3.1 Extension services in the region
3.2 Training of extension agents
3.3 Seed production facilities in the region
3.4 Manufacture of feed and fertilizer in the region
3.5 Manufacturers of equipment for the industry
3.6 Other services for the industry
3.7 Local credit programmes
3.8 Trade publications for producers
3.9 Technical assistance projects in the sub-sector
In Latin American countries aquaculture extension is usually the responsibility of the respective ministries in which fisheries and/or aquaculture belongs. Most extension services are established to work with individual farmers, rather than any of the larger corporations engaging in aquaculture.
Extension agents assist farmers with site selection, pond construction, water management, provision of seed, and harvesting, and most of this well-established work concerns the farming of trout, tilapia, and common carp. However, extension assistance now is not limited to pond farming, and agents advise and assist small-scale fishermen and farmers to practise extensive culture in dams and other water bodies. Agents also help in the search for government funding for farmers, and in the management of resources, either as produced by farmers or exploited natural resources.
In the last decade extension services have been needed to assist farmers in the production of a range of species; for example, with crustaceans, such as marine shrimps and freshwater prawns, with molluscs, such as oysters, mussels, and scallops, and with the harvesting and handling of marine algae. Most traditional extension agents had little or no experience themselves with these new species and farming practices.
In Latin America, as in most other regions, aquaculture extension services are constrained by the lack of operational funds for transportation and for materials. This severely limits the extent to which agents visit farmers and make trips which last more than one day. Although many countries still use aquaculture extension specialists to work with farmers, some countries, such as Panama, make aquaculture specialists available first to agricultural extensionists who often have more operational resources to reach the farmers. In this way a large number of farmers are potentially covered by the available aquaculture expertise in the country.
In Argentina a programme of the National University of Comahue has recently been launched with the objective of integrating aquaculture to rural development. This extension programme is being implemented by the Instituto Nacional de Tecnología Agropecuaria.
In Bolivia the Development Corporation of Tarija is conducting extension activities to promote subsistence fish farming in the Province of Santa Cruz. JICA is collaborating with the Centro de Desarrollo Pesquero to promote trout culture in ponds among 78 communities.
In Chile the National Fisheries Service does not have extension programmes per se, as most production is carried out by the private sector. Restocking programmes are carried out by the Division of Fisheries Protection which has activities in intensive culture of salmon for restocking inland waters.
Colombia has developed a vast infrastructure for the provision of extension services. The primary government agency responsible for aquaculture development is the Instituto Nacional de Recursos Naturales, created in 1969. Its Division of Fisheries has 5 regional offices and operates 8 freshwater hatcheries and research stations, and 2 marine research stations. Through the Programme of Protection of Deteriorated Basins over 500 families have become engaged in integrated fish farming. The Integrated Rural Development Programme built more than 1 600 ponds occupying a total area of almost 54 ha in 475 different communities with resources financed by the IDB and WB. Extension programmes include technical assistance, training, seedstock production, and publication of instructional materials. Extension is also conducted by 11 Regional Corporations, Regional Offices of the Ministry of Agriculture, the Federation of Coffee Producers, Universities, and other non-governmental organizations.
In Costa Rica aquaculture extension was initiated by the Turrialba Agricultural Diversification Institute and has been continued by the Aquaculture Department and other administrative governmental agencies. The scope of extension activities is rather limited despite the assistance provided by foreign institutions.
In Ecuador extension programmes are undertaken by the Ministry of Agriculture, although the Escuela Superior Politécnica del Litoral provides technical assistance for producers and organizes training courses for extension agents.
In El Salvador the Fish and Game Section of the Ministry of Economy, and the Fishery Service of the Ministry of Agriculture, provide extension services as an integral part of the foreign technical assistance projects which have been implemented in the country. These projects have invariably dealt with production of fingerlings for stocking, pond fish culture, site location, and project preparation and design.
In Guatemala extension is provided by the Fisheries and Aquaculture Directorate, by US Peace Corps, CARE, and by a Chinese technical mission. Extension is oriented toward the transfer of technology and the training of small-scale fish farmers.
