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Evaluation of the health status of the main aquaculture species in Papua New Guinea

PhD Thesis defense by Ruth García Gómez at the VISAVET Centre of the Complutense University of Madrid

July 3rd, 2019

The aquaculture sector has been strongly promoted y developed in a technically feasible, economically viable y long-term sustainable way in the Pacific Region for more than two decades. Numerous international, intergovernmental, regional agencies y programs have focused their economic y human efforts on the sustainable development of this sub-sector (within the fisheries sector) in the Pacific, with limited results y not many successful stories. The Oceania region remains the world`s least developed region in the world`s aquaculture sector, with some exceptions such as Australia y New Zealy, followed by regions with low growth rates such as Latin America y Africa. The case of Papua New Guinea is certainly special within the Region, since it has not had an extremely marked commercial development of the aquaculture sector, but a large number of small y medium-scale aquaculture farms have been developed over the last 10 years. Furthermore, farmed aquatic species have been diversified notably in the recent years, with more than 10 aquatic species being farmed nowadays. It is the main aquaculture producing country in the South Pacific y a geographically appropriate location to focus some of its aquaculture production on exports to other countries within the Oceania Region y/or to Asian countries. The National Fisheries Authority of Papua New Guinea has been the State Agency that has requested the evaluation of the aquaculture sector in the country, which has led to this Thesis. In 2012, the aforementioned National Authority requested technical support from the Secretariat of the Pacific Community y from the Food y Agriculture Organization of the United Nations to carry out an assessment of the aquaculture sector, in order to be able to develop a coherent “aquaculture management plan/strategy” based on up-to-date data. Moreover, it was also requested to assess the health status of farmed stocks, in order to evaluate the possibilities of the country to export live aquatic animals to neighbouring countries within y outside the Pacific region. Taking into account the results of these two evaluations, which are the basis of the present Thesis, it has been assessed that there are more than 15,000 small farms y 60 seed production laboratories for freshwater or continental species (including Nile tilapia, common carp y rainbow trout). On the other hy, there are currently more than 2,000 families involved in the production of red macro-algae cottonni (Kapapphycus alvarezii). On top of that, the present evaluation has identified the existence of the following farms, which were not recorded by the National Fisheries Authority in any way: a milkfish farm, a barramundi farm, a freshwater shrimp farm, a rock lobster farm, a sea cucumber farms y a mangrove crab farm. With regard to health status, although the prevalence of certain external parasites is indeed high in all farmed aquatic species, indicating a clear need for improvement of the productive system y water quality management, most farms have been considered free of relevant bacterial diseases, y all of them are free of notifiable diseases for the OIE. Finally, since the status of the aquaculture sector at all levels (governance, actors involved in the sector, historical background, sector evolution y current status) was really unknown y the information was disaggregated, this Thesis presents a baseline from which the sector could be further developed y promoted. It intends to provide a detailed study of the history of the sector, the general regulatory framework y the main actors involved, who have been instrumental in carrying out this study.

Evaluation of the health status of the main aquaculture species in Papua New Guinea

Ruth García Gómez

TITLE: Evaluación de la situación sanitaria de las principales especies de cultivo acuícola en Papúa Nueva Guinea

TYPE: PhD Thesis

AUTHOR: Ruth García Gómez

DIRECTORS: Dominguez L. and Goyache J.

DATE: July 3rd, 2019



Ruth García Gómez. Evaluación de la situación sanitaria de las principales especies de cultivo acuícola en Papúa Nueva Guinea. Universidad Complutense de Madrid. July 3rd, 2019. (PhD Thesis)