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 support of national infrastructure
4.8 Capital assistance
Before aquaculture could expand throughout the Latin American region, technology had to be comprehended and adapted to local conditions. Consequently training and research has preceded extension in aquaculture. Professionals in biology, agronomy, veterinary and other animal sciences were the first to acquire a certain degree of specialization either through their own professional or research experiences, or by occasional contact with foreign experts. This was followed by the return of the first post-graduate students who trained at universities abroad, who were employed as teachers and leaders of experimental research teams at university or government institutions with an interest in or responsibility for aquaculture.
As the aquaculture sector evolved, technicians were trained in their own countries in institutions which incorporated courses on aquaculture, or occasionally a full degree programme. Brazil, Mexico, and Panama were the first countries to lead in manpower training, with the governments reinforcing staffing of public training institutions and supporting collateral activities at the same institutions. Finally, manpower training reached the producers through the organization of short courses, seminars, demonstration sessions, and field days held at government fish culture stations.
At the present time the direct training of producers is a consolidated achievement in many countries of the region, including Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, and Panama.
Some 60 to 80 Latin American universities and higher learning institutions grant degrees to marine biologists and fishery engineers. Most countries have at least one such institution which has programmes leading to these degrees at the bachelor level, but only few grant degrees in aquaculture. The former include courses either on aquaculture in general or specific topics as part of curricula in fisheries, marine biology, biology, and veterinary science, and in agriculture, agronomy, and food science, etc.
In Argentina the Instituto de Biologia Marina y Pesquera "Almirante Storni", the Escuela Superior de Biología of the University of Comahue, and the Instituto Nacional de Tecnología Agropecuaria are institutions which offer aquaculture courses. In Bolivia there is only one institution that offers training in aquaculture, namely the Centro Piscicola de Tiquina.
In Chile several universities offer the opportunity of obtaining degrees in aquaculture, these are Antofagasta, del Norte (Coquimbo), Católica de Valparaíso, Católica de Chile, Austral de Chile, and also the Instituto Profesional de Osorno.
In Colombia aquaculture training is offered by the Facultad de Acuicultura of the University of Cordoba, and the University of Nariño offers a technical degree in freshwater aquaculture.
In Costa Rica the Escuela de Ciencias Biológicas of the National University at Heredia offers a bachelor's and a master's degree; the latter with a specialization in aquatic pathobiology applied to species cultured in the country. Twenty-one students have graduated since 1987.
In Guatemala the Centro de Estudios del Mar y Acuicultura of the University of San Carlos is the only institution that offers an aquaculture degree at the undergraduate level.
In Honduras the Panamerican Agriculture School offers short courses on general aquaculture and on tilapia culture.
In Mexico training in aquaculture is offered at the secondary, intermediate, and graduate levels in various institutions. Secondary and tertiary schools of the Dirección de Ciencia y Tecnología del Mar of the Ministry of Education offer training among various other related disciplines. At the tertiary level, the National Schools of Technical and Professional Education also offer a technical degree. The Centro de Ciencias del Mar y Limnologia of the National University offers courses and research degrees in its M.Sc. and Ph.D. programmes at its marine research stations on the Pacific and on the Gulf/Caribbean coasts.
Institutions that offer graduate degrees or majors in aquaculture at the graduate level in Mexico are the Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Studies, the Escuela de Oceanologia of the University of Baja California, the Instituto Tecnologico de Mar. At the post-graduate level there are the Monterrey Institute and the Ensenada Centre of Scientific Research. To a lesser extent, aquaculture courses and training programmes are offered by most Mexican State Universities as part of the basic undergraduate degree curricula in biological sciences, zoology, and agronomy.
In Panama the Centro de Ciencias del Mar y Limnologia of the University of Panama, at its laboratory of Isla de Naos, offers training in marine aquaculture.
In Paraguay the Departamento de Acuicultura of the Faculty of Veterinary Sciences of the University of Asuncion offers a higher degree in aquaculture and will soon provide training for producers.
