News & Events

Regional e-Notes: April Letter from the Director

Apr 26, 2018

Aloha & Happy Earth Month!

As I reflect on the annual celebration of Earth Day/Month, my thoughts center on the delicate relationship between humans and the limited natural resources of our planet.

To adapt to the unique circumstances in the Pacific region, we need to continually develop food production technologies that effectively use our limited natural resources. We also need to consider using alternate resources that are available in abundance. To this end, CTSA regularly supports research efforts to utilize local waste products as resources for aquatic feeds. For example, an ongoing project is using brewer’s waste to produce a fungal-based feed for fish and shrimp. What other innovative technologies could we utilize? During a recent conversation, a friend mentioned an impressive and innovative aquaculture practice in Singapore, where expired human food is converted into fish food, thereby reducing food waste and producing valuable protein for human consumption.

Investing in this type of development can help our communities reduce carbon footprint and increase resilience in the face of a changing climate. It can also improve food security and decrease our reliance on imported seafood. We import more than 50% of the food consumed in our region, including seafood. Securing our food supply and concurrently reducing our carbon foot print and wastes should be our common goal.

During my recent visit to the Western Pacific Islands I found out through advertising that imported poultry meat has replaced traditional healthy seafood in many local diets. I was informed that one of the main reasons for this occurance is the decrease of wild seafood supply throughout the region. We must work together to produce food from our only abundant natural resource: the ocean. Now is the time for the United States to invest in producing safe and sustainable seafood through aquaculture. We look forward to seeing the ideas that researchers will present to carry out this work in our region during the FY18 funding cycle!

Mahalo,

Cheng-Sheng Lee, Ph.D.
Executive Director, CTSA