* ICLARM is now known as WorldFish Center

Network of Tropical Aquaculture and Fisheries Professionals (NTAFP) Formed

After functioning separately for more than a decade, the Network of Tropical Fisheries Scientists (NTFS) and the Network of Tropical Aquaculture Scientists (NTAS)-both coordinated by *ICLARM-have merged to form the Network of Tropical Aquaculture and Fisheries Professionals (NTAFP). The move, which took effect at the beginning of 1998, was instituted to consolidate efforts and resources in the management of the networks by *ICLARM and to include professionals from the private sector and nongovernment organizations (NGOs) working in tropical aquaculture and fisheries. With the increasing involvement of private individuals and NGOs, be it for sustainable management of resources or for income-generating activities, professionals from these sectors can contribute significantly to information exchange among the network's members.

NTAFP will continue to pursue the aim of bringing together scientists and professionals who work in isolation and have difficulty in accessing relevant information. Specifically, the two networks aim to:

  • enhance communication among fisheries scientists working on the assessment, conservation and management of tropical stocks and among aquaculture scientists engaged in tropical research, especially in genetics, integrated agriculture-aquaculture farming systems and coastal aquaculture;
  • assist the scientists in information and database searches, research, distributing manuals and other literature, data analysis and interpretation; and
  • publish some of the research findings of members in the Fishbyte (formerly NTFS newsletter) and Aquabyte (formerly NTAS newsletter) sections of Naga, the *ICLARM Quarterly. NTAFP will continue publishing articles on fisheries and aquaculture-related topics in Fishbyte and Aquabyte, respectively. These will include papers on scientific investigations, reports on case studies and news on topics that include management, population dynamics, culture and culture technologies, genetics, socioeconomics, marketing, environmental impact, policy issues, etc.

NTAFP membership is open to scientists engaged in research and professionals working on:
(1) assessment, conservation and management of tropical stocks; and
(2) tropical aquaculture.

Network members will be provided with selected literature relevant to their field(s) of work, excluding textbooks but including unpublished reports, data sets and reprints of out-of-print papers. Where possible, *ICLARM will act as distributor of manuals and software prepared by other organizations and individuals. Members will automatically be given free subscription to Naga, to be sent by surface mail. To facilitate information exchange among members, Internet access and other forms of electronic media are being explored as alternative and faster means of communications and interaction among members. Smaller thematic groups-based on identified fields/areas of interest of the members-will be formed within which members can organize discussion groups on current issues on various topics and be kept updated on the latest information via the Internet. NTAFP is coordinated and funded by *ICLARM. Efforts are currently being made to source funding from donor agencies for enlarging the activities of the network.

Membership in NTAFP is free. The only expectation from members is their willingness to discuss their work and respond to inquiries from fellow members, for a  more interactive, two-way exchange of information.