Research needs for aquaculture development have been a subject of discussion in recent years. There is a general agreement that a multidisciplinary science in its early infancy, such as aquaculture, needs very substantial research inputs for the development of appropriate technologies. However, there are different views on the types of research to be carried out and how and where it should be carried out. The FAO Technical Conference on Aquaculture (Kyoto, Japan, 1976) recommended that regional networks of aquaculture centres should be established to undertake coordinated research on culture systems selected for major production programmes. In response to this, the UNDP/FAO Aquaculture Development and Coordination Programme (ADCP) has in the last three years established a network of six regional centres to carry out inter alia multidisciplinary systems-oriented research on farming systems adopted for large-scale development in third world countries. Research in these centres will be more of an applied nature, although basic studies may also be undertaken, if it is found to be necessary for solving problems faced in the application of the farming systems selected.
The Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) has since 1973 been considering the role of international research in aquacultural development. In its continuing discussions on the subject, centralized basic research was pointed out as a possibility to be explored. Reproduction physiology is probably one of the subjects most often cited as of major importance and requiring long-term basic studies. ADCP therefore requested Dr. B. Sundararaj, of the Delhi University to prepare a background paper on the state of knowledge on the reproduction physiology of cultivated teleost fishes, highlighting gaps in our knowledge and areas of future research that might benefit aquaculture science. We are grateful to Dr. Sundararaj for undertaking this task, despite his many other commitments. The paper and the accompanying bibliography, should prove of very great value in formulating research in this field. The views expressed in the paper are of the author, and not necessarily those of ADCP or FAO.