Minutes of the Aquaculture Crsp Program & Technical Committee Meeting

Minutes of the Aquaculture Crsp Program & Technical Committee Meeting

Minutes of the Aquaculture CRSP Program & Technical Committee Meeting

Monday 8 May and Tuesday 9 May 2006

Grand Hotel Baglioni

Florence, Italy

/ Affiliation /
Amrit Bart / Asian Institute of Technology, Thailand / Participant
Victoria Boit / Moi University, Kenya / Participant
Hernando Bolivar / GIFT Foundation International, Philippines / Participant
Remedios Bolivar / CLSU, Philippines / TC Member
Jim Bowman / Oregon State University, USA / Participant
Claude Boyd / Auburn University, USA / TC Co-Chair
Chris Bridger / Oregon State University, USA / TC Ex-officio
Chris Brown / Florida International University / Participant
Wilfrido Contreras-Sanchez / UJAT, Mexico / TC Member
Philip Cruz / Cruz Aquaculture Corp., Philippines / Participant
Konrad Dabrowski / Ohio State University, USA / Participant
Jim Diana / University of Michigan, USA / TC Co-Chair
Hillary Egna / Oregon State University, USA / TC Ex-officio
Kevin Fitzsimmons / University of Arizona, USA / TC Member
Eladio Gaxiola Camacho / Universidad Autónoma de Sinaloa-Culiacán, Mexico / Participant
Nancy Gitonga / Department of Fisheries, Kenya / TC Member
Maria Haws / University of Hawaii-Hilo, USA / TC Member
Nathanael Hishamunda / FAO Rome, Italy / EPAC
C. Kwei Lin / University of Michigan, USA / TC Proxy
Pablo Martinez / Auburn University, USA / Participant
Aaron McNevin / World Wildlife Fund, USA / EPAC Proxy
Suyapa Triminio Meyer / Zamorano, Honduras / TC Member
Joe Molnar / Auburn University, USA / Participant
Mucai Muchiri / Moi University, Kenya / Participant
Mary Muchiri / Moi University, Kenya / Participant
Charles Ngugi / Moi University, Kenya / Participant
Kajitanus Owuory Osewe / Fisheries and Aquaculture Dev. Division, Tanzania / Participant
Maria Celia Portella / Saõ Paulo State University, Brazil / Participant
Kwamena Quagrainie / Purdue University, USA / TC Member
Guillermo Rodriguez Dominguez / Universidad Autónoma de Sinaloa-Mazatlán, Mexico / Participant
Abelardo Rojas Umana / University of Hawaii-Hilo, USA / Participant
Khalid Salie / Stellenbosch University, South Africa / Participant
Carl Schreck / Oregon State University, USA / Participant
Bill Tollner / University of Georgia, USA / TC Member
Md. Abdul Wahab / Bangladesh Agricultural University, Bangladesh / Participant

Hillary Egna {HE} called the meeting to order at 8:43 am.


HE introduced herself and the Aquaculture CRSP program to all attendees.

Technical Committee members asked to introduce themselves and provide a brief description of their role within the Aquaculture CRSP. Kwei Lin was present as the TC proxy for Yang Yi. All participants wished the very best for Yang Yi at this time. All other participants were asked to do the same. The agenda was highlighted to the group (Appendix 1 provides the meeting agenda).

Program Meeting

Apologies for USAID Cognizant Technical Officer Harry Rea’s absence were noted. Harry Rea is also an ex-officio member of the TC.

HE provided an overview of two new joint projects initiated by the Aquaculture CRSP this year:

  1. US Department of Commerce Sea Grant Initiative
  • This program has two parts involving an information technology extension project funded with Cornell University and involving HCPIs in Mexico while the other component includes separate short-term Technical Assistance exchanges connecting US extension specialists with HCPIs.
  1. Heifer International
  • This initiative involves an exchange between Native Americans in the North and South. The exchange with Peru concluded recently. Unfortunately Fred Chu was not present to debrief everyone owing to issues with obtaining a visa.

In addition, two new HCPI initiatives were discussed:

  1. The Ambassador program continues and will provide opportunities for Challenge awards through leveraged Aquaculture CRSP funds up to $25,000 per project. The first Challenge Award is being awarded to University of Arizona for work with Amrit Bart, Chielf of Party on the SUCCESS Tsunami Project and Aquaculture CRSP Thailand Ambassador.
  2. The HCPI Tilapia and Native Cichlid Exchange Project completed its site visits and information sharing since the last Annual Meeting. This project originated from the HCPIs during the Hawaii meeting. Overall all involved individuals deemed the project very successful.

All of these initiatives are very exciting and demonstrate the ability of the Aquaculture CRSP to effectively leverage its funds.

All program participants reporting leveraged funds are very important to the Aquaculture CRSP. The Management Entity (ME) will be working on a leveraging report for USAID in the coming weeks. This type of information is collected in progress reports but all lead PIs should expect to receive an email requesting leveraged funds information from each project in the coming weeks to augment these data. Attendees during the annual meeting were asked to begin thinking about leveraged funds associated with their specific projects.

