Since it’s inception in 1986, the Center for Tropical and Subtropical Aquaculture has had a significant impact on the advancement of U.S. aquaculture technology. Some of the Center’s more notable research accomplishments are highlighted below:
• Under the auspices of CTSA, researchers successfully closed the life cycles of and artificially propagated the Pacific threadfin (moi) and Amberjack (kahala). Both species have historical importance in Hawaii but have become difficult to find in the wild due to overfishing.
• CTSA sponsored research has resulted in the diversification and expansion of the freshwater fish industry in Hawaii. Research on tilapia, catfish, koi, pacu, and swordtails has led to increased understanding and efficient propagation of these species.
• Black Pearl oyster culture has been successfully introduced in the Federated States of Micronesia and the Marshall Islands. Under the ongoing FSM portion of this project, pearl culture technology has been significantly improved and three community-run pearl farms have been established. More than thirty local Micronesian technicians have received extensive training in hatchery technology, husbandry, grafting, and accessory making, resulting in the establishment of a sustainable industry to enhance the fledgling local economy.
• Research on marine ornamentals, including feather duster worms, soft and hard corals, yellow tangs, and flame angelfish, has resulted in new culture technology and helped to decrease pressure on wild stocks of these important reef species.
• The extension work of giant clam farming in the Marshall Islands has resulted in the establishment of ornamental giant clam businesses.
• Extension work has led to the establishment of several aquaculture operations throughout the U.S. Affiliated Pacific Islands. Production and dissemination of extension publications has helped farmers learn new technology, mitigate disease outbreaks, and build capacity.
• Support for an aquaponics project at the University of Hawaii has stimulated great interest in similar work throughout the region, which can help to increase food security and revenues for rural communities.
• Ongoing research into aquatic animal feeds has resulted in the development of more environmentally-sound aquaculture diets. One project recently created a new feed for shrimp that replaces a portion of wild-caught fishmeal protein with locally sourced papaya rinds.
• More than ten project years of Disease Management has effectively mitigated diseases for a variety of aquacultured species, resulting in fewer outbreaks of pathogenic viruses, ectoparasites, and other harmful aquatic diseases. Other outputs of disease management include new immunization technology and establishment of new cell lines. The project also facilitated the exportation of Specific Pathogen Free (SPF) shrimp broodstock worldwide to the shrimp farming and research industries, especially in Asia.
Impact details can be found in individual project reports.