
* Hanson, T.R., J.J. Molnar, and L.L. Lovshin. A socio-economic analysis of Oreochromis niloticus production in Thailand, Philippines, Honduras, and Rwanda, presented by Hanson;
* Kastner, R.J. and C.E. Boyd. Evaluation of controlled release fertilizers for use in fish ponds, presented by Boyd;
* Lin, C.K. Progression of intensive marine shrimp culture in Thailand, presented by Lin;
* Lin, C.K., J.S. Diana, C.F. Yi. Optimal rate of supplementary feeding for Nile tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus) in fertilized ponds, presented by Lin;
* Munsiri, P. and C.E. Boyd. Physical and chemical properties of soil profiles in aquaculture ponds at Auburn, Alabama, presented by Boyd;
* Schwartz, M.F. and C.E. Boyd. Constructed wetlands for treatment of effluents from channel catfish ponds, presented by Boyd;
* Szyper, J. P. and W. Havanont. Effects of controlled concentration of dissolved oxygen on growth and food conversion of juveniles of two carnivorous fishes in tanks, presented by Szyper.

Teichert-Coddington was an invited speaker at the WAS Special Session on Shrimp Farming. He presented the paper, "Estuarine water quality and sustainable shrimp culture in Honduras."

Also at the WAS meeting, CRSP researcher Shree Nath demonstrated
(c) during the session on "Education in the Age of the Information Highway."

In January 1995, Lin presented a seminar on pond fertilization to fishery officers from five provinces in northeast Thailand. A practical protocol was formulated for farmers interested in adopting high fertilizer input for tilapia culture.

Joseph Molnar organized a symposium on aquaculture as part of the 1995 annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. The symposium, held on February 17 in Atlanta, Georgia, addressed how recent advances in aquaculture are augmenting world food supplies. Szyper and Boyd each presented papers at the symposium.

Hillary Egna and Bryan Duncan participated in a workshop on "Developing Strategy Objectives for the Office of Agriculture and Food Security," 21-23 February 1995 in Fair Oaks, Virginia.

Bryan Duncan served on the organizing committee of the Pacific Congress on Marine Science and Technology (PACON) Conference on Sustainable Aquaculture '95 in Honolulu, Hawaii, in June 1995. Other CRSP members attending the conference were: Claude Boyd, Hillary Egna, Phil Helfrich, C. Kwei Lin, Shree Nath, Harry Rea, and James Szyper.

The following papers were presented:

* Boyd, C.E. Source water, soil, and water quality impacts on sustainability in aquaculture, presented by Boyd;
* Nath, S., J.P. Bolte, and D.H. Ernst. Decision support for pond aquaculture planning and management, presented by Nath;
* Szyper, J., C. Lin, D. Little, A. Yakupitiyage, and S. Sethboonsorng. Techniques for efficient and sustainable mass production of tilapia in Thailand, presented by Szyper;
* Teichert-Coddington, D. and G. Ward. Pond management, estuarine water quality, and sustainable shrimp culture in Central America, presented by Boyd.
* Veverica, K. and T. Popma. Cut grass as fertilizer for tilapia ponds: composting methods, presented by Duncan;
* Veverica, K. and T. Popma. Cut grass as fertilizer for tilapia ponds: application rates and timing, presented by Duncan.