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It is well-known that China has a long history of practical experience in freshwater fish culture. The integration of fish production with crop and livestock is one of its characteristics, especially in Changjiang River drainage, Pearl River drainage and the Lake Tai district. The so-called ‘integrated fish farming’ in the Chinese language means diversification, overall rural development and comprehensive utilization of fisheries, agriculture, forestry and commerce, with emphasis being placed on fisheries.
Integrated fish farming is regarded by aquaculturists of other countries as a model farming system for full utilization of local resources, for waste recycling and energy saving, and for maintaining ecological balance and circulation. Besides increasing the supply of fish, meat and eggs, and employment opportunities it also reduces the cost of fish production through utilization of local farm products as fish feeds and fertilizers and reorganization of farm labour for effective output.
In 1978, FAO/UNDP sponsored an Aquaculture Study Tour to China.
The Study Group comprising senior fishery officials of many Asian countries found that integrated fish farming is the main feature of Chinese freshwater fisheries and of importance to the region. They recommended that the Asian-Pacific Regional Research and Training Centre for Integrated Fish Farming be established in Wuxi, China, for conducting training and research in integrated fish farming and for collecting aquaculture information for the benefit of the third world in the Asia-Pacific region. In subscribing to the principle of South-South Cooperation, the Chinese government agreed to this and provided a large sum of money to set up the Centre.
In order to open the Centre as early as possible, the National Bureau of Aquatic Products (Now under the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Husbandry and Fishery) with the support of Wuxi municipal government, set out the capital construction of the Centre, and at the same time, transferred the technical personnel across the country to make preparation for the training and research work.
On the training aspect, we designed an Outline Training Programme, selected some fish farms for field training, set up a laboratory and edited teaching materials as well. Due to the lack of teachers in the Centre at that time, the National Bureau of Aquatic Products decided that the lecture notes were to be written by Prof. Lu Gui, Associate Prof. Tan Yu-jun, Lecturer Ma Tian-xiong, Bei Hui-seng, Tan Shi-liang and Ge Guan-hua from Shanghai Fisheries College. The work was done shortly before the opening ceremony of the first training course, June, 1981. It was the above -mentioned instructors that gave the lectures to the participants. And Prof. Lu Gui concurrently served as Director of the Centre at that time. From the second training course, the task was passed on to our own teachers but the teaching materials remained the same. Through 1982, 1983 and 1984, efforts were made to improve the original materials with some supplements and modifications. The improved lecture notes have now been compiled in this text.
On the basis of the Outline Training Programme and original lecture notes, the newly edited teaching materials adhere to the principles of combining theory with practice. In the contents, emphasis is placed on practical operation. Therefore, field work and study tours occupy a larger proportion of the course for the purpose of enlarging trainee's knowledge and their ability.
At the same time, special attention is given to the agro-climatic conditions of South East Asia so that the participants might develop integrated fish farming in line with their respective local conditions after returning to their home countries.
The book can be divided into two parts. The first part is an introduction of basic principles of Chinese freshwater fish culture. In the second part, there is an introduction of integrated fish farmingmain features of Chinese freshwater fish culture, since Chinese integrated fish farming is based on the traditional fish culture techniques. If the basic principles of Chinese freshwater culture are not clearly understood, it is difficult to adopt the Chinese integrated fish farming techniques.
To edit it well, the Editorial Board was set up with Mr. Shan Jian as Editor-in-Chief, Associate Prof. Zhu Lin geng and Mr. Fei Yingwu as Associate Editors-in-Chief, Mr. Hu Bao tong and Mr. Li Kangmin as Editors. Editorial staff are Mr. Shen Peirong (Chapter 1), Mr. Yu Shingang (Chapter 2 & 3), Associate Prof. Zhu Lin geng (Chapter 4), Mr. Fei Yingwu (Chapter 5), Ms. Li Shaogi (Chapter 6), Mr. Yang Hua-zhu and Mr. Hu Baotong (Chapter 7 & 8), Mr. Chen Iaowan and Mr. Tang Song-nan (Chapter 9), Ms. Jiang Guizhe (Chapter 10).
In view of limited data, knowledge and time, some errors may exist in this book. Any comments and suggestions from readers are welcomed.
Reference : FAO