University of Hawai’i, Hilo
Latin America Project: Mexico & Nicaragua
Title: Human Health and aquaculture: Health Benefits Through Improving Aquaculture Sanitation and Best Management Practices
Lead US University: University of Hawaii
Work carried out by the University of Hawai’i at Hilo from 2006-2013 focused on poor women and children highly dependent upon bivalve shellfish, mangrove resources, and other natural resource extraction in the coastal Latin American region.. Research focused on improving food security and reduction of food-borne diseases through improved fisheries management, small-scale aquaculture and improved food sanitation practices. Ecological and fisheries studies provided information critical to decision-making and planning for coastal communities and economic development. Efforts to increase capacity for extension agents and researchers to work in bivalve culture, fisheries management and shellfish sanitation were carried out. Communities benefitted from improved income and food security through resource co-management cooperatives and small shellfish growing businesses. Food safety was enhanced through the development of shellfish sanitation plans and the classification of shellfish growing waters to reduce risk of contamination and open the door to export markets. Considerable advances were made in developing a new, native fish for aquaculture (Dormitator latifrons), which offers potential as a low-cost, low-tech aquaculture species for Latin America.