Asia-Pacific Regional Research and Training Centre
for Integrated Fish Farming
The Asia-Pacific Regional Research and Training Centre for Integrated Fish Farming, designated as the Regional Lead Centre in China of the Network of Aquaculture Centres in Asia (NACA), has achieved significant success in training, research and information activities, as well as in capital construction, during the year 1988. This was made possible through the leadership and strong support of the SSTC, the Ministry of Agriculture, the Ministry of Foreign Economy and Trade, FAO/UNDP, NACA, and IDRC.
II. Project Progress
A. Capital Construction
The Chinese Government has shown great concern for the construction of the Centre's facilities in recent years. This year, the following were completed:
The Centre has completed a concrete road leading to the city; this was built at a cost of Yuan 250,000. Trees have now been planted on both sides of the road. The completion of the road has greatly improved transportation facilities.
The Centre has replaced the steam-supply pipes with new ones at a cost of Yuan 35,000. These new pipes lead to the residential quarters of the trainees, who are ensured with hot water and steam.
Maintenance of dormitories for foreign participants, the dining room, recreation room, classrooms and laboratories has been improved. Power lines and water pipes are well maintained. The amount of Yuan 20,000 has been spent on replacing road lighting facilities, afforestation and campus beautification. All these were aimed at providing an environment most conducive to studies.
The Centre has repaired the hot water supplier at a cost of Yuan 10,000.
The recreational facilities (basketball and volleyball courts) have been completed, and are now being used by trainees.
B. Training Activities
The eighth training course on integrated fish farming was successfully conducted on 18 April to 13 August 1988.
Participants of the training course came from eleven countries: Cameroon, India, Indonesia, Iran, Malaysia, Morocco, Nepal, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Thailand, and Zambia. Trainees numbered 38, the largest group ever since the training was first started. Among the 38 participants, 13 were supported by UNDP (seven of these 13 through China/TCDC); four by IDRC; two by the Chinese Government; one by CIDA; and 18 by the Iranian Government. Of the participants, 16 were bachelor's degree holders; five had Master's degrees; and one had a Ph.D.
2. Course Content
The training course continued to lay emphasis on the Chinese traditional pond fish culture and integrated fish farming. Although the training schedule was the same as in previous sessions, more seminars were provided in order to enable the trainees to broaden their fisheries knowledge and to get a better understanding of aquaculture development in China. Seminar topics included:
General Review of Freshwater Aquaculture in China
Review on the Production of Taihu Lake Fisheries
Breeding Techniques of China's Common Carp
Techniques of Tissue Slices
More field work and study tours were conducted. Over the training period of four months, one-third of the time went to class lectures and the rest for field work/practical operations and study tours.
The study tours covered over 20 fish farms, universities and research institutions in Wuxi, Yixin, Changzhou, Suzhou, Shanghai and Guangdong. The activity enabled the trainees to master key techniques in integrated fish farming, for example, induced breeding of Chinese carps. They were allowed, in the Yixin fish farm, to net the pond, select the brooders, prepare hormones and inject the fish. Meanwhile, the trainees took a great interest in observations of oestrus and spawning activities of brooders.
In Changzhou, the trainees observed running water culture system and reservoir fisheries; in Suzhou, integrated fish farming, lake fisheries development, fry and fingerling production and food processing; in Shanghai, large-scale cage culture techniques and fisheries processing; in Guangdong, multigrade conveyor culture system and culture of special aquatic species.
The training enriched the participant's knowledge of fisheries and enabled them to get a better understanding of the techniques of integrated fish farming and the fundamental theories of freshwater aquaculture. At the completion of each study tour or lectures, the participants were given home assignments or were required to prepare reports. Examinations were given at mid-term and at the conclusion of the course. Two participants did not pass the final examination but in view of their good performance at the mid-term examinations and their hard work during the training, they were awarded certificates of proficiency at the end of the training course.
