* ICLARM is now known as WorldFish Center

Naga - The ICLARM Quarterly
Vol. 23, No. 3 (July - September 2000)

Partnerships In Research

The world today faces the challenge of feeding its growing population, eradicating poverty and sustainable and equitable use of its natural resources.  With the increasing demand for aquatic products has come the realization that many of the aquatic habitats have been degraded and most fish stocks have either been overexploited or reached maximum sustainable yields.  Researchers and planners today are faced with the challenge of coming up with solutions for arresting the degradation of resources and at the same time increasing their productivity to meet the gap between supply and demand.

While the problems facing the sector are daunting, the resources available to national systems to address the problems in many cases are inadequate.  At a time when investments in research by national and donor agencies are on the decline, there is an urgent need for better utilization of scarce resources, quicker gains from strategic research and matching of complementary skills of scientists/institutions, underscoring the importance of national, regional and global institutions for resolving the constraints that deter the development and attainment of product potential.

*ICLARM has taken the approach of addressing common/strategic issues through multi-country, multi-site regional research projects.  An example is the project being implemented in eight countries of South and Southeast Asia for developing appropriate strategies and action plans for rehabilitating coastal fish stocks.  The project partners and *ICLARM have come up with a database of trawl catches incorporating information collected over a number of decades that will assist in developing national and regional strategies for the management of coastal fish stocks.                 

Another example is the regional collaborative effort for genetic improvement of carp species in Asia in which six countries from South and Southeast Asia are participating.  Studies undertaken resulted in prioritization of species, traits and farming systems for genetic enhancement research.  Improved germplasm is being exchanged among countries in the region for research and development, complying with the Material Transfer Agreements.

*ICLARM has taken the initiative of forming the Group of Fisheries and Aquatic Research (GoFAR) in which 14 countries from the Asia and Pacific and regional and international organizations are partipating with the aim of identifying regional priorities in research and capacity building, addressing issues of common interest among agriculture and fisheries sectors and building linkages between national research systems and the regional/international organizations.  What is needed is more of such partnerships among scientists/institutions/countries.                                 

It may be mentioned here that publication of this issue of NAGA was delayed due to relocation of *ICLARM headquarters from Manila, Philippines to Penang, Malaysia in February 2000. We are making all efforts to bring back the publication on due dates. We hope the readers will bear with us for the delay.

Modadugu V. Gupta

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