News & Events

Regional e-Notes: May Letter from the Director

May 31, 2020


As we prepare to enter a third month of ‘modified movement’ in society, my team and I hope that this newsletter finds you safe and sound. As I said last month, the tragic toll of the global pandemic cannot be understated, and we send our condolences and healing thoughts to all who are experiencing hardship. With a major spotlight on food security, we all know that farmers and other essential workers in the food supply chain continue to work through these challenging times, and we share our gratitude to you for keeping food on our tables.

Like most things at the moment, some aspects of this year’s development process will be out of the ordinary, but CTSA is continuing our work and pressing on to prepare the FY20 Plan of Work. As we mentioned in last month’s newsletter, the FY20 Request for Pre-Proposals was released earlier this month via the CTSA website. There is an announcement included in this month’s issue as well - please note, if you are interested in submitting a Pre-Proposal, you must complete and submit our new Pre-Proposal form (which can be downloaded at the website link or via request to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)) by next Friday, June 5. We will then move to the next phase of development through the aid of digital technology by holding our first ever virtual Industry Advisory Council and Technical Committee meeting via Zoom. We are looking forward to reconnecting with our members in this ‘new normal.’ We are also assisting our researchers to host a virtual Rabbitfish workshop in June (announcement below).

Last month, I had the pleasure of participating in the University of Guam (UOG) Island Sustainability Conference via a similar digital platform. Even though we were not in the same room, we still managed to have a very constructive discussion. I am especially pleased that the Governor of Guam and the President of UOG are very supportive of sustainable fisheries and aquaculture in the region. They discussed the importance of incorporating traditional knowledge with technological innovations to effectively manage natural resources. “Island wisdom,” as they described, holds the answers to addressing the growing challenges of feeding people in extremely isolated areas. I am a firm believer in this as well, especially when it comes to bringing multiple disciplines and stakeholders together to create real progress.

Our longtime readers know well that I often use this platform to preach about the importance of partnership. It is especially critical during this unprecedented time, as there is an increasing focus on food safety, food security, and self-sustainability. We depend on our partners—researchers, internal committee members, external reviewers, and other stakeholders—to help ensure that CTSA funding addresses critical industry needs and opportunities in our remote and often underserved region. I am looking forward to the new ideas that our regional industry will put forth for consideration in this funding cycle and as always, I welcome your questions, comments or suggestions.


Cheng-Sheng Lee, Ph.D.
Executive Director