- Animals: fish, shellfish
- Animal Production: feed/forage, feed formulation, probiotics
- Education and Training: extension, farmer to farmer, mentoring, networking
- Farm Business Management: cooperatives, marketing management, whole farm planning
- Natural Resources/Environment: riverbank protection
- Pest Management: biological control, chemical control, disease vectors, economic threshold, prevention, sanitation
- Soil Management: soil quality/health
- Sustainable Communities: new business opportunities, urban agriculture, community services, employment opportunities, sustainability measures
Guam, the Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas Islands, and American Samoa have growing aquaculture industries (in excess of 500,000 pounds/year). In all three areas, most seed-stock are imported, primarily from Asian countries or Hawaii. This practice increases the chance of the introduction of an exotic organism or disease and could lead to substantial environmental damage and severe negative impact to their commercial aquaculture industries. In Guam, shrimp white spot disease has already been introduced from imported shrimp. Local hatchery production would reduce the risk of disease introduction and purchasing poor quality stocks from foreign hatcheries. Environmental conditions for grow-out of aquaculture species in Guam, CNMI, and American Samoa parallel those of Thailand. Other species, important in Guam, American Samoa, and the CNMI, such as marine shrimp, freshwater prawns, and catfish, are commonly cultured in Asia. As such it would contribute significantly to the knowledge base of extension agents and others involved in aquaculture production, to see and learn from these resources. The production of a training manual and video (tape and DVD) will provide the necessary tools needed by extension personnel and others (NRCS, FSA, Dept. Agriculture) to disseminate information to aquaculture producers and policy makers. METHODS: The first phase of this project will be to arrange an inland aquaculture study tour with the Asian Institute of Technology in Bangkok, Thailand. This 10-day tour will consist of visits to commercial aquaculture farms and research and hatchery facilities in Thailand. The group taking the tour will consist of 12 persons including extension personnel and farmers from the CNMI, Guam, and American Samoa and a media production specialist, to capture video and still photos. The media specialist will work with the PI, prior to the trip, to establish a shot list and begin development of an outline for the training manual and video. The second phase of the project will be production of a training manual and video (VHS tape and DVD). All participants will contribute to the script and preview and evaluate video footage prior to final production. All extension agents will participate in the production of the training manual. The third phase will consist of a series of workshops in Guam, American Samoa, and the CNMI for producers, extension agents, and other interested persons. All participants from the study tour will participate in each workshop within their respective area (Guam, CNMI, American Samoa). EVALUATION: Progress on the project will be evaluated bi-monthly. A faculty member in the College of Natural & Applied Sciences, who is not directly involved in this project, will conduct the evaluation. All participants in this project will be provided with evaluation instruments to evaluate the level of knowledge gained during the farm tours in Thailand. The production of the training manual and video will be evaluated prior to its final production. The content of the training materials will be reviewed, by 5 or more specialists in aquaculture production (scientists, extension specialists, etc.) and 5 commercial producers (from Guam, CNMI, American Samoa, and Hawaii).
Project objectives from proposal:
- OBJECTIVES: 1) Provide training for extension, faculty, staff, and field personnel of NRCS, FSA, and other USDA offices, farmers, and other agriculture/aquaculture professionals in Guam, American Samoa, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas Islands (CNMI) in commercial aquaculture grow-out and hatchery production techniques used in Asia. 2) Produce training manual of grow-out methods used in Asia. 3) Produce videotape and DVD of commercial aquaculture technology used in Asia. 4) Conduct 2 workshops in Guam, 3 workshops in the Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas Islands, and 2 workshops in American Samoa to disseminate information to government agencies and other farmers.E) EXPECTED OUTCOMES/IMPACTS Expected outcomes resulting from this project include: Short Term: The information and skills obtained on the study tour will provide tremendous insight to the participants and will allow them to utilize this new knowledge to advance the aquaculture industry in their island. They will have received knowledge from an industry that is hundreds of years old. This history and experience will be valuable for current and future growth. The 12 agents and farmers participating in the study tour will satisfy the first objective (Provide training for extension, faculty, staff, and field personnel of NRCS, FSA, and other USDA offices, farmers, and other agriculture/aquaculture professionals in Guam, American Samoa, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas Islands (CNMI) in commercial aquaculture grow-out and hatchery production techniques used in Asia. They, in turn, will provide training to other agriculture professionals and farmers. The production of the video and training manual as a product output will provide awareness of sustainable aquaculture practices to 100 or more persons in each island. All producers (100%) from the core group, including producers, will participate in training other producers and ag professionals. At least 60% of the workshop participants in each island will improve their understanding of advanced sustainable practices and its implication to their operation and their island environment. Medium Term: The project video and training manual will be requested from other islands and states as a training and information resource in sustainable aquaculture practices. Five extension agents or ag professionals from the core group will conduct workshops in the year following the project. Two extension agents will serve as advisors for future Farmer/Rancher grants or will submit proposals for extramural finding for aquaculture projects. Two producers trained in the project will serve as advisors to other producers and will assist in workshops in the year following the project. Long Term: Community-based planning efforts in aquaculture will focus on sustainability. Other agriculture production fields will incorporate sustainability as a central focus in development plans. Communities will develop agriculture in urban areas, through schools, clubs, and community groups, using sustainability as a theme.