HE extended congratulations to everyone who published material during this past year. Also, all participants were reminded to request an accession number from the Aquaculture CRSP ME prior to submission to the publisher. At the same time, ME staff will provide authors with appropriate acknowledgment statements to include within their publications. Copies of the recent Engle economics manual and the 23rd Annual Administrative Report were passed around as examples of Aquaculture CRSP publication ability and activity. Finally, Aquanews and EdopNet were both highlighted to participants.

All participants were asked to update their own and their colleagues’ coordinates in the Aquaculture CRSP directory that was passed around. In addition, participants were invited to provide private contact information that would not be published but entered into the ME internal directory. The recent student list and list serve sheets were also passed around for updating.

HE briefly mentioned she was contacted to write and/or edit a new Blackwell book. The details are not yet worked out but all interested individuals should speak directly with her. She plans to meet a Blackwell publishing agent during WAS.

USAID recently experienced the resignation of Administrator Andrew Natsios and the appointment of Randall Tobias to replace him. In addition to being the USAID Administrator, Ambassador Tobias will alsoserve as the Director of Foreign Assistance (DFA) within the Department of State. This new position within the Department of State will oversee all U.S. governmentdepartments/agencies with international developmentactivities (e.g., USAID, Peace Corps, African Development Foundation,etc.). Although USAID currently remains as an independent Agency, therelationship with the Department of State has clearly been strengthenedas a result of this joint appointment. The USAID Administrator has beenreporting to the Secretary of State since early in the Clintonadministration. Before that, the Administrator reported directly to thePresident. The full ramifications of these changes will not be knownuntil the completion of an Agency restructuring process that is currently underway. Oversight of the Aquaculture CRSP and the newAquaculture & Fisheries CRSP will remain with the Water Team within the Office of Natural Resources Management in the Bureau for Economic Growth, Agriculture and Trade at USAID. Harry Rea is a member of the Water Team. This location holds the Aquaculture CRSP to a new set of standards related to natural resources management issues and concerns related to aquaculture production and development. The new Aquaculture & Fisheries CRSP RFA is expected to strengthen the linkage betweenaquaculture and natural resources management.

USAID requested a one-year cost extension from the Aquaculture CRSP several weeks ago. The outcome of this submission is not yet known. However, all ongoing projects will likely be provided with a maximum one-year extension if necessary to complete the proposed research. USAID is expected to release a new RFA at any time for an Aquaculture & Fisheries CRSP ME. This new CRSP, while expanding its scope, is expected to receive the same level of funding as the present Aquaculture CRSP. In addition, USAID is considering funding the existing Aquaculture CRSP one-year extension and the new CRSP on the same fiscal year funds. FY07 budgets are also expecting big cuts for research across government departments (up to 27% possible for CRSPs at USAID).

OSU is interested in submitting a proposal to serve as the ME for the new Aquaculture & Fisheries CRSP five-year grant. Regardless of that outcome, all existing subcontracts will have to be closed in due course. A new Aquaculture & Fisheries CRSP will be expected to initiative new projects that will have new subcontracts awarded following an appropriate RFP and peer-review process. The USAID RFA is expected anytime but not yet released. The process will take a minimum of six months from today’s date before a new awardee is chosen and contract finalized.

Carl Schreck asked whether the minutes from the present Annual Meeting should reflect certain buzzwords etc.

  • HE responds that this meeting is not likely to affect USAID policy or the expected RFA. However, concepts arising from this meeting might assist the present ME with proposal framing. Break out groups on Tuesday might also be useful for these purposes. Also, the nexus of aquaculture and fisheries will be very important as the next topical CRSP is expected to be for Aquaculture & Fisheries.

Technical Committee Meeting

Opening Business

Jim Diana {JD} opened the Technical Committee by welcoming all participants. JD explained that the last full TC meeting convened in Hawaii two years ago. This meeting will give everyone an opportunity to catch-up on progress of each project etc. Individual TC assignments were briefly discussed to ensure everyone was aware of their duties during the two-day meeting.

All participants were directed to regional meeting minutes located in their personal meeting folders. Three regional meetings were conducted in the past year, including Indonesia, South Africa, and online through a bulletin board system, which was deemed an effective means of communication for future meetings.

The TC bylaws are presently undergoing a necessary overall. This effort will ensure the TC remains relevant with the operations of the present Aquaculture CRSP program. We expect to fully complete this task, including ratification, within the next 3 months.

Nominations will be called soon for the next Technical Committee. Elections will be conducted for one TC Co-chair and three other members. Some issues need to be addressed for the conduct of the election vis-à-vis bylaws amendments.

Members of the Aquaculture CRSP Honors & Awards Committee judged posters for student awards during the WAS conference in Bali, Indonesia, and Aquaculture America conference in New Orleans and Las Vegas since the last Annual Meeting.

