4.1 Manpower training in aquaculture technologies
4.2 Manpower training in management
4.3 Aquaculture research in the region
4.4 Management of credit
4.5 Associations of professionals in the region
4.6 Information for professionals
4.7 Technical assistance projects in the sub-sector
4.8 Capital assistance projects in the sub-sector
General education and training in aquaculture is at rather a high level in the countries of the region, particularly those on the north side of the Mediterranean Sea. But as a result of the differences in levels of development of the sector, students in the separate countries have very different opportunities with regard to both education and specialized training in aquaculture technologies.
Technical training and higher-level education (for post-graduates) is practically non-existent in those countries where there is little or no aquaculture. Among these countries is listed Algeria, Cyprus, Lebanon, Libya, Malta, Morocco, Portugal, and Tunisia.
In the other countries, technical training opportunities are well distributed. Many agricultural colleges and vocational schools in the major aquaculture areas of France, Italy, and Spain, as well as in Egypt, Israel, and Yugoslavia, offer courses and technical training in the sector of aquaculture most popular in the area. Often it is no more than basic training with emphasis on fish and shellfish rearing and handling.
In some cases, for example in the main oyster and trout production centres in France (Arcachon, Marennes-Oleron, Southern and Northern Brittany), the schools include more general training in exploitation management for the new, independent aquaculturists; or they concentrate on practical training to prepare specialized aquaculture technicians (bivalve farming, trout farming, etc.). In addition the Association pour la Gérance des Ecoles de Formation Maritime et Aquacole (AGEMA) in La Tremblade, a major oyster farming town where the biennial trade show takes place (see Section 3.5) organizes short-term training courses for workers in aquaculture farms on such topics as long-line bivalve farming, introduction to clam farming, prefattening and fattening clams in earthen ponds, specialization in clam farming, introduction to shrimp farming.
Undergraduate education in aquaculture alone is not usually offered at any of the national universities, university institutes of technology, or the various types of agricultural colleges. General education in aquaculture is often included in an associated field, such as animal husbandry, fisheries, agriculture, food science, with special coursework and practical sessions in one or more disciplines of aquaculture. These courses are usually open to students in the biological fields, such as animal biology, marine biology, ecology, animal husbandry, veterinary and agricultural science, rather than to other fields also relevant to the sector, such as finance, management, and particularly engineering. This point was noted in a recent study of the sector in Greece, where there was a general tendency to associate aquaculture with biological studies, as it was a promising field of employment for graduates in biological sciences, and to under-value the importance of other fields in the multidisciplinary requirements of aquaculture.
Most post-graduate education which includes coursework is not directed totally toward aquaculture but to aquaculture in combination with another major subject, such as fisheries, marine biology, or animal husbandry. For example, in France all post-graduate studies which offer specific courses in aquaculture are, in reality, in the biological sciences, with the exception of a new programme of agricultural economics at the National Institute of Agronomy in Paris. Currently there are no institutions in any of the countries of the region which offer post-graduate programmes in aquaculture engineering or aquaculture economics which have produced specialists now employed in the region.
As with the sector in the other regions of the world, there has been the tendency to involve aquaculturists with a biological background in aspects of economics, management, administration, planning, engineering or construction, and for which they had no training. Consequently, this has resulted in numerous project failures, with under-production and cost over-runs. Also, the administration and management of the sector either at regional or national levels has, for the same reason, been staffed with officers who have either no training in aquaculture at all, or mainly a biological background.
Awareness of these problems began in the early 1980s, and attempts have been now made to overcome them. For example, the University of Montpellier has established specific post-graduate education in Aquaculture Projects Management to provide the essential basic education and training in aquacultural biology to non-biologists, and essential management and aquacultural engineering to biologists.
Students from countries in the region with no undergraduate, graduate or post-graduation courses in aquaculture, have access to aquaculture education and training in other countries where it exists. For example, between 1984-87 the MEDRAP project, funded by UNDP and the Government of Italy, offered aquaculture training abroad to 10 students from Algeria, 4 from Cyprus, 9 from Egypt, 6 from Morocco, 1 from Syria, 11 from Tunisia, and 7 from Turkey. MEDRAP also organized a number of short-term courses, for example, a two-week session on shellfish culture in Spain was held for 12 Spanish trainees and 12 trainees from six other Mediterranean countries. The training included lectures and farm visits in Galicia, 14 lectures by Spanish, French, Italian, and Yugoslavian specialists, and a follow-up visit to other aquaculture facilities in Andalucia.