In Peru the Departamento de Piscicultura y Oceanologia of the National Agrarian University of La Molina and the University of San Marcos offer courses in aquaculture for fishery engineering degrees.
In Uruguay both graduates in biological oceanography and in veterinary sciences are taught some courses in aquaculture.
In Venezuela training is provided by the Instituto de Capacitación Agricola and the Instituto Agrario Nacional at the level of technicians; at the intermediate level the Escuela de Cumana and the La Salle Foundation (Liceo Nautico Pesquero); at the tertiary level the Instituto de Tecnología del Mar, the Instituto Universitario de Carupano, and the Instituto Universitario de Tecnología de Yaracuy; at the university level the Universidad de Oriente grants a degree with a major in aquaculture, and four other universities include aquaculture in the curricula of biological and veterinary science degrees.
For most post-graduate studies in aquaculture, or in relevant applications such as genetics, zoology, ecology, etc., Latin American students often attend universities in North America, Europe, Japan, or the Soviet Union. The public sector usually sponsors its own staff during such overseas studies, or helps students obtain grants through associated multilateral and bilateral assistance projects in the country. Predominant in providing financial assistance for higher education have been agencies from USA (USAID), the UK (ODA), Canada (IDRC and the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA)), Japan (JICA), and IDB, as well as the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (Unesco) and UNDP. In the private sector aquaculturists are usually left to find their own financial resources.
Short-term technical training courses are managed by a number of universities and technical institutes, but these are often on one subject and irregular. For example, the Universidad de Costa Rica held short courses on pond dynamics as part of activities in the USAID CRSP project. The Escuela Superior Politécnica de Litoral in Ecuador holds a regular 5-week training course for shrimp hatchery technology. The Universidad de Los Llanos in Venezuela; and the Panamerican Agriculture School in Honduras hold courses in general aquaculture and tilapia culture. One exception is the Centro de Estudios Tecnológicos del Mar in Mexico which provides technical training in aquaculture at the tertiary level on a continuous basis. This institution has over 20 schools located along the Pacific and Gulf coastlines as well as inland, close to the major aquaculture development focal centres.
Many short-term courses are organized by the appropriate government departments, particularly in those countries where the sector is reasonably strong or specialized, or is of primary government interest for development (for example, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Mexico, Panama, Peru, and Venezuela).
The FAO Regional Aquaculture Centre for Latin America in Pirassununga, in Brazil, held four long-term (12 months) training courses which involved some 106 participants from 18 countries, between 1980 and 1986. Brazil itself sent 36 trainees, followed by Panama (7), El Salvador, Guatemala, and Nicaragua (6 each); Bolivia, Ecuador, and Peru (5 each), Chile, Colombia, Mexico, and Paraguay (4 each), Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, and Uruguay (3 each), Honduras and Venezuela (2) each, and Argentina (1). Some came from the Caribbean region. In addition, the Centre held short-term courses (from a few days to two weeks' duration) on fish seed production, mollusc culture, trout culture, pond and cage culture, shrimp culture, aquaculture extension, and hatchery technology. Several of these were held outside Brazil.
Since 1986 the new project AQUILA has organized in collaboration with national institutions a number of training courses and other activities on various topics of aquaculture. These were:
- 8 regional training courses in 5 countries with a total participation of 164 representatives from 20 countries. The subjects of the courses were: pathology, nutrition, culture-based fisheries, post-harvest handling and preservation technology, reproduction, sector planning and management, and marine hatchery technology.
- 11 national courses in 6 countries with a total participation of 323 attendees. These courses were in the following subjects: mollusc culture, lakes and impoundment fishery management, post-harvest handling and preservation technology, nutrition, and culture of colossoma.
- 10 regional seminars of coordination and collaboration on Gracilaria culture, shrimp pathology, coastal lagoon management, inland water impoundment management, mollusc culture, and an Aquaculture Information Reference System (SIRIAC).