In Guyana three officers of the Ministry of Agriculture are engaged in aquaculture extension and in services such as the delivery of fingerlings, site selection, and design and construction of ponds.
In Honduras although extension services are yet very limited they tend to concentrate on the smaller subsistence farmers, while the small-scale and commercial producers do not benefit from governmental support.
In Mexico state and federal hatcheries and fish stations offer technical assistance and training in almost all aspects of aquaculture, and provide seedstock to small-scale farmers on demand. However, no formal extension service with a structured organization and with a scheduled programme has ever been established. Culture-based fisheries are serviced by another Division of the same Ministry, which has a more comprehensive programme and covers other sociological aspects related to fishermen's communities. Credit institutions also assist producers in the management of operations as a means of ensuring their capability to repay loans.
It is perhaps in Panama where extension in aquaculture is best developed, having had a better coordinated plan of action at the national level as well as a more thorough integration with the rest of the institutional components of the National Directorate of Aquaculture. This is one of the reasons why rural aquaculture in this country has been far more successful than in most other countries of the region.
Most governments have found it difficult to provide technical assistance to private farmers, especially to shrimp growers. Few countries in the region have an extension service which is effectively introducing improved methods to growers. Such a service would be difficult to introduce as any technician with appropriate knowledge could make more money by offering consulting services or going into business.
Training in extension methodology in the countries of the region is not a formal or a widespread practice, mostly because governments do not always recognize that an extension service represents an important mechanism whereby innovations or new systems can be introduced at the national or regional level. Most extension agents, however, have some formal technical schooling in fisheries and/or aquaculture, as well as some practical experience acquired at fish culture stations.
As government salaries are usually low, candidates for training and employment as extension workers are not highly motivated individuals. This fact not only reduces the efficiency of training courses, but also reflects in the efficiency and effectiveness of the personnel employed once training is terminated. It is expected that this situation will change as the aquaculture sector develops within each country. Ideally, government staff should be given the opportunity to obtain an education in aquaculture as a beginning of any effort to develop a strategy for aquaculture development.
During the last decade most countries have increased the level of proficiency of the personnel in charge of extension, either through in-country or outside training at undergraduate, graduate, and post-graduate levels. There is at least one institution in each Latin American country where extension workers are trained, or where follow-up and refresher courses are given. Although few of these institutions offer specialized instruction on aquaculture extension methodology as such, qualified personnel for the dissemination and extension of aquaculture are becoming generally available. Unfortunately not all national aquaculture development plans have yet recognized the importance of creating a well structured extension service as a branch of their governmental institution responsible for the administration of the sector. The feedback derived from this extension service could help to improve articulation of the research and training divisions and thus address the needs of the productive sector in a more coherent manner. It could also promote overall development of aquaculture according to objectives set by any national aquaculture development plan.
In Chile the Institute of Professional Training specializes in practical instruction on applicable technologies and includes aquaculture in its curricula. The Artisanal Fishermen's Training Foundation, though aimed at the producer, also provides training applicable to extension agents due to its applied technical nature. The Universidad Austral organizes short-term courses on aquaculture for technicians and extension agents.
In Colombia, since 1960, the Fish Farming Institute of the Ministry of Agriculture has offered informal training courses for technicians. Other informal short-term courses have been organized by the Instituto Nacional de Recursos Naturales in collaboration with USAID and Auburn University, as well as with experts who have worked for various technical assistance projects implemented in the country. The National Learning Service has also contributed to the formation of extension services, although on a lesser scale.
Costa Rica contemplates training of extension agents through courses to be organized by both existing and planned demonstration centres. Training would be carried out by graduates from either of the two national universities.
El Salvador has no formal institution capable of providing instruction to extension agents. Until now agents have been trained on-the-job during the course of technical assistance projects implemented in the country. It is anticipated that future needs will be satisfied through in-country training by graduate professionals.
In Guatemala the Marine and Aquaculture Study Centre of the University of San Carlos offers graduate studies in the field of aquaculture and training courses at the intermediate level; 34 technicians have been trained to-date. Extension agents have also received on-the-job training during participation in technical assistance projects.
