News/Events

NMC-CREES 4-H 2014 Summer Camp

The Northern Marianas College Cooperative Research, Extension and Education Service (NMC-CREES) will host the 4-H 2014 Summer Camp from Mondays through Fridays from June 23 to July 3 (8 am to 12 am). The aim of the 4-H 2014 Summer Fun Day Camp is to provide hands-on activities that will help participants establish real life goals to become responsible, productive citizens while having fun in the process. 4-H is a youth development program administered through the Cooperative Extension System of 109 land-grant universities in the U.S. and supports more than 6 million young people with programs designed to prepare the youth to step up to challenges in their community. The camp, which will be held on the NMC As Terlaje campus, will focus on agriculture and will be open to children between the ages of 8 to 12. Parents and legal guardians may register their children for the camp until Friday, June 20, 2014. The fee for the camp is $50 and space is limited. To register or to get more information, please contact Polly Omechelang at 237-6851, or Download Application Form

Caripac Scholaships Fall 2013 available

The purpose of the CARI-PAC Scholarship Program is threefold: 1) To promote higher education by providing financial assistance for college students in their pursuit of professional careers in natural resources management; 2) to help alleviate the critical current and future shortage of skilled and trained natural resource management workforce for the CNMI; and, 3) to provide current public and private sector employees with opportunities to improve their knowledge and skills, and enhance their career and professional development.

The Cari-Pac Scholarship Program will award up to students pursuing their Associate of Science degree in
Natural Resources Management.
The scholarships will be awarded based on financial need, merit, eligibility, content of each student’s written essay, and interview process.

Application Deadline is September 20, 2013

Download Application Form


NMC-CREES presents at 31st APIL General Assembly

The Association of Pacfiic Island Legislators (APIL) held their 31st General Assembly in Saipan from June 20-23 at the Fiesta Resort & Spa. Goal of this assembly was to "strengthen Local Economies throughout the the Blue Continent". As NMC-CREES is a driving force for economical develompment for the CNMI, we were invited to present on our program. Read more...

Marianas Grazing Academy goes into the next round

The Northern Marianas College’s Marianas Grazing and Livestock Academy (MGA) will host workshops on June 22-23, 2012 in Saipan. Read more...


Deadline for Farmer/Rancher Grants coming up

Northern Marianas College Research, Extension and Education Service (NMC-CREES) wants to remind the CNMI’s farmers and ranchers that there are grants available from Western Sustainable Agriculture Research & Education (WSARE). Read more...


NMC-CREES Offers Summer Internships for High School Juniors and Seniors (June 14, 2011)

The Northern Marianas College’s Cooperative Research Extension and Education Service (NMC-CREES) is encouraging incoming high school juniors and seniors for school year 2011/12 to apply for its summer internship program. Read more...


NMC-CREES Co-Sponsoring Farm Business Workshop

NMC-CREES invites all local farmers, ranchers and the interested public to a free Farm Business Workshop at the Pedro P. Tenorio Multi Purpose Center on Wednesday, June 22 from 8:00AM - 12 noon. Read more...


Slaughterhouse/Meat Businesss Feasibility Study Workshops in May

The Slaughterhouse/Meat Business Feasibility Study Workshops will be held at the Northern Marianas College (NMC) Campuses during the Month of May.  On Saipan, the one-day workshop will held on May 13 at the Pedro P. Tenorio Multipurpose Center. On Tinian, the workshop will be held on May 16 at the Tinian NMC Campus, Room D. On Rota, the workshop will be on May 18 at the Rota NMC Campus at Room B-1. The workshops will each begin at 8:30a.m. and end at 2:30p.m.. Read more...
 

NMC-CREES Open House 2011 in Tinian

Northern Marianas College - Cooperative Research Extension & Education Service (CREES) will hold their annual Open House in Tinian from April 29 to May 3. Read more...


Marianas Grazing Academy - third round

The Northern Marianas College’s Marianas Grazing and Livestock Academy (MGA) will host a third series of workshops on March 18-19, 2011 in Room D-1 at the NMC As Terlaje campus in Saipan. Registration begins at 7:30 am with instructional activities to follow from 8:00 am to 4:00 pm each day. Read more...
 

Open Ocean Cage Culture Symposium - 10/25/2010

Farming the Sea - Open Ocean Cage Culture the Future? Read more...
 
 


NMC-CREES presents at 31st APIL General Assembly

The Association of Pacfiic Island Legislators (APIL) held their 31st General Assembly in Saipan from June 20-23 at the Fiesta Resort & Spa. Goal of this assembly was to "strengthen Local Economies throughout the the Blue Continent". As NMC-CREES is a driving force for economical develompment for the CNMI, we were invited to present on our program.

