There was an acute shortage of trained personnel in fish culture and fishery management in Burma during the expert's assignment. With the expanded programme of development of fish culture all over the country the dearth of trained technical staff was felt all the more.
The expert, during his assignment, spent ample time giving adequate training to the counterpart assistants and other field staff. Special attention was given at the beginning to train a few selected staff in the detailed technique of induced breeding of carps by neuro-hormonal treatment. With the large-scale success in the breeding programme, more field staff were subsequently given training. Over twenty officers and field staff of the Directorate of Fisheries and PPFB received thorough training in the techniques. Training was also given in the method of artificial fertilization of eggs by stripping and hybridization of carps.
The expert also trained the counterpart assistants and fishery workers on various aspects of scientific pisciculture including management of nurseries, rearing and stocking ponds, in identification of carp fry and fingerlings, methods of food assessment in ponds, identification of common fish food organisms (plankton) and aquatic weeds in intensive fish culture, culture of Chinese carp and in other related matters.
On several occasions seminars and refresher courses were held in the Directorate when the expert gave lectures and demonstrations on different aspects of fish culture. Lectures and demonstrations were also given to the Bachelor of Science (B.Sc) final year students in Zoology (Ichthyology as special subject) of Rangoon University, on fish culture and fish breeding, every year during the assignment of the expert.
Training schemes of the Government of Burma in fish culture include a training course of six weeks duration meant for the bona fide fish farmers. Staff of cooperatives, members of the People's Peasant Council and also for the newly recruited staff of the Government Fisheries Departments. School buildings and students' hostels of the two training schools, one at Hlawga and the other at the Thayetkon Fish Culture Station in Mandalay, have been completed and the curriculum has been drawn out. Six courses would be conducted every year with 30 students at a time in each of the schools. This course is primarily aimed at training bona fide fish farmers in modern scientific methods of fish farming. It is anticipated that trainees will organize and operate cooperative fish farming on commercial scales.
The Government of Burma has also been sending officials abroad for training in various subjects related to fisheries development, fishery biology and fish culture.
U Hla Win, Assistant Fishery Officer and U San Aung were sent under the Colombo Plan in 1967 for a two-year training course at the Central Institute for Fisheries Education in Bombay, India. They completed training successfully in both marine and inland fisheries including fish culture.
Mr. Maung Nyunt Hlang is following a five-year training course in fish culture in U.S.S.R. Mr. Daw Tin Tin Myint, Assistant Fishery Officer, departed in October 1970 for Japan under a Japanese Government grant for training in fish culture for one and a half years.
U Tun Hlang, Assistant Fishery Officer and U Khin Zaw, Farm Supervisor, have been selected for training in India under the Colombo Plan programme. The former would receive training in inland fisheries and fish culture for two years and the latter in planktology for three years.
Under the Inland Fishery Project in Burma two fellowships have been awarded by FAO during 1969–70. U Khin Maung Sein, Assistant Farm Supervisor, has recently undergone training in fish culture and fish breeding for six months in the U.S.S.R. and in the Central Inland Fisheries Research Sub-station at Cuttack, India. U Min Aung, Farm Supervisor, has completed his six months training in reservoir fisheries in Zambia, Ghana, Nigeria and India.
Very little research has been carried out in the country in fisheries, especially on problems of fish culture. Practically no scientific data on the hydrobiology of fishery waters are available. At present there is a shortage of adequately trained research workers, and there is also a paucity of scientific books, literature and equipment for research. Under the project, FAO has provided some funds for this purpose, and a number of useful reference books, glassware, chemicals, microscopes, laboratory and field equipment, useful for initiating research, have been purchased.
The Government has already taken action toward promotion of research in fish culture. A fish culture research laboratory is being established at the Hlawga fish culture station and the building is nearing completion. The laboratory would start functioning by the middle of 1971. Research problems on soil and water chemistry, planktology, ichthyology, fishery biology and on various aspects of pond fish culture would be carried out.