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[1998 Naga Award Competition]

The ICLARM Quarterly
January-March 1999, Vol. 22, No. 1


    ICLARM is now calling for submissions for the Naga Award competition. The award is given to a scientific paper or book on any aspect of fisheries and/or aquatic resources, written within the last five years, that has had an impact in the field of fisheries science. We are looking forward to receiving nominations for the 1998 Naga Award. The winning entry will be announced in 1999.

     ICLARM itself is very proud to be one of the joint recipients of the CGIAR (Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research) Chairman's 1998 Excellence in Science Award for Scientific Partnership. ICLARM and its partners in government, nongovernment and national research institutions in several countries worked together over 10 years to breed an improved strain of the Nile tilapia through selective breeding techniques. The new strain developed is suited to many tropical environments and has the potential to greatly enhance the productivity and profitability of small-scale aquaculture in developing countries (more on p. 53). We see this award as a very positive step in our efforts to direct attention and recognition to the fact that fish and other aquatic resources are a very important part of the world's food supply and employment potential and must, therefore, be part of any global models and plans for advances in agricultural research and development to feed the world.

     Although scientific research by itself is rewarding for the scientists and for enhancing the world's stock of knowledge, it becomes doubly so when its applicability and benefits can be directly demonstrated in ameliorating one of the major human concerns today—food security. In a follow-on project, this improved tilapia breed has already demonstrated its potential in field trials in Bangladesh, China, Thailand and Vietnam. Fisheries organizations in these and several other countries have started to introduce the breed into their aquaculture systems and to do further research on developing breeds more suitable to their specific conditions. The selective breeding technique is also going to be extended and applied to carp—another highly prized and widely consumed fish in developing countries like China and India.

     We would like to congratulate all the individuals and organizations that have worked together to achieve this and hope that our "partnerships" will result in many such successes.


Checklist of the Shore Fishes of the Mentawai Islands,  Nias Island and the Padang Region of West Sumatra
A. Kunzmann, J.E. Randall and I. Suprihanto


This paper presents a checklist of reef fishes of West Sumatra and adjacent provinces. The list includes 362 species of 143 genera and 46 families and contains seven new records and nine probable new species for Indonesia. It also uses information from sources only available in Bahasa Indonesia. The relative paucity of the fish fauna in West Sumatra seems to be related to the habitat destruction caused by illegal fishing with explosives or poisons such as cyanide.

A. Kunzmann is from the Institute of Polar Ecology, Wischofstr, 1-3, g12, 24148, Kiel Germany; J.E. Randall is from the Bishop Museum, 1525 Bernice St., Honolulu, Hawaii 96817, USA, and I. Suprihanto is from Simpul I, JI. Sumatera Ulak Karang, Padang 25114, Indonesia.

Seaweed Industry in India
P. Kaladharan and N. Kaliaperumal


The seaweed industry in India is mainly a cottage industry and is based only on the natural stock of agar yielding red seaweeds, such as Gelidiella acerosa and Gracilaria edulis, and algin yielding brown seaweed species such as Sargassum and Turbinaria. India produces 110-132 t of dry agar annually utilizing about 880-1 100 t of dry agarophytes, and 360-540 t of algin from 3 600-5 400 t of dry alginophytes.

P. Kaladharan and N. Kaliaperumal are from the Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute, Kochi-682 014, India.

Network of Tropical Aquaculture Fisheries Professionals (NTAFP) Section

Aquabyte (Aquaculture Section of NTAFP)


This issue contains papers dealing with causative agents for epizootic ulcerative syndrome in finfish, ecology and feeding habits of some aquaculture species and hybridization as a method for increasing growth in groupers, all elements with a potential for increasing aquaculture production. The emphasis today is on research aimed not only at increasing production but also sustaining the ecological integrity of aquatic resources for sustained production. Discussions in symposiums held recently and planned for the near future highlight this emphasis. I am sure that network members are giving due importance to this aspect in their research.

Dr. M.V. Gupta

Is Epizootic Ulcerative Syndrome (EUS) Specific Fungus of Fishes a Primary Pathogen? - An Opinion
C.V. Mohan, K.M. Shankar and K.S. Ramesh


Earlier findings on epizootic ulcerative syndrome (EUS) and the present observation of the authors on transmission of EUS to snakehead (Channa sp.) without skin damage provide evidence to suggest that the invasive fungus associated with EUS is a primary pathogen.

C.V. Mohan, K.M. Shankar and K.S. Ramesh are from the Fish Pathology Laboratory, Department of Aquaculture, College of Fisheries, Mangalore 575 002, India.

Potential of Grouper Hybrid (Epinephelus fuscoguttatus x E. polyphekadion)  for Aquaculture
C.M. James, S.A. Al-Thobaiti, B.M. Rasem and M.H. Carlos


The marine grouper species are considered high value food fish in several countries. However, controlled breeding and hatchery production of grouper fingerlings for commercial farming is still in its infancy. Investigations on the growth performance of the brown marbled grouper Epinephelus fuscoguttatus (Forskal), camouflage grouper E. polyphekadion (Bleeker) and their hybrid (E. fuscoguttatus x E. polyphekadion) under hatchery and growout culture conditions indicate the potential of grouper hybrids for aquaculture.