The FAO Regional Office in Santiago, Chile, organizes courses in aquaculture technologies through its Network for Technical Cooperation in Aquaculture. Technicians from Argentina, Brazil, Ecuador, and Peru have participated in courses on mollusc culture in controlled environments, and four training courses were held in Jamaica with participants of the region (Guyana, Suriname, and Belize). The Network has also funded the exchange of technical personnel; for example, Chile and Panama exchanged technicians to be trained in the culture of microalgae.
A number of countries have taken advantage of other UNDP/FAO regional courses. For example, three trainees (two from Panama and one from Chile) obtained the post-graduate qualification at the Network of Aquaculture Centres in Asia (NACA)/Southeast Asian Fisheries Development Center, Aquaculture Department one-year course in the Philippines; and four trainees (one each from Brazil, Panama, Mexico, and Peru) attended the four-month integrated farming course of NACA/Integrated Fish Farming Centre, Wuxi, in China.
The International Centre for Living Aquatic Resources Management and FAO maintain a database for institutions and courses in aquaculture and fisheries world-wide. Obviously, as yet incomplete, only six institutions of the region are listed on this database (in Chile, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Honduras, and Venezuela).
Non-technical subject matters of aquaculture such as sector planning, farm management, project formulation and evaluation, marketing, legislation, and methodology of extension have so far been neglected by most study programmes and curricula of the degrees offered by universities. This reflects the lack of expertise in these areas, all of which are vital for the development of the sector.
On the other hand, none of the national public management training institutions in the region has ever offered specialized courses for government aquaculture staff who, although already graduates, have little experience in the management of government institutions, aquaculture production units, hatcheries and laboratories, and credit programmes.
The Latin American Regional Aquaculture Centre in Brazil, was established by UNDP/FAO for the training of senior aquaculturists (mostly from government departments) but the course did not address aspects of management. In recognizing this deficiency, AQUILA has organized an annual Basic Course on Planning and Management of Aquaculture with the main objective of strengthening public administration capabilities in the planning and management of the sector. The first course was implemented in Mexico in 1988, and the second one was offered in 1989 in San Jose, Costa Rica.
Aquaculture research in Latin America is undertaken by three main groups of institutions, namely universities, national and regional administrations, and by the private sector. Most of the 1 000 - 1 500 researchers in Latin America are employed by universities. They cover a large spectrum of disciplines, species, and environments. However, the overwhelming majority of researchers are natural scientists, generally biologists. Although valuable in terms of its applied research efforts, the private sector probably is the smallest contributor to aquaculture research in Latin America, both in the number of man-years provided and the number of subjects covered.
Most university and public sector researchers have focused their experimental work on the adaptation and control of feeding, reproduction, and handling of crustaceans and molluscs. Optimal growth and handling of seaweeds is also a subject of research, as are microalgae, mainly as a source of larval feed.
Considerable effort continues to be directed toward finding local species suitable for culture. During the past decade this effort has resulted in the domestication (artificial reproduction and pond rearing) of the colossomids, some cichlids, and species of Prochilodus and Odonthestes.
While university-sponsored research frequently is basic in nature, that carried out in public fish culture stations aims to adapt already-described procedures to the local environment. However, lack of equipment effectively prevents researchers at many public sector fish culture stations from doing much more than elementary culture trials. Universities, which suffer shortages of funds and equipment, at times try to overcome these constraints by engaging overseas universities in joint research programmes.
Given the nature of the institutions involved and the type of research undertaken (often adaptation to culture of species not yet proven to be commercially viable) it is evident that financing is a problem. Both in universities and in the public sector, aquaculture researchers have to compete for research funds with researchers interested in capture fisheries and agriculture. The public sector researchers obtain their funds directly from the national budget (through the ministries concerned) or through National Research Councils. Nevertheless, during the past decade aquaculture researchers have benefited, in terms of the amounts obtained, by the relative novelty of their subject of investigation.
