Minutes of the NRSP-8 Aquaculture Business Meeting

Time: Saturday January 13, 2007, 5:00-6:00 pm

Place: Pacific Salon 3, Town and Country Hotel, San Diego, CA

I. Call to order

Chair, Dr. John Liu, called the business meeting to order at 5 pm, following the Aquaculture Workshop.

II. Old Business

1. The Species Coordinator and Bioinformatics Coordinator reports were deferred to 9:00-10:00 Sunday morning.

2. Administrator and Industry Representative reports

Dr. Muquarrab Qureshi, CSREES National Program Leader, Animal Genomics - This is the 14th year of NRSP-8, and the program is up for review next year. He asked for input from Aquaculture for the renewal. Aquaculture projects received $23.4 million in non-formula funding in 2005.

Dr. William Trumble, Administrative Supervisor - Has been administrative supervisor for the Aquaculture project for the past 8 years, going back to the NE-186 project. He is stepping down as Dean of the College of Life Sciences and Agriculture at Univ. of New Hampshire and this is his last meeting as the Administrative Supervisor for the Aquaculture group. Over his tenure, he was pleased that the NE-186 could be closed and aquaculture species were included into NRSP-8. Dr. Liu presented a plaque of recognition to Dr. Trumble in appreciation for his leadership since 1997.

Industry reports

Dr. Mark Westerman, Intrinsic Life Sciences – reported that Dr. Craig Sullivan (N.C. State Univ.) was funded by the National Marine Aquaculture Initiative to produce the first genetic map for Striped Bass. Westerman recently left Kent SeaTech and is not as heavily involved with aquaculture in his new company, therefore he will step down next year as an Industry Representative and Striped Bass coordinator. He recommended Craig Sullivan as the next Striped Bass coordinator.

Dr. John Benzie (Moana Technologies) – reported that in-house research has resulted in a genetic map for the black tiger prawn, Penaeus monodon. He expects the map will be placed in the public arena sometime this year. Alan Mileham (Sygen International) has stepped down as an industry representative since his company has divested from aquaculture. Dr. Liu seconded appreciation for Dr. Mileham’s service.

Dr. Nagaraj Chatakondi (Eagle Aquaculture) – stated that disease mortality is the biggest problem for the catfish industry, and hopes the NRSP8 will be able to help in that area.

3. Future workshop

Dr. Dennis Hedgecock and Dr. Geoff Waldbieser were thanked for organizing the workshop. Dr. Waldbieser will organize next year’s workshop and asked for input from participants regarding the format of this meeting. Participants were positive about the roundtable discussion format. Some participants also wanted more student presentations. Dr. Waldbieser asked for input on invited speakers for next year’s meeting (gwaldbieser@ars.usda.gov).


New Business

1. Travel awards were presented to nine recipients: Melinda Baerwald and Jessica Peterson, University of California, Davis; Christine Kwitkowski and Nicole Longlois, Simon Fraser University, BC; Erika Leder, University of Turku, Finland; Bruno Louro, Universidade do Algarve, Portugal; Eric Peatman and Shaolin Wang, Auburn University; and Elena Serropoulou, Hellenic Centre for Marine Research, Crete.

2. NRI Update - Dr. Peter Burfening - Provided details of 2006 funding. Approximately $11 million was made available for competitive grants and Aquaculture did exceptionally well this year with more than 30% of the funding. All proposals ranked outstanding and high priority were funded this year. This year, all proposals will be required to be submitted electronically and the deadline is June 5. NRI will support up to $10,000 on scientific conferences with no indirect costs. The 2007 budget will have lower funding due to the re-addition of the functional genomics program.

3. Budget update – John Liu updated the NRSP-8 funding situation. There should be $15-20,000 left after this meeting so a budget near $60,000 total. This year funds were used for travel awards, the poster session reception, and invited speakers at the PAG conference. Funds were also used to support other aquaculture genomics meetings. He reiterated his support of any future ideas for which the funds would be useful, and also stated that no species coordinators have been funded through NRSP-8 funds. There is a commitment to support the annual meeting of the National Program for Selective Breeding and Genetic Improvement of Striped Bass at the World Aquaculture Society meeting in San Antonio in February. This will partially support its organizer’s costs and the cost of one invited speaker.

Dr. Liu stated that one priority was to enhance representation of Aquaculture Genomics in various Panels, Workshops, and related discussion or meeting events to promote the cause of Aquaculture Genomics. Funds will be made available for these activities, and requests should be directed to Dr. Liu as appropriate.

4. Dr. Liu reminded participants that the National Human Genome Research Initiative has approved a draft genome assembly of the tilapia, Oreochromus niloticus, and a 2-fold coverage of 3 other cichlid species. Dr. Thomas Kocher was congratulated for spearheading this project.

5. Dr. Yniv Palti was nominated and unanimously elected as Secretary (Chair-elect) for the 2008 meeting and will organize the workshop in 2009.

IV. The meeting was adjourned.