Guyana has no specialized training institution for extension agents. Agents have been trained either in-country by foreign experts collaborating in technical assistance projects or have been sent abroad, mainly to other Caribbean Commonwealth countries.
Honduras, like most other Central American countries, has had to rely exclusively on foreign assistance projects to train national extension agents.
Extension training in Mexico is offered in several educational and technical institutions that specialize in marine sciences and aquaculture training. The Marine Science and Technology Division of the Ministry of Education has a schooling network system of more than 20 centres which offer training in aquaculture at the secondary and intermediate levels. Colleges of Technical Education offer technical training in aquaculture in several of their coastal and inland facilities. The General Directorate of Aquaculture, through both special training courses and the regular activities of the federal hatcheries and fish stations, offers short technical training courses in subjects relevant to extension. Technicians from other countries have received training in aquaculture as educational programmes are open to nationals of other countries of the region.
In Panama the National Directorate of Aquaculture initially provided extension training for its own employees who eventually became its own agents. At present a well structured programme on extension training is in place and it satisfies its own manpower requirements as well as those of neighbouring countries in the region which have requested assistance in the form of training. Ad hoc courses are also organized as the demand arises.
In Paraguay the Faculty of Veterinary Sciences of the University of Asuncion, with the support of the Aquaculture Department, is organizing a special course for extension as a component of the project entitled "Centre for the Promotion of Rural Fish Farming".
In spite of the comparatively advanced state of development of its aquaculture sector, Peru still lacks the institutional infrastructure to provide formal training in extension.
In Uruguay extension training is provided by the Labour University, although in practice many technicians receive extension training on-the-job at the aquaculture stations of the National Fisheries Institute.
The School of Fisheries of Cumana in Venezuela as well as the La Salle Foundation, in its Nautical Fishing School, offer technical training in aquaculture at the intermediate level, and include some topics relevant to extension.
It can be appreciated that the regional infrastructure for training in aquaculture is constituted by numerous institutions, few of which specialize in extension methodology. Therefore, many appointed extension agents, in practice, are empirically trained on-the-job. This is broadly reflected on the quality of the extension services of most countries and, as such, it is recognized that this limitation constitutes a major constraint to the development of aquaculture in the region.
In the region as described there are many hatcheries for the production of juvenile finfish, crustaceans, and also for molluscs. Hatchery technology is not new to most of the countries, as for example trout hatcheries have been in existence for decades in Argentina, Chile, Mexico, and Peru.
However, the low production of juveniles remains one of the major bottlenecks for the growth of aquaculture in Latin America and therefore more modern hatchery technology for the large range of species of marine shrimps, molluscs, and fish presently being cultured, has to be imported. Hatchery technology commonly used in the region comes from North America, Europe, and Asia.
In order to make the industry independent of wild sources of post-larvae (PLs) numerous marine shrimp hatcheries have been constructed in recent years. In Ecuador the Government has granted more than 140 permits to build hatcheries, of which at least 110 are now operational. All of them produce Penaeus vannamei, and their average output capacity ranges from 0.5 to 15.0 million PLs/month. The largest hatchery has an installed capacity of 250 million PLs/month. Several of the newer hatcheries are relatively small as experience has shown that smaller hatcheries generate higher profit margins. However, over 50% of PL production in 1987 (4 thousand million) came from the 10 largest hatcheries.
Commercial hatchery operators have made great progress in recent years and insist that they will be able to supply growers with 50% of total yearly demand, which at present amounts to a level of 15 thousand million PLs. Even in Ecuador most hatcheries still depend on the availability of wild gravid females, although technological and managerial practices necessary to produce larvae through maturation and reproduction in captivity have already been perfected by several hatcheries. These technological advances are spreading quickly throughout the industry.
In Panama a substantial part of PL supplies to the farms is produced in the 6 largest commercial hatcheries, namely, Aquachame, Agromarina, Agromar, Canasa, Granjas Marinas, and Palangosta, all of which are capable of producing about one thousand million PLs per year.
Brazil reportedly has at least 14 operational shrimp hatcheries, with a total annual production under one thousand million PLs, mainly of Penaeus schmitti and P. subtilis.