In Chile Fundación Chile has become a leading research and development organization for the sector. The Fundación now operates three stations, on Chiloe Island, Punta Arenas, and Curraco de Velez, and is involved in the production of trout at Lake Llanquihue, salmon production at Castro (Chiloe), and Pacific oyster production at Tongoy near Coquimbo. Government research is carried out by the Instituto de Fomento Pesquero on general development appropriate to resources of different regions, which includes salmon and oyster culture, restocking scallop beds, and cultivation and management of marine algal resources. It is also carrying out work on post-harvest technology, such as the use of shrimp residues to colour flesh of salmonids.
The Servicio Nacional de Pesca has an R & D section with 7 professionals and 12 technicians, most of whom work on the Chile/JICA programme for salmon enhancement in Aysen Province, and on the restocking of Gracilaria beds. The Faculty of Science in the Universidad del Norte at Coquimbo works on problems with culture of scallops, Pacific oyster, and Gracilaria. The Universidad Austral de Chile at Valdivia works on oyster and mussel culture. The Instituto Profesional de Osorno works on trout cultivation and on smolt production of salmon, as well as Gracilaria production.. The Universidad de Valparaiso works on depuration of shellfish, and the University of Conception on seaweed culture. The Catholic University of Santiago is working on both mollusc and seaweed projects, and the University of Iquique has just begun projects relevant to aquaculture development in the far north of the country.
In Argentina the Instituto Nacional de Investigación y Desarrollo Pesquero is attempting to adapt fish culture technology to conditions prevailing in some remote areas of the country, especially for black catfish and silverside. The University of Comahue is working on the adaptation of Percycthys spp. to culture conditions. The Instituto de Biología Marina y Pesquera "Almirante Storni" is conducting research on crustaceans (Artemia longinaris), shrimp (Plectieus muelleri), and molluscs (Chlamys spp., Mytilus spp., and Ostrea).
In Bolivia the University G.R. Moreno of Santa Cruz and the Universidad Mayor de San Simón have concentrated their research on surveys of the local aquatic biotic resources and on capture-based fisheries.
In Brazil research in aquaculture is widespread with participation by public and government institutions as well as universities. Until recently research was coordinated by the Superintendencia do Desenvolvimiento da Pesca, but recently it has been assimilated into the Brazilian Environment and Natural Renewable Resources Institute.
As noted in 4.1, Brazil became an early leader in developing aquaculture in the region through expansion of its research and training facilities. Several state universities have made valuable contributions to research through their competent researchers and physical facilities. This includes research in both marine and freshwater environments, and in tropical, sub-tropical, and high altitude zones thus giving broad coverage of conditions and groups of organisms. Some of these universities are the Federal University of Santa Catarina, the Federal University of Ceara, the Federal University of Rio Grande do Norte, of Rio Grande do Sul, and the University of São Paulo. Additionally, other public and private institutions or government agencies that conduct research are the Rio Grande State Agriculture and Livestock Research Centre, Instituto de Pesquisa Agropecuaria de Pernambuco, Superintendencia de Desenvolvimiento Pesqueiro, Compahnia de Desenvolvimiento do Vale do Sao Francisco, Centro Nacional de Información Agrícola, and CEPTA.
Through the support of AQUILA a publication was edited which contains a complete list of 2 898 references of the ongoing and published aquaculture research projects in Brazil.
In Colombia research has generally focused on the study of native species under the coordination of the Institut Nacional de Recursos Naturales. The Research Centre of Continental Tropical Fisheries of the University of Cordoba has done studies on the polyculture of several native species. The Regional Autonomous Corporations, such as that of Montería, conduct applied research on various topics (e.g. feeding of Prochilodus).
In Costa Rica the Escuela de Ciencias Biológicas of the National University at Heredia, and the Marine and Limnological Science Centre of the University of Costa Rica, focus their research work on the cultivation of molluscs. Both universities provide scientific support to the Aquaculture Department of the Ministry of Agriculture in the applied research conducted at its fish culture stations. The private sector appears to be more active in research than in most other countries of the region.
