On 1 July 2020, Dr. Narong Sirilertworakul, NSTDA President and Mr. Mesak Pakdeekong, Director General, Department of Fisheries signed a memorandum of understanding to establish a research, development and innovation in aquaculture. The collaboration expects to formulate research direction and facilitate the advancement of research and innovation to industry and commercialization, in order to enhance the competitiveness of Thai aquaculture industry and raise its profile in the global market.
Currently, 70% of aquatic animals in Thailand come from capture fisheries, and 30% from aquaculture. As most capture fisheries worldwide are considered overexploited, aquaculture becomes central to meeting demand, which will continue to increase with population growth. Research and innovation play a key role to improve efficiency and facilitate sustainability of aquaculture system to supply safe and high quality fresh and processed products to meet the market demand.
Aquaculture research is one of the focus areas under agriculture and bioindustry theme at NSTDA. The goal of this research program is to strengthen aquaculture industry to produce safe and quality products without damaging the environment with research topics ranging from marker-assisted breeding program, development of microbe-based feed and immunostimulant, improvement of feed efficacy with encapsulation technology and smart farm technology for aquaculture to vaccine. Active joint research projects between NSTDA and the Department of Fisheries include tilapia breeding program for recirculating aquaculture system currently being conducted at Pathum Thani Aquatic Animal Genetics Research and Development Center and the investigation of effect of replacement of fish meal with soybean meal in shrimp diets on white feces syndrome (WFS) in vannamei shrimp.