C.M. James, S.A. Al-Thobaiti, B.M. Rasem and M.H. Carlos are from the Fish Farming Centre, Ministry of Agriculture and Water and FAO Under Secretariat for Fisheries Affairs, PO Box 9612, Jeddah 21423, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

Study on Feeding Habits of Piaractus mesopotamicus (Pacu) Larvae in Fish Ponds
L.H. Sipaúba-Tavares and F.M. de S. Braga


A limnological study of an artificial fish pond and an analysis of the stomach contents of pacu (Piaractus mesopotamicus) larvae of 2 to 45 days age were made for a period of 45 days to evaluate their feeding preferences. A preference for chlorophytes and rotifers was noted, while other planktonic species remained constant in the stomach contents. Some limnological variables were found to have a strong influence on the feeding behavior of the pacu. A preference for feeding on smaller species in the first few days of larval development was also noted.

L.H. Sipaúba-Tavares is from Universidade Estadual Paulista (UNESP, Centro de Aqüicultura), Rodovia Carlos Tonanni km 14870-000, Jaticabal, SP, Brazil. F.M. de S. Braga is from Universidade Estadual Paulista (UNESP, Depto. De Zoologia), Av. 24 A 1515, 13500-000, Rio Claro, SP, Brazil.

Preliminary Observation on Culture of Penaeus monodon in Low-Saline Waters
S.B. Saha, S.B. Bhattacharyya and A. Choudhury


The feasibility of semi-intensive culture of Penaeus monodon in low saline environment was investigated by comparing the growth and production in low (0.16 - 6.52 ppt) and high (4.60 - 19.42 ppt) saline areas at two stocking densities (10.5 and 16 individuals/m2). After 135 days of culture, yield of shrimp in low and high stocking densities was 1 563.37 kg/ha and 2 274 kg/ha, respectively, in low saline ponds, and 1 173.00 kg/ha and 1 974.00 kg/ha, respectively, in high saline ponds. Food conversion ratio (FCR, 1.31 - 1.58) and specific growth rate (SGR 21.04 - 21.19%) were higher in low saline ponds as compared to high saline ponds (FCR, 1.35 - 1.68; SGR, 19-22 - 19.88%). Growth of shrimp was satisfactory in low saline ponds even when salinity decreased after 60 days of culture to almost freshwater level (0.16 ppt) indicating the viability of semi-intensive culture of P. monodon in low saline environment.

S.B. Saha is a Senior Scientific  Officer of Bangladesh Fisheries Research Institute, Rangamati - 4500, Bangaldesh; S.B. Bhattacharyya is Farm Manager, Mari-Gold Aqua, Haroa, 24-Parganas (N), WB, India and A. Choudhury is General Secretary, S.D. Marine Biological Research Institute, Bamankhali, Sagar Island -743 373, 24-Parganas (S), WB, India.

Fishbyte (Fisheries Section of NTAFP)


Spreadsheets are being increasingly used by fisheries scientists and one of the masters of the game is Tony Pitcher from the Fisheries Centre, UBC. The use of spreadsheets has been promoted by the FAO/Danida Training Courses in Fish Stock Assessment, and they are indeed excellent for creating an understanding of the underlying calculations.  Because of the ease of building applications in spreadsheet they are also a very convenient tool for the experienced user. Needless to say there is a danger associated with them with regard to quality control. Errors can be easily introduced and it is difficult to verify results from such analyses. As creation of software is becoming a more and more complex task, we need to consider when it is best to use spreadsheets and when distributed software. We hope that Prof. Pitcher’s contribution will help to stimulate this discussion.

Mr. G. Silvestre and Dr. V. Christensen

Length-Weight Relationships of Demersal Fishes from the Gulf of  Salamanca, Colombia
L.O. Duarte, C.B. García, N. Sandoval,  D. von Schiller, G. Melo and P. Navajas


The parameters a and b of the length-weight relationship of the form W=aLb are presented for 37 fish species, belonging to 17 families, caught during a demersal trawl survey over the period December 1995 to March 1998 in the Gulf of Salamanca, Colombia.

L.O. Duarte, C.B. García, N. Sandoval, D. von Schiller, G. Melo and P. Navajas are from the Instituto de Investigaciones Marinas y Costeras INVEMAR, A.1016, Santa Marta, Colombia S.

Beverton and Holt Equations: Spreadsheet Functions and Uncertainty
T.J. Pitcher


This contribution illustrates how modern spreadsheets aid the calculation and visualization of yield models and how the effects of uncertainties may be incorporated using Monte Carlo simulation. It is argued that analogous approaches can be implemented for other assessment models of simple to medium complexity—justifying wider use of spreadsheets in fisheries analysis and training.

T.J. Pitcher is Director of the Fisheries Centre, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada.

Length-Weight Relationship of Fishes from  Yemen Waters (Gulf of Aden and Red Sea)
H. al Sakaff and M. Esseen

no abstract

Occurrence and Distribution of Fish Species off Yemen (Gulf of Aden and Arabian Sea)
H. al Sakaff and M. Esseen

no abstract