News & Events

Regional e-Notes: March Letter from the Director

Mar 28, 2019

Aloha,

Introducing new and innovate approaches to aquaculture industry needs is always a top priority in my work. This month, I have spent a significant amount of time communicating with researchers across disciplines to discover new and different ideas and technology that can be innovatively applied to solve some of our biggest issues. I am now working with these researchers to develop a few proposals to Sea Grant to advance aquaculture in our region.

At the same time, our CTSA team has begun developing the priority areas for the next round of funding. I thank those of you who have already submitted your comments via our survey, and encourage those who have not yet participated to complete our survey before Friday April 5. Our Request for Pre-Proposals will be released in the April issue of e-notes. Aside from the specific FY19 priorities defined in the Request, our primary goal remains the same: to advance aquaculture in our region.

Earlier this month I attended the Aquaculture 2019 conference in New Orleans. This year’s Triennial meeting combined the annual meetings of the World Aquaculture Society, National Shellfisheries Association, Fish Culture Section of the American Fisheries Society, and the National Aquaculture Association. The event - which celebrated the 50th anniversary of the World Aquaculture Society - was attended by 3,500 participants from 84 countries, and featured 104 technical sessions with 1,350 speakers and 225 posters, as well as a trade show with 205 booths. I thoroughly enjoyed the meeting for both its technical program as well as the opportunity to see old and meet new friends. In addition to useful information on new advancements in our industry, there were thought-provoking talks and discussions on community acceptance of aquaculture.

Industry consensus is that a social license is critical for sustainable aquaculture to effectively address some of the serious problems facing our planet. In the Pacific Islands, we are surrounded by ocean, and have thus been an integral part of meeting global seafood demands. We can continue contributing to the food supply for generations to come by incorporating more sustainable aquaculture into our food systems. But we must first gain public support from within our local communities, and deal with the alarming pollution from plastic in the ocean. Then, we can really depend on seafood to feed the ever-increasing global population. To this end, I am looking forward to our CTSA activities this year – we promise to keep things exciting, all with the same ultimate goal to increase food security and advance aquaculture in our region.

Mahalo,

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