In Ecuador the Faculty of Natural Sciences of the University of Ecuador is conducting research on different aspects of shrimp culture in an attempt to provide scientific support to the industry. The Escuela Superior Politécnica del Litoral is also collaborating with the private sector in the solution of technological problems afflicting the industry.
In El Salvador research on aquaculture is the responsibility of the Centro de Desarrollo Pesquero and has centred on the adaptation of culture technologies for subsistence farmers, including evaluation of a polyculture practice based on a native cichlid.
In Mexico research on aquaculture is conducted by both universities and other research institutions, and by the National Fisheries Institute which, in turn, works in collaboration with the Aquaculture Directorate. The scope of research is extensive as it covers over 40 different species of organisms presently under culture. In an attempt to coordinate the activities of approximately 25 institutions involved in basic and applied research, a national committee was created to assign priorities and make recommendations to all parties concerned and organize an annual meeting to present and discuss the progress of its results.
In Panama, as in the rest of the Central American countries, research is almost entirely the responsibility of the Aquaculture Department/Division, as the national universities do not have adequate resources. The Aquaculture Directorate in Panama, through its various experimental aquaculture stations, has conducted a wide range of research covering all species presently cultured in the country. This applied research has been the basis upon which extension programmes have been founded. The University of Panama supports some of this research through its better equipped laboratories. At present, the shrimp culture private sector is relying on the Directorate for backstopping research on nutrition and pathology and in exchange provides financial support for the operation of laboratory facilities.
In Paraguay the Aquaculture Department of the Faculty of Veterinary Sciences of the National University of Asunción has only recently started research, as most of its previous activities have been involved with providing training and extension services.
In Peru research on aquaculture is the responsibility of the Marine Institute and of several universities among which the most active are the National Agrarian University of La Molina, through its Fish Culture Department, and the Veterinarian Tropical High Altitude Research Institute of Pucallpa. The former conducts research in marine aquaculture, trout, and on the use of waste waters for aquaculture among other subjects, while the latter works mostly on the adaptation of native species to culture conditions. Hatcheries and fish experimental stations provide support to research and extension programmes of the Aquaculture Department of the Ministry of Fisheries.
In Uruguay the Instituto Nacional de Pesca has been conducting research mainly on the cultivation of the native boquichico (Prochilodus nigricans) and on two cat fishes which are attracting attention as potential species for aquaculture (the black catfish, Pseudoplatystoma coruscans, and the bighead catfish, Stendachneridion scripta). Some research is also being conducted on mussels, and on marine and freshwater shrimps.
In Venezuela research on aquaculture has a long tradition and at present, in addition to various government institutions, 9 universities and one technological institute are conducting 51 research projects all coordinated by the Fondo Nacional de Investigaciones Agropecuarias. Some of these institutions are the Universidad de Oriente (with its various stations such as the Centro de Investigaciones Científicas in Boca de Río in Isla Margarita, where research on mullets, pompano, shrimp, and Artemia is conducted), the Universidad de Zulia, Universidad Simón Bolivar, Estación de Investigaciones Marinas de Mochima, Centro Occidental Lisandro Alvarado, Instituto de Tecnología del Mar, Universidad de Los Llanos, Instituto Universitario de Carupano, and the Instituto Universitario de Tecnología de Yaracuy.
Throughout the region there are a large number of national and agricultural development banks which have been established specifically to provide credit for agricultural and livestock production through loans made directly to farmers. Some, such as the Banco Centroamericano de Integración Económica, serve a number of countries in the Central American Common Market (CACM).
A number of agricultural banks (which are invariably associated with the principal national bank) are restricted to certain areas (states), or scale of enterprises (cooperatives, or small businesses). In other cases there are special credit funds, which are again sub-units of the principal banks restricted to certain sectors (industry, minerals, agriculture, etc.). However, most of these organizations now include fish farming and fish production within their brief, and have made loans to the sector.
