The project involves China, Indonesia, Thailand and Viet Nam and aims to assist development of sustainable grouper/Asian seabass farming systems in these countries, writes Simon Wilkinson for the Network of Aquaculture Centres in Asia-Pacific. An inception planning workshop for the project was held in Krabi, Thailand, hosted by the Thai Government.
The inception planning workshop was convened to:
- Discuss the project concept, rationale, outputs and activities.
- Finalize questionnaires for livelihood analysis of trash fish/low-value fish (hereafter referred to as ‘low value fish’ which is more accurate) suppliers and environmental impact assessment components.
- Discuss and finalize the methodology to study the farmers’ perception on the use of low-value fish vs formulated feeds.
- Determine the in-country logistics of conducting different project components and to finalize the survey plans for each country.
- Reach agreement on and to finalize the overall work plan including time frame of implementation and responsibilities of all project holders.
- Identify important issues/problems to be addressed before launching the field activities.
The workshop included presentations on mariculture in the four participating countries, i.e. China, Indonesia, Thailand and Viet Nam highlighting the status of the sector and importance of the present TCP for its sustainable development. Presentations were also made on environmental impact assessment, surveys and livelihood analysis of low-value fish suppliers and rapid rural appraisal (RRA) of the farmers’ perception on the use of low value fish as opposed to compounded pellet feeds.
During the plenary session, extensive discussions were held on the design, scope and strategies for implementation of different project activities with country specific considerations. Some related logistic and procedural issues were also discussed. The workshop agreed on: i) the extent on the information to be collected for livelihood analysis of low value fish supplier, ii) type, size and location of samples for livelihood analysis survey in respective countries, iii) methodology of RRA for the farmers’ perception study, iv) methodology of environmental impact assessment including type of water quality monitoring, sample size and frequency of data collection, and v) a broad framework for farmer’s participatory trials including the selection of site in each country, type of species, number of farms, cage size, duration of growth cycle and monitoring requirements.