Jul 31, 2020

Regional e-Notes: July Letter from the Director


“Show your gratitude to everything you encounter.” This is one of my life mottos, and once again, I would like to express my appreciation to our IAC/TC members who attended our annual meeting—which was virtual for the first time in our program history—and promptly submitted their pre-proposal ranking sheets after the meeting. With the recommendations and voting provided by our devoted Industry Advisory Council (IAC) and Technical Committee (TC) members on June 29, CTSA has now taken the next step to invite those pre-proposals that received 51% or more votes to prepare and submit full proposals. The full proposals are due next month, at which point they will undergo rigorous internal and external review before consideration for inclusion in the CTSA FY2020 Plan of Work. We will keep you posted as we progress.

I also would like to extend my appreciation to all PI’s who take the time to share their ideas on how we can sustainably develop the regional aquaculture industry. It is my unfortunate task to tell some of them that their pre-proposals were not selected by our council members to move to the next level. It is a process that I do not take lightly. I do my best to share my thoughts on the reasons why each pre-proposal was not selected by the IAC and TC based on the complex content of their discussion during the meeting. This is difficult to do, and I hope the information will help those who wish to resubmit their pre-proposals to CTSA next year; in fact, we strongly encourage any PI who was not successful during this development cycle to revise/improve their project idea based on the comments provided and apply during a future cycle. The CTSA administrative staff is happy to discuss with you if you wish.

On a separate but similar note, it is looking like funding and support for aquaculture will grow in the coming years. I noticed while watching the recent Honolulu Mayoral debate that several candidates are considering aquaculture as an important part of economic recovery, especially in the face of the devastating local economic impacts from Covid 19. This is true in other coastal locations across the U.S., which are also looking to utilize plentiful marine resources to increase food security and economic opportunities. CTSA stands committed to facilitating this growth in Hawaii and the U.S. Affiliated Pacific Islands, and as always we welcome your suggestions and comments!

Cheng-Sheng Lee, Ph.D.
Executive Director