Sticking to the theme of the event, Michael Ogo, Program Leader for Aquaculture & Fisheries Development, presented what CREES has in their sleeves to embrace "the coming Blue Revolution in the Blue Continent". He introduced the assembly to the concepts of Open Ocen Cage Culture (OOCC), a technology of growing fish cages floating in the ocean, instead of using land based tanks. According to Michael Ogo, this technologu is the future in aquaculture.

Ogo showed different plans, as well as examples of where it is already in use. OOCC is deemed a solution with a high potential to feed a growing human population, and Ogo sees a shift of paradigms from traditional farming on land to farming the seas. Our region has the advantage of proximity to the world's biggest market for fish - Asia. Fresh fish can be delivered to this market within hours instead of days or weeks, like in traditional commercial fishery. The clean waters around the islands assure fish is not polluted.

NMC-CREES is at the forefront of OOCC. We have applied for $400,000 in grants to develop a pilot facility that can be commercialized later. Research in the permitting process and site assessment (data collection on environmental conditions of the waters around Sapan) will be the first steps. Michael Ogo is confident that the CNMI will be on the forefront of the development and application of this technology.

Additionally to aquaculture, Mr. Ogo also presented on progress in other areas of CREES' multitude of programs.

NMC-CREES is putting a strong effort into propagating dragon fruit in the CNMI. Dragon fruit is a tasty and very healthy fruit that has a high yield (quantity as well as dollar-wise) with little labor input - an import point with recent chages in immigration laws. Originating from arid climate zones, dragon fruit needs little water and fertilizers, thus keeping cost low.

Mr. Ogo presented the idea to make from a variety of crops produced in the CNMI. With little effort the farmer can add a lot of value to his produce.

Aquaponics is another trend NMC-CREES is developing for the CNMI. There are already demonstration systems up on Saipan and Rota.

NMC-CREES is collaborating with the Saipan Sabalu Farmers Market, Inc., the CNMI Department of Commerce and the Califonia Center for Cooperative Development on a training for Cooperative Development to be held on Saipan October this year.

To streamline their efforts, NMC-CREES is building up Centers of Excellence on the CNMI's main islands.

Rota is Center of Excellence in Value Added products. We were able to get funding to renovate a vacant building into a Value Added Processing Facility.

In collaboration with the universities of Hawaii and the Virgin Islands we launched the Marianas Grazing Academy with the goal to produce better breeds with a higher adaption to our climate and higher meat quality. NMC-CREES has built an Artificial Insemination Facility on Tinian.

Saipan is Center of Excellence for aquaculture. We are heavily investing in our existing research and demonstration facility on NMC campus. The future OOCC facility will find his home also on Saipan.

All this is done true to our mission:
To be the leader in providing quality programs, services, and information in order to improve the
CNMI's people, environment, and economy through agriculture, family and consumer sciences

 

Michael Ogo's presentation can be downloaded as PDF file by clicking here (32MB)


Marianas Grazing Academy goes into the next round

The Northern Marianas College’s Marianas Grazing and Livestock Academy (MGA) will host workshops on June 22-23, 2012 in Saipan.

The workshops will take place in the NMC-Cooperative Research Extension and Education Service’s (NMC-CREES) Compass Room at the NMC As Terlaje campus. Registration begins at 8:00 am with instructional activities to follow until 4:00 pm on June 22 and until 1:30 pm on June 23, 2012.

The MGA workshops are aimed to help local livestock producers and land managers become better equipped to manage their animals and resources by providing classroom instruction and field experience in sustainable grazing and livestock management practices.

The workshops will cover various topics such as value-added product development/processing, marketing and cost of production, low stress animal handling and facility design, livestock health, and much more. The workshops will also include ranch visits, demonstration sites and field activities.

Those interested in attending these workshops may contact Joaquin Deleon Guerrero at NMC-CREES at 234-5498 ext. 1708 or email joaquing@nmcnet.edu to register. There is no fee to attend these workshops.

The Academy is a project organized through a collaborative effort between the Northern Marianas College-Cooperative Research Extension and Education Service (NMC-CREES) Livestock Improvement Program, and experienced pasture, livestock, and soil specialists from the University of Hawaii, University of the Virgin Islands, and the University of Guam.

The goal of the Academy is to enhance the production of high quality meat products, which can serve to improve food sustainability through the adoption of appropriate technologies and practices in grazing and livestock management.

The Academy also seeks to provide local farmers, ranchers, technical resource personnel and other interagency collaborators with assistance and guidance in planning and developing local projects to improve the economic viability of grazing activities in the CNMI.

For additional information on the Marianas Grazing Academy (MGA), visit marianasgrazingacademy.org.

The Marianas Grazing Academy project has been made possible by a grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Outreach for Disadvantaged Farmers and Ranchers program (Grant #59-2501-10-040-1).