In France between one-third and one-half of the students in post-graduate education in French universities are foreigners, most of them coming on fellowships provided either by bilateral or international funding agreements. More than a quarter of them remain in France to work on doctorate degrees in research laboratories or at pilot stations. Also; since 1984 more than 20 students from Spain have received medium- to long-term practical training in French aquaculture laboratories and field stations through a bilateral agreement between the major French and Spanish institutions concerned with aquaculture development. Ten French specialists lectured in aquaculture training sessions in Spain as a part of the agreement.
Manpower training in management is weak and virtually non-existent in the region. As described in Section 4.1, only recently have opportunities been introduced for such training in France, at the National Institute of Agronomy of Paris (in agricultural economics, with courses in aquaculture economics) and at the University of Montpellier, with a course in Aquaculture Project Management.
There is no complete list of aquaculture institutes and agencies currently carrying out research in the region. A partial list was made by the Netherlands Universities Foundation for International Cooperation (NUFFIC) in 1986 in a report to the EEC on expertise in aquaculture and related fields within the member states of the EEC, and therefore it only contained information for those countries of the Mediterranean which were members of the EEC.
The report noted seven research institutes in France, but three in fact have no involvement with aquaculture and three others are institutes of IFREMER; thus there is only one central institution for aquaculture research in the country. There were three institutes in Greece, of which one was a production farm, thus leaving only the National Centre for Oceanography and Marine Research at Agios Kosmas, and the University of Thessaloniki as the main research centres in the country. There were five institutes in Italy, of which one is FAO in Rome (which does not undertake any research in fisheries or aquaculture, other than collate information), two only deal with fisheries research, thus leaving only the Universitá degli Studi di Pisa and the Istituto di Biologia del Mare at Venice as active centres. There were five institutes in Portugal (excluding the Acores) among which one has no involvement with aquaculture, thus leaving the Institute Nacional de Investigaçao das Pescas (INIP) and the Aquario Vasco de Gama, both at Lisbon, the Universidad de Algarve, and the fish station at Vila do Conde, although all have little research activity. Finally, there were five institutes in Spain, which are all facilities of either the Institute de Investigaçiones Pesqueras or the Institute Español de Oceanografia.
Two countries of the region currently have no aquaculture research base at all; these are Libya and Malta. Three others, namely Albania, Lebanon, and Syria, have no information available about established research but some limited work may exist.
In Algeria, Cyprus, and Morocco, aquaculture research is carried out within one government institution. In Algeria this is undertaken by the Centre d'Etudes et de Recherche pour la Pêche et l'Aquaculture (CERP) at the production and experimental facilities of the Mellah lake marine farm and the Mazafran experimental freshwater farm of the Office National de l'Aquaculture; in Cyprus at a single experimental facility, the Kalopanayiotis Freshwater Experimental Fish Culture Station, belonging to the Fisheries Department of Cyprus, which is planning to build a new marine facility at Meneov; and in Morocco at a facility designed for production at the Nador-based Marost project under direct control of the Royal Palace, with participation of the Institute of Fisheries. The work in all three countries is predominantly empirical involving practical production trials rather than organized basic or applied research.
In Egypt, Greece, Portugal and Turkey, several groups work in teams on research projects in university laboratories, faculties of agronomy, and within the relevant state departments of agriculture and/or fisheries. However, most of them have only outdated and under-equipped aquaculture facilites, if any at all. In general the groups consider aquaculture research from a purely academic and only biological point of view. Their contributions to the production of aquaculture research results, although of interest to their respective countries as they mostly apply or test techniques developed elsewhere, are minimal at the regional level. As they have no proper organization to transfer good results to the industry, private entrepreneurs do not give them much consideration.
In Tunisia and Yugoslavia there is good applied research work carried out at a number of well-equipped and properly staffed aquaculture research laboratories and/or field stations. In Tunisia the main laboratory is the Centre National d'Aquaculture of Monastir, under the General Commissariat for Fisheries, which is established on a small coastal lagoon. The Centre has fattening facilities (for extensive production in the lagoon, semi-intensive in ponds, and intensive in cages and raceways), and a modern marine fish hatchery which started operation in January 1987. Other smaller facilities, of lower quality, exist at Ghar El Melh and Oued El Akarit. In Yugoslavia the major research is performed in the Republic of Croatia, with the Institute for Oceanography and Fisheries in Split as the main investigation centre. Other stations/institutions are located in Rovinj, Dubrovnik, and Zagreb. Other Republics (Slovenia at Portoroz, and Montenegro at Kotor) have their own research facilities. However, both countries when beginning new aspects of mariculture (marine fish hatcheries) imported engineering and technical knowledge from abroad for their pilot and commercial facilities.
