Regional e-Notes: June Letter from the Director
At the beginning of this month, I along with a cohort of CTSA staff and researchers traveled to Boise, Idaho to attend the National Aquaculture Extension Conference. The conference takes place every four to five years (with funding support from the Regional Aquaculture Center Program), and offers a great opportunity to learn from and network with aquaculture extension experts from across the country.
I am proud of the presentations by members of the CTSA group. Dr. Harry Ako gave a presentation on his CTSA-funded aquaponics research and extension efforts, and many attendees expressed interest in the technology and future collaboration. His work was even featured in a national news alert from NIFA following the conference! Miguel de los Santos presented on his ongoing work with mangrove crabs, milkfish, rabbitfish and other species at Palau Community College, while Meredith Brooks shared results of the various CTSA extension efforts across our region, including our in-house publications project. Their presentations also attracted the attention of conference participants, with many approaching our group to learn more about CTSA activities throughout our region. I am thankful to the three of them for a job well done.
It was nice to see a positive reaction to our current and most recent extension activities by the national aquaculture extension community. The aquaculture industry in our region is still small but we have to do our best to secure our seafood using sustainable farming practices. I also enjoyed participating in and am thankful for group discussions about other ways we can achieve our regional extension goals. CTSA no longer has a dedicated extension agent like we did for the first twenty years of our program; nor do many of our institutional partners throughout the region. We rely primarily on our researchers, staff and other stakeholders to carry out this vital aspect of developing a robust aquaculture industry, and we welcome and encourage suggestions to do so in the most effective way.
Cheng-Sheng Lee, Ph.D.
Executive Director, CTSA