In Colombia at least 7 hatcheries are in operation along the Caribbean coast and 3 others are located on the Pacific. Most of these hatcheries produce P. vannamei, with a total output just under 0.5 thousand million PLs per year.
Peru has five main operational shrimp hatcheries, namely, Lab-Peru, Brookstock, Bioltecsa, Acualarva and Tecnomar, with a capacity to supply only about 10% of the estimated demand which is about 1 thousand million PLs per year.
In Venezuela there is no significant production of shrimp PLs, as commercial hatcheries are only in the process of being constructed.
Mexico has 11 shrimp hatcheries, the combined annual production capacity of which is 0.3 thousand million PLs. In addition to these, others are presently under construction. Although at present demand can be met by supplies from wild origins, it is anticipated that, due to the rapid expansion of the industry, in the near future there will be a severe shortage of PLs for stocking grow-out ponds.
The main hatcheries for molluscs are mostly located in Chile and Mexico. In the former, five hatcheries produce clams, oysters, mussels, scallops, and abalone. Part of the production of spat is exported to farms in Brazil, Mexico, and South Africa. Oyster and mussel hatcheries also operate in Mexico. These supply some 66 million oyster spat to 55 cooperatives, while new hatcheries are under construction. There are also three hatcheries, under construction in Peru, which will have a capacity of some 30 million spat.
Finfish hatcheries, common throughout all countries, are operated by the public sector. Data for the production of tilapia and common carp fry are imprecise or unavailable, as propagation is generally carried out in ponds at breeding stations, rather than in hatcheries. On the other hand, production of juveniles of species whose reproduction is artificially induced, and/or which require egg incubation or larval rearing (Chinese carps, colossoma, trout, freshwater prawns, catfish, black bass, and marine finfish) is usually better documented.
In Mexico in 1987 the annual production of fry was trout (10.9 million), tilapia (65.2 million), carp (68.3 million). Of post-larvae shrimp it was 23.1 million, mollusc spat 229.2 million, and others 36 million.
It is worthwhile noting that countries interested in the culture of native species have generally made some progress in developing technologies for the production of seedstock, and have adapted the necessary facilities to both conduct research and produce small amounts. For instance, Argentina is now capable of producing black catfish (Rhamdia sapo). Brazil, Colombia and Venezuela produce Colossomids. Chile produces several species of native molluscs and Gracilaria. Panama produces tucunare (Cichla ocellaris), and Peru produces pejerrey (Odontesthes bonairensis).
Extension in aquaculture, as practised in the region, is based mainly on the supply of seedstock for the producers. Therefore most institutions in charge of extension concentrate on the production of seed. Government hatcheries become focal points for their extension programmes. This has also been the strategy of technical assistance projects attempting to introduce aquaculture into the region.
Small trout hatcheries have become common in Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Mexico, and Peru. With the development of the salmon farming industry in Chile, several hatcheries have been built. Fundación Chile constructed a facility for the production of smolts for salmon farmers. Salmonid farmers in Chile and in other countries also import eyed-eggs from North America, Japan, and Europe.
Most aquaculture production in the region is through extensive systems such as culture-based fisheries or subsistence fish farming, or for molluscs which rely on natural production of plankton for their feeding. However, with the increase in the intensification of aquaculture practices, the need for artificial feeds has increased considerably. Manufacture of these feeds has had to be adapted to each species under cultivation.
The shrimp industry in Panama was introduced by a North American animal feed company which pioneered applied research on shrimp feed formulation. The feed used in most commercial operations is either acquired locally in Panama or is imported from the USA, Europe, or Taiwan (PC). As demand has continued to increase, many locally established subsidiaries of multinational feed corporations and local manufacturers started to produce equivalent formulated diets for shrimp and other species.
In most countries of the region the trout industry, for instance, has always relied on feeds supplied by these subsidiaries and local manufacturers. Some of these feeds have not always been competitive in terms of quality and/or price, due to the limitations attributed to the unavailability of some ingredients, particularly micronutrients and binders. In other cases, locally available agro-industrial products or by-products are incorporated into the diets to replace some of the recommended ingredients to reduce the price. This poorly understood economy produces mixed results as, even though prices are lower, poor feed conversion efficiency ratios are obtained, adversely affecting the economics of the aquaculture operation.