The following appropriate national and agricultural development banks (excluding funds) exist in Argentina (1), Bolivia (1), Brazil (10), Chile (1), Colombia (2), Costa Rica (3), Ecuador (2), El Salvador (3), Guatemala (2), Guyana (1), Honduras (1), Mexico (2), Nicaragua (1), Panama (2), Paraguay (2), Peru (3), Suriname (1), and Venezuela (1),
In those countries with only small commercial aquaculture sectors one problem in the management of credit for the sector has been the absence of policies which fit the peculiarities of the specific activity. This has been particularly difficult with credit programmes for increasing fish culture among small-holders. Potential borrowers have had little previous contact with the formal banking sector, and policies of the banks do not often permit extended credit based on the collateral available to small-holders (the pond and the livestock). The corporate shrimp farmers, on the other hand, who are more used to banking policies and practices and have collateral (the land beneath the ponds), have used the credit arrangements provided by banks repeatedly.
ALA is the principal association for professionals in the region. It has 1 300 members representing some 200 institutions and companies from 27 countries, and is headquartered in Lima, Peru. ALA has organized a number of technical symposia since 1980. As yet ALA has not affiliated to WAS but this has been considered. However, many professionals in the region are members of WAS in their own right (as at 1987), including 47 from Ecuador, Mexico (17), Panama (13), Brazil (12), Colombia (9), Peru and Venezuela (4), Belize, Chile, and Guatemala (3), El Salvador (2), and Argentina and Nicaragua (1). Similarly many professionals from the region are members of the American Fisheries Society, which has a number of speciality sub-groups some of which are relevant to aquaculture (for example, fish culture and fish diseases).
In at least 10 Latin American countries (Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Guatemala, Mexico, Panama, Peru, and Venezuela) national aquaculture associations have been formed by professionals, mostly scientists and technologists. These associations endeavour to meet at least once a year.
Frequently part of the funds needed for these meetings is contributed by governments. During meetings not only technical issues are discussed, but also questions such as the role of aquaculture in the national (or regional) economy.
A number of scientific publications are produced by organizations and research centres in the region. The principal scientific journal is "Revista Latinoamericana de Acuicultura". This publication is one of the main outputs of the regional project for aquaculture of OLDEPESCA. It is published in Spanish. Others are "Avea", an information bulletin published by the Asociación Venezolana de Acuicultura (Venezuela), and "Aquarius", a bulletin published by OLDEPESCA from Lima, Peru.
The national councils for scientific and technical research as well as several research institutions (see 4.3) publish their own scientific journals or bulletins, or contribute to other journals on aquaculture. All of these are valuable sources of information for professionals particularly because they originate within the region.
Examples of these publications are "Tecnologica" produced by the Escuela Superior Politécnica del Litoral; "Actas Científicas del INDERENA", Colombia, Divulgación Pesquera; "Anales del Instituto de Biología" and "Anales del Centro de Ciencias del Mar y Limnología" of the National University, Mexico; "Informe Técnicos", Uruguay; "Memorias del Instituto Nacional de Investigación y Desarrollo Pesquero", Argentina; "Memorias del Centro de Investigación y Desarrollo Pesquero", Peru; and "Contribuciones Científicas", Centro de Investigaciones Científicas of the Universidad de Oriente, Venezuela. The "Informativo Chileno de Acuicultura" is sponsored by the Instituto Profesional de Osorno.
ALA has recently started to publish its own two-monthly bulletin "ALA Informativo" which is circulated to its 1 300 members, representing 100 institutions and 100 companies, and is financed by AQUILA.
Professionals are not limited to the publications published in the region and they have access, through personal or library membership and/or subscription, to a considerable volume of information about aquaculture because of their proximity to the North American and Caribbean regions. For example, the Universidad de la Habana, in Cuba, publishes "Ciencias - Investigaciones Marinas", which contains many papers on aquaculture.
There are few interregional publications with the exception of the INFOFISH Marketing Digest, a two-monthly magazine produced in association with INFOPESCA (see 1.6), which occasionally contains articles on aquaculture relevant to the region.