In Israel and, to a greater extent because of their size, France, Italy and Spain, research is adequate not only to fulfil practically all the national requirements but also to export technologies abroad. However, these countries also at times import new aquaculture technologies from abroad for new projects.
It is not useful here to list all the governmental institutions, university laboratories, quasi-governmental and non-profit private laboratories, and field station facilities in these four countries which are active in aquaculture research. Several institutions often overlap through their work, and some join forces and use laboratories and field facilities operated in common or under the management of one or other of the partners.
In Israel the main aquaculture research institutions are under the Ministry of Agriculture. There are the Israeli Oceanographic and Limnological Research (IOLR) laboratories at Haifa and at Kinneret, the Fish and Aquaculture Station at Dor, an Intensive Fish Culture Unit at Ginossar, and a Fish Diseases Laboratory at Nir David. There is also a field laboratory, the National Centre for Mariculture, at Eilat. Research is also carried out at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Tel Aviv University, Bar Ilan University, and Technion (Israel Institute of Technology).
In Italy the main institutions are the Universities of Rome, Parma, and Padova, the National Research Centre, the Ente Sviluppo Agricolo del Veneto, and the Ente Nazionale Energia Electrica. The main field laboratories are those of Lesina and Orbetello (lagoon mariculture), Civitavecchia and Milan (aquaculture in warmwater effluents and pathology), Udine (pathology), Padova (trout culture), the Centro Ittiologico Valli Veneto (CIVV) at Comacchio (Valliculture), formerly called Societá Italiana Reproduzione Artificiale Pesci (SIRAP) at Chioggia (marine fish propagation).
In Malta the national university has supported a number of pilot projects with studies on marine fish and shellfish at the Marine Biology Station; and there has been some work on introduced freshwater species.
In Spain the main institutions are the Institute Nacional de Oceanografia, the Institute de Investigaçiones Pesqueras, and the Universities of Cadiz and Malaga. The main field laboratories are those of Vigo, Santiago de Compostela, Santander (mussel culture), Cadiz (aquaculture in salt pans), Mar Menor (aquaculture in salt pans), and Tarragona (fish and shrimp propagation).
In France, excluding its overseas territories where research is also carried out, the main institutions are the Institut Français pour l'Exploitation de la Mer (IFREMER), the Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique (INRA), the Universities of Marseilles, Montpellier, Bordeaux, Caen, and Brest. Field facilities include (i) the IFREMER multidisciplinary centre (nutrition, pathology, reproduction, and engineering) at Brest; the La Tremblade laboratory (oyster pathology and genetics); and the mariculture field stations in Noirmoutier (fish and shrimps), Bouin (bivalves), and Palavas-les-Flots (fish and shrimp propagation): (ii) the INRA research laboratory at Jouy-en-Josas (fish physiology), and the stations at Paimpont and St Pee-sur-Nivelle (freshwater fish culture): (iii) the IFREMER/INRA salmon culture complex in Brittany; and (iv) the University of Languedoc laboratory at Sète (marine fish propagation).
Aquaculture research objectives in each country vary with the main aquaculture products and new priorities. Israel concentrates on warmwater culture of freshwater and marine fishes. Italy is also particularly active in warmwater aquaculture of freshwater fishes, and doing much in all aspects of lagoon-related aquaculture. Spain recently started an important programme in fry propagation of marine species of both shellfish and fish, as well as the rehabilitation of salt pans for aquaculture. France has active research on both coldwater and warmwater fish species, marine shrimp, and all aspects of bivalve culture.
Research in aquaculture engineering and aquaculture economics is still very limited. However, both are now acknowledged as research topics of interest and IFREMER in France, for example, has developed a specific aquaculture engineering research team in its centre at Brest, and is building up specific aquaculture economics expertise in its centre at Nantes.
Management of credit in the region is usually either a component of agricultural credit management (always for inland fish culture, frequently for coastal fish culture, and infrequently for shellfish culture), or of fisheries credit management (frequently for shellfish culture, and infrequently for coastal fish culture). Most of the credit required is provided by the national development banks, and invariably strongly oriented toward the cooperative sectors of agriculture and fisheries. For example, in Turkey fish farmers can obtain operating credits to meet 100% of the cost of fry, eggs, feed, and chemicals required through soft loans from the Agricultural Bank of Turkey.
For traditional forms of aquaculture in the major production countries, such as oyster culture in France, or trout culture in France, Spain, and Italy, or valliculture in Italy, or warmwater fish culture in Israel, the banks have long-established specific tables and standards to evaluate aquaculture enterprises, and staff experienced in the financial management of such businesses. But this is not the case for new forms of aquaculture, particularly clam culture, intensive marine fish culture, and shrimp culture.