More research on feed formulation has been conducted at the local level to reduce feed prices without altering specified quality. The results have gradually been assimilated by both the subsidiaries of the multinational feed corporations and by local manufacturers. Fine quality feeds are also manufactured locally under licenses of foreign companies.
More specialized feeds used by shrimp and prawn hatcheries (namely Artemia cysts and micro-encapsulated diets) are imported into the region. The quantity of Artemia cysts needed to feed the shrimp larvae being produced in the region is estimated to be 6-8 t per year, although some experts believe that may increase to around 30 t by 1990. Only in some instances locally available sources of Artemia are exploited and/or used directly by existing hatcheries. Most attempts to exploit Artemia resources in the region have failed, except for a large venture located at Salinas du Rio Grande du Norte in Brazil which, since 1977, produced and exported large quantities of high quality cysts. However, eventually production dwindled and the company ceased to operate. Other Artemia resources of the region have been exploited and marketed abroad by foreign enterprises. None the less, since world prices of Artemia have decreased considerably, it is unlikely that in the foreseeable future new commercial ventures will be undertaken.
Inorganic (chemical) fertilizers, another input used in intensive fish and shrimp farming, are readily available in the larger countries of the region, and to a lesser extent also in the smaller ones, although more costly as they have to be imported.
Extension programmes encourage the use of organic fertilizers in both subsistence and small-scale farming. Cattle and chicken manures, as well as other agricultural wastes available locally, are used for this purpose. Whenever possible, extension programmes also promote integrated agro-aquaculture practices as a means of improving the utilization of the resources available to the smaller farmers.
Most aquaculture practices in the region are pond-based extensive or semi-intensive systems. Consequently, equipment for pond construction has been in ever increasing demand. Installations for pond-based aquaculture typically include ponds, dams, and dikes; feeder and drainage canals or pipes, monk or pipe sluices, spillways, and other fish control structures (screens); and in many cases complete pumping stations.
Standard equipment used in the construction industry (bulldozers, pay loaders, excavators, graders, scrapers, and dredgers) is used for the construction of such installations. Depending on comparative costs, this equipment may either be hired or acquired locally. Non-specialized standard materials, pipes and piping, fittings, valves, pumps and other hydraulic equipment, are manufactured in the larger countries of the region. The smaller countries, however, have to import these items at greater expense.
Ordinary equipment and materials, such as pumps, generators, netting, containers, and floats, which are also used in other industries, are generally available within the region. However, specialized equipment normally used in more intensive aquaculture facilities, such as cages, tanks, raceways and flow-through systems, water-recirculating systems, and in hatcheries and laboratories, is still not manufactured within the region and has to be imported either from North America, Europe, or the Far East. Among other items, this equipment may include aerators, blowers, pumps, filters, sterilizers, mechanical feeders and harvesters, graders, incubators, tanks, and most of the equipment used for the manufacture of formulated feeds.
The aquaculture sector of the region also relies heavily on the importation of special scientific equipment, instruments, and chemicals used in hatcheries and in laboratories. These include microscopes, water testing equipment, analyzers, salinometers, oxygen and pH meters, and spectrophotometers, as well as chemical substances, disinfectants, medicines, and antibiotics. Some basic equipment, such as glassware, microscopes, and balances, and some chemicals, are manufactured under license in few countries of the region; other items are sold by authorized distributors. However, until very recently, few authorized distributors of equipment, instruments, and chemicals specialized in the trade existed. Aquaculturists are therefore obliged to import directly whatever equipment or substances may be required. This causes inconveniences to producers in terms of effort, time, economy, and appropriateness of the acquisition itself.
Although limited in number, consulting services by individuals and companies are available to the industry in some countries. These services tend to concentrate on areas such as project formulation, technical and economic feasibility analysis, and farm construction. However, other vital areas, such as marketing, planning and management, disease prevention and control, and hatchery design, are not yet covered by existing consulting services.