3. English as a Medium of Instruction
An increasing number of instructors delivered their lectures in English during this year's session; four lecturers, covering some 87 class hours, which was 21 per cent greater than that in the previous course, delivered their lectures in English. The section on Animal Production in Integrated Fish Farms was taught completely in English. The Centre is now making continuous efforts to recruit more instructors who are proficient in the English language.
4. Class Seminars
In order to provide the opportunity for the participants to learn from one another, the presentation of country reports has been integrated in the course syllabus. The trainees were greatly interested in this topic. This year, 11 trainees gave country reports on the status of aquaculture development in their respective countries.
5. Shortage of Teaching Equipment and Facilities
Due to the large number of trainees in this session, the Centre faced a shortage of teaching equipment and facilities, including classrooms and instructors. In order to meet course objectives and maintain a high level of teaching quality despite the shortage in teaching equipment and facilities, the participants were divided into groups for laboratory, class and field work. The results were highly satisfactory. A large part of the practical work provided “hands-on” experience to the trainees.
6. Participants' English Proficiency
The participants had different levels of English proficiency which made it quite difficult for lectures. Tutorials were provided by the Centre to enable those who could not understand English very well to catch up with the lectures. Trainees who were proficient in the language also assisted in group tutorials. Thus, trainees with inadequate skills in English were able to overcome the difficulties and completed the course. Examinations were prepared in three languages - English, French and Persian - in order to get an accurate assessment of what they had learned from the training.
7. Improvement and Management of Services
During the year, the Centre exerted great effort in the improvement of the management and services available to the trainees. A managerial coordination group was established, composed of the teaching section, foreign affairs section and general service department. Centre leaders, medical doctors, interpreters and drivers were on duty (in shifts) 24 hours a day, and their services provided when required. Library hours were extended into the evening. More security was provided in the residential area, and attention given to hygiene. The Centre also paid more attention to the food service, particularly in relation to varying religions and folk practices. During the fasting month, the Muslim participants enjoyed special Islamic food and had a special place for their religious activities.
8. Improvement of Training Activities
In order to improve the training activities in RLCC, a one-week Adult Education Training Course, sponsored by IDRC, was held in the Centre. This was intended for RLCC, the Yellow Sea Fisheries Research Institute, and the Adult Education Institute of East China Normal University. Participants from RLCC included eleven staff members (instructors, interpreters and audio-visual staff). The course content included teaching methods of adult education, course design, teaching evaluation and audio-visual materials. This training has enabled the RLCC staff to understand the basic theories, methods and characteristics of adult education as well as the responsibilities of adult teachers.
C. Research Activities
Bio-economic models on integrated fish farming in China. In the first half of the year, the research staff made a general survey of the five biggest river basins and 14 stations in Jiangsu Province, Zhejiang Province, Hunan Province, Hubei Province, Jiangxi Province, Anhui Province, and Shandong Province. Bio-economic data was collected; the data are now ready for analytical processing.
The effect of the stocking ration of different species in the polyculture system. Grass carp was the main species in the research component that was conducted in 1987. Only green feeds or grasses were applied. This year, silver carp and bighead carp were used as the main cultured species, with an application of pig manure only. For the control group, grass applications in the pond were made. The research staff make scientific determinations on the various ecological factors at 15-day intervals. The research is still ongoing.
Frequency of manure application with fish production. This study has been completed and the draft report prepared. The report is being translated into English.
The fresh and fermented pig manure applications with fish yield. The results for last year's phase of the research showed that fresh pig manure gives better fish production than fermented manure and chemical fertilizers applied in the fish ponds. For this year, chicken manure was used instead of pig manure, with the addition of indoor aquarium tests which inhibit the natural food chains, to compare the different results of fish production by both fresh and fermented manure applications. Tilapia which has a high tolerance to low DO, was selected as fish species. There are more ponds for outdoor tests-two ponds were used as replicates in last year's phase; five ponds are being used for replicate tests this year. Meanwhile, modifications have been made on the experimental design by changing the manure state - that is, the pond used in the previous year for fresh manure applications is now used for fermented manure applications for definite comparison of results. Weekly determinations are taken for DO, BOD, chlorophyll, zooplankton, ammoniacal nitrogen, phosphorus, and digestibility of the fibres. Preliminary results show that fresh chicken manure is better than fremented chicken manure for fish production Purposes.