This is not the case for all forms of aquaculture in countries where the sector is just beginning to play an important economic role and is reliable. In such cases banks have to recruit new personnel and establish specific standards, or seek advice from external consultants, including foreign consultants, for the newly developing aquaculture countries in the region. As pointed out in Sections 3.1 and 3.6, most of these recruits and consultants have little training and experience in non-biological aspects of aquaculture.
The Agricultural Bank of Greece, faced with the establishment of many new mariculture farms, set up a programme to train 50 employees in technical assessment of aquaculture enterprises and 25 staff in financial assessment. The background of these employees and details of their training are not known.
At the level of research and pre-development, and to a lesser extent in new fields of aquaculture production, the only international association of professionals of importance in the region is the former European Mariculture Society, which recently changed its name to the European Aquaculture Society (EAS). Membership of EAS is open to both company and individual membership from the sector of any country. EAS organizes scientific meetings, produces collected reprints of publications presented in such meetings and on specific topics, and informs its members of new reviews and technical papers, scientific meetings, job opportunities, and general information of interest for researchers and extension workers. The EAS has its headquarters in Belgium, and is an affiliate of the World Aquaculture Society (WAS) based in the USA.
For aquaculturists in the minor producing countries of the region the EAS is practically the only existing professional link.
Also regional, but at the production level and with membership restricted to national federations of salmon and trout growers, is the European Federation of Salmon Growers, or Fédération Européenne des Salmoniculteurs (FES). FES takes care of the legislation and business interests of its members (see Section 2.5).
In the major producing countries there are several professional associations. All are very active, both at national and local levels, and members join to receive information and services.
In Israel the Fish Breeder's Association controls production and assists the farmers in many ways; for example, membership includes management of a processing and packaging plant through which about one-fifth of the production is processed and in large part exported. The Association also supervises export of Israeli fish culture technology, and maintains the national production statistics.
In Italy, the "Consorzi" (associations) of valliculture owners and operators, the Federazione Cooperative Pesca, and the Trout Culturists Association are active organizations which professionals join for information.
In France the main association at the research/pre-development level is the Association pour le Développement de l'Aquaculture (ADA), and its regional affiliates (ADACO, ADAM). It produces a liaison letter, undertakes occasional studies of general interest for aquaculture development, and publishes the journal "Aquarevue" (see Section 4.6). It also represents France in the European Aquaculture Society. At the production level, there are organizations such as the Federation Nationale des Pisciculteurs Salmoniculteurs, and the Comité Interprofessionnel de la Conchyliculture (CIC). Both of them publish a journal for members (see Section 4.6). The CIC also maintains its own production statistics, and is the partner of governmental agencies for the implementation of advertizing campaigns. A particular feature of the Federation Nationale is that it operates a purchasing cooperative for its members. Both provide administrative information services and legal advice.
Information on associations in Spain is more difficult to obtain. The Asociaçion Española de Acuicultura is a national affiliate of the EAS.
At the regional level there are two main sources of general aquaculture information for professionals, one in English, one in French.
The one in English comes from outside the region through a number of trade magazines which are directed at professionals as well as producers. One is the monthly trade paper "Fish Farming International", which is published in the UK. The paper aims at a world-wide aquaculture audience, but still focuses on Western European aquaculture, and more particularly North Western Europe salmonid culture. It has recently published a number of issues with articles on events in Mediterranean fish culture, but it is limited in information about bivalve culture and warmwater pond fish culture, two essential aquaculture items for the region. Similarly from the UK is "Fish Farmer", which is also directed at producers but has technical articles of interest to professionals, and recently introduced an international section. From the USA there is "Aquaculture Magazine". This is mostly directed toward the sector in the USA, but also has articles of wider interest.
The source in French is the bi-monthly "Aquarevue", published in France for distribution throughout the French-speaking countries world-wide. Although devoting most of its attention to aquaculture in mainland France and French overseas territories, it has recently published a number of papers on events in the Mediterranean. However, it is poor in information about warmwater aquaculture.
With regard to scientific information, in addition to that disseminated in seminars, symposia, and congresses, professionals in the region can consult a number of publications obtained on subscription. These are Aquaculture (the Netherlands), Aquaculture and Fisheries Management (UK), Aquaculture Engineering (UK), Bamidgeh/Journal of Aquaculture (Israel), Bulletin Français de la Pêche et de la Pisciculture (France), Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences (Canada), Diseases of Aquatic Organisms (Federal Republic of Germany), Journal of Fish Biology (UK), Journal of Fish Diseases (UK), Progressive Fish Culturist (USA), Transactions of the American Fisheries Society (USA), etc.