There appears to be a shortage of national expertise in hatchery technologies and in the planning and management of production facilities. There is also a lack of experienced consulting engineers, particularly for civil and mechanical design and construction of both hatcheries and farms. At present this work is being undertaken by qualified engineers who merely copy other facilities and attempt to adapt them to a given site with little understanding of the processes involved. Consequently, more specialized services are supplied by foreign experts from North America, Europe, or the Far East.
Non-technical subject matters of aquaculture, such as extension methodology, sector planning, farm management, project formulation and evaluation, marketing, and legislation, have been neglected by most study programmes offered by universities, and this reflects the lack of experts in these areas vital for development.
The scope, purpose, and conditions of local credit programmes vary greatly from country to country. In those areas where commercial aquaculture is evident, the private banking sector now routinely finances both capital investment and operational funds. In Ecuador, for example, where shrimp farming is successful and profitable, most private banks will finance almost every shrimp farm with acceptable collateral.
In several countries (Brazil, Ecuador, El Salvador, Mexico, and Panama) funds are lent by national and agricultural development banks as they originate as major development loans provided by the international development banks, most frequently the IDB. These loans are normally given on favourable terms; for example, loans for financing an aquaculture project can be as high as 80% of the initial capital investment and start-up operations, and have a repayment moratorium of three years.
Major development loans from the international banks are often directed toward aquaculture systems and practices which are not yet fully viable and economically self-sustaining. The programme funded by the international lender to the national bank often includes a component of technical assistance to ensure that funds are used for specific projects which are both technically feasible and financially viable. This arrangement, however, has not always worked.
The IDB has assisted the region through long-term credit to national financial institutions, or through national projects which have a credit component. The IDB has provided about US$ 30 million during the last decade to the regional sector. For example, in Panama it has made a series of loans for fish farming (US$ 4 million) and shrimp farming (US$ 9 million), combined with a national programme (US$ 7 million); Peru has received US$ 4 million for shrimp farming, as well as Brazil and Ecuador. In Mexico a similar loan was awarded for the development of the fisheries sector, a large proportion of which was assigned for the aquaculture sub-sector, supported by bank financing from the national fisheries development bank.
In some countries there is also domestic investment through loan schemes handled by national and agricultural development banks. Credit is available for farmers for both construction and initial operation of farms. In Brazil and Mexico initiatives by national banks have led to active programmes by which direct and specific credit programmes are now well established in rural aquaculture/fisheries development banks.
Although most agricultural banks of the countries of the region have credit facilities for farmers in general, their minimum loans are either too high for the small-scale rural farmers, or they are unable to warrant the normal collateral requirements. The larger investors and farmers, on the contrary, take advantage of these soft loans and are able to benefit and capitalize on government subsidies awarded to both aquaculture and fisheries sectors in the form of raw materials, equipment, feeds, banking services, tax deductions, support to producers, and insurance.
In Mexico two national Trust Funds for the Development of Fisheries and Agriculture, created several years ago, offer credit loans to aquaculture producers. The programmes under which they operate are specifically designed for the sector and are, therefore, specially suited to meet the typical needs of both small-scale producers and large investors. Producers are required to follow the recommendations formulated by the assistants provided by the institutions to ensure the repayment of loans. These funds can also be used for the elaboration of feasibility and pre-investment studies.
There are few specific regional trade publications produced in the region for the farmers and for the industry in general. As the aquaculture sector expands, both associations of producers and trade publications have started to appear in various countries. For example, in Ecuador the first edition of the quarterly trade magazine "Cultivos Aquanet" has just been published. It contains general information and news on recent developments on shrimp farming in Ecuador and other countries of the region. It also contains advertisements of various commercial suppliers to the industry. The Chamber of Shrimp Producers in Ecuador edits its own occasional trade journal "Acuicultura del Ecuador" to furnish its members with current aquaculture information relevant to the industry.
In Mexico the two monthly fisheries trade publication "Tecnica Pesquera" is increasing the number of articles and information on aquaculture in its contents. Another magazine entirely devoted to aquaculture is "Aquavision" published by the National Trust Fund for the Development of Fisheries (FONDEPESCA). Although not truly commercial in nature, it contains technological information and latest developments in Mexico and elsewhere.