The relation of fresh manure and compost green manure with fish yield. Work has been completed on the test pond clearing, cultivation of green grass (also considered as green manure), fingerling stocking, and analytical determinations of bio-chemical factors of water. Data collected last year are now being processed.
Bacterial diseases of fish and human health as a function of manuring. This research has been completed and the technical reports are now being prepared.
The effects of night aeration on the increase of fish yields. Much work has been done on the preparation of test ponds, fingerling stocking, and DP determination. Comparative studies have been made indoors and outdoors. Preliminary studies show that ponds aerated at night give higher production than controlled ones. The research is still in progress.
The role of micro-organisms in nitrogen cycling in the pond. This research is still on going. Information collection, research design and adjustment of laboratory facilities, have been completed.
D. Information Activities
The HP computer continues to play a great part in the research and information activities of the Centre. The Chinese Government has equipped the computer with a Chinese-English terminal, the Chinese language system, a printer, an expanding panel, and other peripherals. The computer has also been used for dynamic module and systematic analysis of the eco-systems in integrated fish farming. Economic analyses are being conducted on the input-output aspects of integrated fish farms. The computer also retrieves bibliographic information from the ASFA database, which is provided by FAO/NACA and is a great help to researchers.
The Centre has prepared the manuscript on Information on Freshwater Fisheries in China. It is written in English, and is ready for submission to the printers. Publication is expected by early 1989.
The information staff take an active role in the investigation of Fisheries Review in the World, and in the final review of Russian-Chinese Fisheries Expressions.
E. Staff Exchange and Visits
From late April to early May, the Centre welcomed officials and specialists from NACA and IDRC for project evaluation. Research activities, in the past were reviewed and projects for future cooperation discussed. Draft proposals have been made and are now for finalization.
With the development of the Centre and its international reputation in training and research having spread, RLCC has taken steps for academic exchange. There have been 40 groups (totalling 200 international guests) which have come to visit the Centre, among them high-ranking officials from UNDP, FAO, ADCP, NACA, IDRC as well as government officials, specialists and professors, managerial personnel and fish farm managers. They came for friendly visits, evaluation of the project, academic exchange or lectures, or cooperative research. This has paved the way for the promotion of research and training activities, as well as friendships.
The Centre warmly welcomes further and better cooperation with countries in the Asian-Pacific Region as well as in other parts of the world. It welcomes nations, regions and organizations who may wish to send specialists to attend training courses, for technical consultancy purposes, or even fish farm construction. This will further lead to more contributions, on the part of RLCC, to aquaculture development in the Region and in the world.
The Library of RLCC has completed processing of subscriptions, purchasing, cataloguing and storing of books and magazines in the first half of the year. Subscriptions to English books and magazines were made for 1989.
In summary, RLCC has achieved significant success in all fields. This has laid the foundation for future activities.
III. Improvements and Recommendations
While RLCC has made remarkable progress in all fields of work, there is much room for improvement, as follows:
More efforts should be made for training opportunities for other countries. RLCC has gained an international reputation in research and training; but we will concentrate our efforts to open the Centre to the world, and strengthen relationships with organizations in the UN, NACA, other countries, regions, and organizations. We wish to obtain more funding and for our Centre to become truly an international development and lead centre in integrated fish farming.
With the foregoing in mind, there is a need to improve the English proficiency of the RLCC staff members, in order to facilitate exchange with other countries as well as enhance the training courses of the Centre.
More efforts should be made to improve the training activities, research activities as well as information activities in integrated fish farming. This will require, at the start, a feedback from the participants of the training courses upon their return to their respective countries. Aquaculture development and research activities in participating countries should also be investigated so as to effectively improve the training content and methods and thereby effecting greater contributions to the development of international aquaculture.
Additional construction of facilities is necessary to improve the training, research and information activities of the Centre. Equipment and facilities should be supplemented; maintainance of original facilities will ensure better services to regional research and training in integrated fish farming.