Information about the different activities of aquaculture can be found in various periodicals published in the languages of the region. For example, in Italian there is the "Rivista Italiana de Piscicoltura e Ittiopatologia", the journal of the Freshwater Fish Culture Association, with technical and review papers on fish culture in Italy and abroad; and the "Corriere della Pesca e dell'Acquacoltura", the bi-monthly of the Federation of Fishermen's Cooperatives, with articles of general interest on small-scale fisheries and aquaculture, and items regarding administrative and financial aspects of concern to Italian farmers. There is also "II Pesce", a tri-monthly high-quality publication by Pubblicitá Italia, with internationally oriented papers on fisheries, aquaculture, and fish products processing and marketing.
In English there is "The Israeli Journal of Aquaculture" ("Bamidgeh"), the quarterly on aquaculture in Israel, published by the Fish Breeder's Association, with scientific and review papers on the sector. In French there is "Cultures Marines" published by the Editions du Cabestan, the bi-monthly of the interprofessional committee of French shellfish culturists, with papers and news regarding new opportunities, legal and administrative problems, and reports on the activities of the committee; also "La Pisciculture Française", the tri-monthly bulletin of the National Federation of Fish Culturists, with technical papers and information on salmonid culture in France and foreign countries; and "Equinoxe", published by IFREMER as a magazine on the living resources of the seas, with technical and general papers on fisheries and aquaculture in France and overseas. Finally, in Croatian there is "Ribarstovo Jugoslavije", a bi-monthly with scientific reports and review papers on aquaculture in Yugoslavia, including some papers on freshwater fish culture in other countries; and in Hebrew there is "Dayig Umidge" published in Israel.
Scientific publications in aquaculture are produced by the journals and collected reprints of the major aquaculture institutions and professional societies listed in 4.3. For example, the EAS based in Belgium publishes a regular newsletter for members which also contains the contents of some abstracts of the more important aquaculture journals. It also publishes special volumes on aquaculture technology available at reduced rates to members. The WAS produces the Journal of the World Aquaculture Society which is free to members.
The largest resource of information for scientists and technical professionals in the sector is FAO in Rome, Italy. FAO produces a series of publications many of which are specific to aquaculture. These are FAO Fisheries Reports, FAO Fisheries Technical Papers, and FAO Fisheries Synopses. All titles are categorized and lists are regularly produced. Some documents are free and others are sold at cost. It maintains a large serial collection on all subjects related to fish and fisheries received from fisheries institutes, government departments, and commercial publishers throughout the world, together with a special collection of documents on a country basis, and subject files.
FAO maintains a database in which aquaculture information can be found. ASFA is an international bibliographic database providing comprehensive coverage of publications on the science, technology, and management of marine and freshwater environments. The database can be searched via terminals and personal computers to retrieval systems in Europe and North America; the database is also available on compact disc. Aquaculture Abstracts from ASFA are available in printed form through subscription.
Technical assistance projects with objectives relevant to the national infrastructure are not common in the region. One project funded at an interregional level was MEDRAP, the FAO/UNDP 1980-86 project noted above which had components of research and training.
A number of technical assistance projects have taken place through bilateral cooperation; for example in Egypt (from technical support from Italy, Norway, and the USA), Tunisia (from Italy), and Algeria (from France). Most of these projects had components of education, through scholarships and fellowships abroad; for example, USAID provided support for 34 individuals from Egypt to study for post-graduate and graduate degrees in aquaculture overseas. At present there is no major bilateral technical assistance project under implementation.
Three projects in Egypt have been funded by cooperation from the Netherlands (Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries). These were concerned with grass carp research, management assistance to the Delta barrage breeding station (rural development and training), and aquaculture research and extension (nutrition, integrated farming, extension and training).
A project in Tunisia has been concerned with research on the physiology of fish reproduction and is funded by the International Foundation for Science (Sweden).
A project in Greece provided technical assistance for the preparation of a national plan for the development of marine and inland aquaculture, and in Yugoslavia a project provided technical assistance for the development of salmonid culture at Sibenik. Both these projects were funded by UNDP.
Only one capital assistance project (recently completed) is known in the region. This is the National Aquaculture Centre at El Abassa in Egypt which was built with funds provided by USAID to develop national research as well as to contribute to production and training.
Some capital assistance for the purchase of aquaculture equipment was provided by the Government of Italy for Algeria, Tunisia, and Egypt through the MEDRAP regional project; by the Government of France for Turkey; and by USA through USAID for Syria.