Kwei Lin inquires about the importance of Bylaws amendments at this time.

  • JD responds that having updated Bylaws are very important for the continuance of the existing CRSP during this extension and to serve as a future springboard for any new CRSP related to aquaculture.

JD asks how the proposal for the new CRSP will be developed.

  • HE indicates that partners will be possible and listed in the new proposal but the RFA is expected to be specific for the ME and therefore partners are not likely to be integral in the proposal itself.

Project Presentations

Mexico Project – Watershed Management

Carl Schreck outlined ongoing research in Mexico including alternative methods for sex control, evaluating steroids in the environment, developing clean technologies, and developing alternative species. Researchers have discovered that sunlight and bacteria degrade steroids in large systems and this could be used as an economical means for removal. Also, provision of steroids within live feeds through bioencapsulation has been developed and used now on farms in the Baja region. Several workshops have been hosted by the group to transfer knowledge and technologies. Also, several manuals have been developed with the newest effort focused on gar production. Formal student involvement within this work plan includes 26 students, 7 undergraduate theses, 1 graduate thesis and 2 masters level students. Finally, matching/leverage funds have been forthcoming from Western RAC on a joint project and UN funding for a new native species hatchery for gar grow-out.

Global Project – Watershed Management

Claude Boyd told the group that their research effectively comprised of three projects located in Thailand, Brazil and South Africa. The soils research project in Thailand is completed with minor items to finish. A BMP workshop was convened in Brazil at the end of March 2006. Some leveraged funds were accessed for this workshop to occur. A manual has been developed describing the appropriate means to develop industry BMPs and will be published as an Aquaculture CRSP publication. Khalid Salie provided an overview of the BMP workshop hosted in South Africa last September. The workshop was very well received, especially in regards to farm management and water quality. BMPs are considered dynamic and are expected to change with time. This workshop is the first of its kind in South Africa to provide such depth information on the topic of BMP development. Additional details of the workshop can be reviewed in a recent Aquanews article.

Mexico Project – Human Welfare, Health and Nutrition

Maria Haws {MH} described this project as a large integrated effort having up to 50 participants involved. The project is focused on the overall theme of urban planning and conservation while involving diversification of aquaculture (i.e., non-shrimp). The outcome will also be very important to the US owing to the quantity of aquaculture product entering the US market for consumption. The project has developed through three distinct phases over two workplans:

  1. Phase I – Case Studies

Case studies were conducted to provide insight into the diversity of species and stakeholders. Results will be published soon by the Aquaculture CRSP.

  1. Phase II – Focus on Diversification

Results of the initial case studies guided Phase II research. These investigations focused on water quality and shellfish growing water certification.

  1. Phase III – Market Analysis

This investigation evolved from the other two Phases. The goal is to expand the market and acquire better prices. The study is also linked to the shellfish sanitation components of the other two Phases.

JD asked how links are made with human health?

  • MH gave several examples including the health of an estuary and degree of drought for sanitation etc. could be linked to overall human health. Of course, human disease is a general indicator as well as its spread through a population.

Kwamena Quagrainie asked for the purpose of the market study? To develop new markets?

  • MH answered that the initial study was focused to analyze market outlets to acquire baseline data.

HE added that the Aquaculture CRSP has worked on the periphery of human health issues for a long time. This topic could be one suitable for the TC to study to help all projects demonstrate such linkages.

JD told the group that this linkage has been approached in Thailand as a necessary outcome but very difficult to show cause and effect.

MH suggested that there are two main questions that could be answered:

  • How does aquaculture affect human health?
  • Vice versa re increasing coastal health resulting from high human health?

Khalid Salie asked about the importance of the marginalized groups within the study?

  • MH responded that the framework was already present for self-sufficiency of handicap groups in Mexico and the project attempted to integrate aquaculture within ongoing group activities.

Amrit Bart stated that aquaculture could provide supplementary income to fishers during low fishing activity.

Kwei Lin questioned how to quantify the impact specifically from the Aquaculture CRSP?

  • MH indicated that in this specific case, the HC university started the project approximately 12 years ago. However, the Aquaculture CRSP involvement was integral for bringing together the many groups previously involved independently.

Southeast Asia Project – Production Technology

Activities are focused mainly in Vietnam, Bangladesh, Nepal and Thailand. Investigations can be broadly grouped into major themes:

  1. Prawns – survey of systems used to better understand the industry.
  2. Environment and aquaculture – involving researchers from China through a workshop to identify needs.
  3. Indigenous species development – new species technology development including reproduction parameters, controlled reproduction, larval rearing.
  4. Production studies – cage culture and use of rice straw are just two examples.

Participants are also working on a manual for cage culture in the region. Collaborating institutions are key for success of the project. Coupled with this is the role that many recent graduates from AIT play by extending the project network to their home countries and institutions when they return.