Most scientific and technical professionals are members of WAS, which is based in the USA. The Society has many affiliates, one of which is likely to be ALA, although this has yet to be finalized. Other affiliates are the Caribbean Aquaculture Association, and the Argentinian Aquaculture Association. The affiliates have reciprocal benefits from the parent organization and others, such as the European Aquaculture Society (EAS). WAS publishes the "Journal of the World Aquaculture Society", which is free to members, as well as a Newsletter. Most affiliates produce newsletters. WAS and EAS also produce special volumes on aquaculture technology which are available at reduced rates to members.
Other specialist journals on aquaculture are obtained on subscription. The main journals which deal with the subject are "Aquaculture" (the Netherlands); "Aquaculture and Fisheries Management", "Aquaculture Engineering", "Journal of Fish Biology", and "Journal of Fish Diseases" (UK); "Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences" (Canada); "Progressive Fish Culturist", and "Transactions of the American Fisheries Society" (USA).
The largest source of information for aquaculture professionals is FAO at its headquarters in Rome, Italy. The FAO Fisheries Department produces a series of publications, many of which are relevant to aquaculture. These are Fisheries Reports, Fisheries Technical Papers, and Fisheries Synopses. All titles are categorized and produced regularly. Some documents are free and others are priced.
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 Canada, the Federal Republic of Germany, France, and the USA. It is also available on compact disc. Aquaculture Abstracts from ASFA are available also in printed form through subscription.
The FAO Fisheries Departmental Library is probably the largest repository of books on fisheries and related topics, many of which are on aquaculture subjects. It also maintains a large serial collection of all subjects related to fish and fisheries from fisheries institutes, government departments, and commercial publishers throughout the world. It also maintains a special collection of documents on a country basis and subject files.
In the region the main sources of aquaculture information are the (departmental) libraries of the universities, but invariably as components of other subjects (fisheries, agriculture, marine biology, etc.). Such is the case, for example, in Brazil, Chile (and in the government library of Corporación de Fomento Pesquero), Costa Rica, Mexico, Panama, and Peru (Instituto del Mar and the Fisheries Development Institute).
In recognizing the needs of exchange of information on aquaculture among researchers and professionals, AQUILA instituted a Reference System for Aquaculture Research (SIRIAC) compatible with CARIS/FAO (Current Agricultural Research Information System). National research institutions, individual researchers, libraries and other documentation centres have been invited to submit information on current aquaculture research in order to form the database of this information system compiled in MICRO/CDS/ISI software distributed by Unesco. Initially 6 countries (Brazil, Cuba, Mexico, Panama, Peru, and Venezuela) participated in this project, although it is envisaged that all other countries of the region will eventually integrate themselves into SIRIAC, which would thus constitute one of the main sources of information for professionals and researchers within the region. Mexico is the designated host for SIRIAC.
Amongst technical assistance activities at this sub-sectoral level dealing with national infrastructure, support has been directed mainly at research and training in aquaculture technologies.
Aquaculture research has received widespread assistance (both geographically and technically) from the International Foundation for Science (IFS), which is based in Stockholm, Sweden. IFS support usually takes the form of research grants of US$ 10 000-15 000 per project. At present IFS is funding Latin American aquaculture researchers in the following topics (some of which cross-reference): 7 research projects in reproduction of aquatic animals; 13 in nutrition; 6 in the culture of crustaceans; 9 in mollusc culture, and 6 in the culture of seaweeds. These individuals are at institutions in Bolivia (1), Brazil (2), Chile (9), Colombia (1), Costa Rica (2), Mexico (1), Nicaragua (1), Panama (2), Peru (3), and Venezuela (1). Most recipients of IFS grants are at national universities. Their research is basic in nature but usually concerns either a species or a subject of direct relevance to local aquaculture.
