CORVALLIS - An international aquaculture program at Oregon State University has received a $2.15 million grant from the U.S. Agency for International Development to manage a global research portfolio that includes a dozen other U.S. universities and 16 international institutions.
OSU's Aquaculture Collaborative Research Program - or Aquaculture CRSP - is one of nine such programs funded by USAID that focus on nutrition and income generation through improving food production and managing natural resources in Latin America, the Caribbean, Africa, Eastern Europe and Asia. The CRSPs also work with U.S. agricultural and agribusiness on applications from the research.
The OSU-led consortium will focus its research this year on aquaculture development in coastal and inland areas, with emphases on production technology, watershed management, and human health, nutrition and welfare, said Hillary Egna, program director since 1989.
"The environment for foreign assistance has been difficult in light of the federal budget," Egna said, "so the fact that our program continues to thrive underscores the relevance of our work."
Major research sites this year will include Mexico, Honduras, Peru, Brazil, Kenya, South Africa, Thailand, Bangladesh, Nepal, Vietnam and the Philippines, as well as outreach activities in neighboring countries.
In Asia, the OSU Aquaculture CRSP is sponsoring research in five countries. In addition to evaluating new species for aquaculture potential, research also will look at pond management practices and water treatment systems to deal with effluent, and genetic studies of tilapia, a popular fish.
Research in Africa includes aquaculture assessment in Tanzania and Ghana, a series of workshops in various countries, and a new multidisciplinary watershed project in Kenya.
Eleven countries in the Americas will include CRSP research with projects ranging from the analysis of local fish markets, to pond assessment efforts, to feed and larvae research on over-fished indigenous species.
In addition to managing international aquaculture research programs, the OSU Aquaculture CRSP sponsors research projects in OSU's Department of Fisheries and Wildlife and elsewhere in the College of Agricultural Sciences.
Egna said the CRSPs have a mandate to support aquaculture capacity building and training. Since its inception in 1982, the OSU program has supported more than 2,000 students in obtaining degree and non-degree training.
The $2.15 million in funding marks the seventh consecutive year of funding the OSU program has received from USAID under the current grant. The program received three previous multi-year grants as well.
More information on the program is available at http://pdacrsp.oregonstate.edu, or by calling Danielle Clair at 541-737-6416.