More regional and scientific in nature are the Bulletin of the Regional Aquaculture Network of the IDRC, the Newsletter of the Asociación Latino Americana de Acuicultura (ALA) and the "Revista Latino Americana de Acuicultura" published by the Organización Latinoamericana de Desarrollo Pesquero (OLDEPESCA). These three publications present an overview of aquaculture development in the region and give an update on the activities of their respective organizations, all of which can be considered of interest to the sector of the region.
The FAO Regional Office for Latin America and the Caribbean publishes a newsletter informing member countries on the achievements of its activities, as well as general information on FAO's regional or national projects.
Some governmental organizations responsible for the administration of aquaculture, and which are usually in charge of extension, publish newsletters for information of their own staff. These newsletters are also of interest to the sector as they provide internal information at a local level which assists producers to keep up-to-date on governments' actions and policies. Technical information of direct use to the producers is sometimes included.
"Chile Pesquero" is another trade magazine which occasionally contains news and articles of interest to the local aquaculture industry in Chile.
"Aquarius" is the quarterly bulletin of OLDEPESCA through which information on the activities of the organization is delivered to its member countries.
The Centro de Pesquisa e Trenamiento en Acuicultura in Pirassununga (CEPTA), Brazil, publishes a technical bulletin which provides information on the activities of the Centre as well as the results of the research conducted at its experimental facilities.
The region has immediate access to a large range of North American and European publications for the trade through individual subscriptions. These include:
- "Aquaculture Magazine" and its annual Buyer's Guide;
- "World Shrimp Farming", a two-monthly report covering shrimp and prawn farming;
- "Mollusk Farming, USA", covers clam, abalone, scallop, mussel and oyster farming in the USA;
- the Aquaculture Association of Canada Bulletin, a quarterly with emphasis on the science of salmon farming;
- "Canadian Aquaculture", a two-monthly trade journal with extensive coverage of marine culture;
- "World Aquaculture", the quarterly magazine of the World Aquaculture Society (WAS);
- the Artemia Reference Center Newsletter (Belgium) containing news and abstracts of research and use for aquaculture;
- the "Water Farming Journal" (USA);
- "Fish Farming International" (UK);
- "Fish Farmer" (UK);
- "Salmon Farming".
Technical assistance for infrastructure has played an important role in the development of the sector in Latin America. For example, El Salvador and Honduras received technical assistance for local infrastructure from various external sources. The IDB granted El Salvador US$ 4 750 000 credit for, among other actions, the construction of 100 ha of coastal shrimp and fish ponds, and USAID supported both countries through the creation of special trust funds for infrastructure to the private sector to be administered through soft loans.
JICA financed the construction of a hatchery for fingerling production in Bolivia to produce seedstock for fish farmers.
In 1982 the IDB granted the National Bank of Panama US$ 13.2 million to finance an aquaculture development scheme which included two projects. One was a credit component of US$ 8.85 million to finance investment and technical assistance in shrimp farming (with a corresponding US$ 4.9 million Panamanian counterpart to finance working capital and feasibility studies); and the other component was of US$ 4.35 million (with a counterpart of US$ 2.1 million) to finance infrastructure needed for the promotion and extension of farming of fish for domestic consumption.
Apart from technical assistance provided to credit institutions (identified above), technical assistance aimed specifically at improving local infrastructure for the provision of services and inputs required by the sector has generally been small. While technical assistance has been provided for the running of government-owned hatcheries and fish culture stations, and therefore often in effect has also helped lay the foundation for development of extension services, the primary objective of this assistance has usually been the development of a self-sustaining aquaculture activity (usually pond-based fish culture). There do not seem to have been any projects particularly aimed at helping manufacturers of feed, equipment, or support services of the nature indicated in Section 3.6.
One exception is Chile, where JICA supported the development of an ocean ranching programme for Pacific salmon. In addition to constructing a hatchery, JICA supplied salmon eggs for several years and full technical assistance to establish salmon production. This project, and its ensuing work on cage farming of salmon, was further enhanced by support from Fundación Chile on research and development, particularly with feeds.