USAID has been a substantial source of technical assistance in the region either directly in research, or through post-graduate training in aquaculture at universities in the USA, particularly Auburn University and the University of Rhode Island. Currently USAID continues support for the CRSP project on pond dynamics in El Salvador and, until recently, in Panama. Panama has also been the host of some technical courses funded by USAID.
Since 1986 AQUILA has been funded by the Government of Italy, and implemented by FAO. Its principal objectives are concerned with providing support to priority production areas and to their corresponding promotional structures. AQUILA also aims to strengthen the countries' governmental capabilities in sector planning and policy formulation to foster aquaculture development in the region. The project has also produced and disseminated aquaculture information in the region through the establishment of networks in priority research areas, and in training on priority topics including planning and management. The project is based in Brazil but its activities have covered 19 countries of the region.
CIDA supports the development of information systems and research on regional freshwater fish (nutrition and reproductive physiology) at CEPTA in Pirassununga, Brazil. This work began in association with the FAO Regional Aquaculture Centre but continued after the regional project ended in 1986. IDRC continues to support research and training at Pirassununga. IDRC also supported considerable research on molluscs and marine algae at the Catholic University in its Marine Research Station of Las Cruzes in Chile. The IDRC maintains a regional network of aquaculture institutions based in Colombia which coordinates technical assistance activities and research projects.
The Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries of the Netherlands is assisting in the prefeasibility study of commercial shrimp culture in Costa Rica, and in fish culture (colossomids) in Panama and the Dominican Republic. UNDP is assisting Mexico in the development of national planning in the sector and in training. FAO, through its Technical Cooperation Programme, is assisting Suriname in the development of shrimp farming in coastal areas.
GTZ continues to support research on oyster and mussel culture at the Universidad Austral de Chile, at Valdivia.
JICA has supported considerable research in aquaculture in Chile, initially through the joint Chile/JICA programme for salmon enhancement, but subsequently in a range of fields. Much of this has been through government research centres, but also at the Universidad del Norte at Coquimbo.
ODA is continuing to provide support to the region through several training programmes and through joint research and development projects, mainly in Bolivia and Mexico.
A programming meeting on Technical Cooperation among Developing Countries in Aquaculture for Latin America and the Caribbean, sponsored by UNDP in collaboration with the Latin American Economic System (SELA) and OLDEPESCA, has recently been held (June 1989). Through this event, 4 priority areas of horizontal cooperation in aquaculture among 19 countries were established. In this meeting 9 training courses, 52 technical assistance activities, 27 agreements on the exchange of species, and 11 joint projects of regional interest, respectively, were negotiated by the authorized representatives of all the participating countries and an agreement was reached to request financial assistance from bilateral and international donor agencies. In addition to the IDB, institutions and governments of Cameroon, Canada, China, Hungary, Spain, Thailand, the United Kingdom, and Yugoslavia indicated their interest and willingness to cooperate with the region according to their own capabilities.
Bilateral agencies (particularly CIDA and IDRC from Canada, and USAID from the USA) mostly provide capital assistance to the region through technical equipment (and some outdoor ponds), particularly to the established aquaculture research centres managed by the public sector. Little if any capital assistance has been given to constructing infrastructure, particularly at training institutions where support has often been conditional (and particularly for multilateral assistance) on the host governments providing all funds for physical infrastructure.
One exception is JICA which has provided construction capital (US$ 5 million) for a new research complex of laboratories and hatchery for the Universidad del Norte at Coquimbo in the La Serena region. It has also supplied research vessels for aquaculture work, and fully equipped the laboratories. JICA is also providing about US$ 5 million for the construction of an aquaculture training and trout culture centre in Bolivia.
In the last decade more capital assistance for research has probably been provided to countries of Central America than to South America.
The IDB contributed to the expansion of Panama's Enrique Ensenat Research Centre in Aguadulce, including additional ponds, an improved water supply system, a hatchery, nutrition research facilities, and an expanded chemical laboratory. Panama has also constructed a research station with the assistance of the Taiwan Development Agency.