Deadline for Farmer/Rancher Grants coming up

Northern Marianas College Research, Extension and Education Service (NMC-CREES) wants to remind the CNMI’s farmers and ranchers that there are grants available from Western Sustainable Agriculture Research & Education (WSARE), a USDA funding program administered by Utah State University.

    WSARE grants are meant to promote good stewardship of the nation’s natural resources, to enhance the quality of life of farmers and ranchers and ensure the viability of rural communities, to protect the health and safety of those involved in food and farm systems, and to promote crop, livestock and enterprise diversification.

    There are several grant types available. Farmers and ranchers can avail up to $15,000, or groups with a minimum of three farmers may get up to $25,000. Professional + Producer Grants are limited to $50,000. Additionally, WSARE also provides grants for professional development of agriculturists up to $60,000.

    Deadline for this year’s grant application cycle is December 2, 2011. For more information, contact NMC-CREES WSARE Coordinator Dr. Allan Sabaldica, 433-2576 or email him. Grant applications are available on the WSARE website http://www.westernsare.org.
 

NMC-CREES Offers Summer Internships for High School Juniors and Seniors (June 14, 2011)

The Northern Marianas College’s Cooperative Research Extension and Education Service (NMC-CREES) is encouraging incoming high school juniors and seniors for school year 2011/12 to apply for its summer internship program.

The internship will take place from July 18 to August 19, 2011. As part of the internship program, students will explore and learn about the fields of agriculture and family sciences. NMC-CREES has different divisions including Aquaculture, Entomology, Plant Pathology, and Food Science.

The deadline to apply for the internship is no later than 4:30 pm on Monday, June 27, 2011. Application forms and additional information are available at the NMC-CREES offices in Building F at the NMC Saipan campus, and at the administrative offices of the NMC Rota and Tinian Instructional Sites.

For more information, contact Mark Flores at 234-5498 ext. 1706.

The internship program is made possible by funds from the ADAP Professional Development Project and Resident Instruction/CARIPAC Project.
 


 

NMC-CREES Co-Sponsoring Farm Business Workshop

NMC-CREES invites all local farmers, ranchers and the interested public to a free Farm Business Workshop at the Pedro P. Tenorio Multi Purpose Center on Wednesday, June 22 from 8:00AM - 12 noon.

This workshop is part of the BizGrowth Challenge that was established to improve the local economy and quality of life on Saipan by working collaboratively with organizations and experts to provide businesses with affordable resources to effectively achieve sustainable growth. Guest speakers from SDBC, NMC-CREES, and the Farmers Service Agency will present ideas on how to start up a new farming business or make an existing business more profitable.

 

For further information call Mr. Rik Vilegas @ 321-7458

Participation is free. Please download the Registration Form and bring it with you to the workshop.

 


Slaughterhouse/Meat Businesss Feasibility Study Workshops in May

The Slaughterhouse/Meat Business Feasibility Study Workshops will held at the Northern Marianas College (NMC) Campuses during the Month of May.  On Saipan, the one-day workshop will held on May 13 at the Pedro P. Tenorio Multipurpose Center. On Tinian, the workshop will be held on May 16 at the Tinian NMC Campus, Room D. On Rota, the workshop will be on May 18 at the Rota NMC Campus at Room B-1. The workshops will each begin at 8:30a.m. and end at 2:30p.m..
    

The objectives of this study are to compile and analyze information and help evaluate the overall feasibility of establishing and operating a slaughterhouse operation (and associated meat supply business) in one or more of the primary islands in the Marianas...Guam, Rota, Tinian, and Saipan.  The Feasibility Study is comprehensive, incorporating a variety of components to include: Economics, Regulatory, Markets, Processing, Livestock, Environmental, Logistics, Financial, Business, Management, and more.
    

This feasibility study is a component of the Marianas Livestock and Grazing Academy (MGA) program, administered by the University of Hawaii.  The Academy is aimed at building local agricultural capacity and educating farmers, ranchers, and potential investors about increasing the economic viability of their products. The study is being prepared by Ag/Energy Enterprises LLC (AEE), a consulting firm contracted by the University of Hawaii. Presenters for this set of workshops will include the feasibility studies primary author, Jim Wimberly, and MGA Project Director, Dr. Mark Thorne.  The presentations will include a guided tour of the feasibility study website, which is home to the information obtained from the preparation of the feasibility study, as well as, tools and links to a variety of related resources that are appropriate to this topic. The feasibility study website is already viewable at http://www.agenergyenterprises.com/feasibility/index.html
 

The Academy, a project organized through a collaborative effort between the Northern Marianas College- Cooperative Research, Extension, and Education Service(NMC-CREES) Livestock Improvement Program, and experienced pasture, livestock, and soil specialists from the University of Hawaii, University of the Virgin Islands, and the University of Guam, seeks to enhance the production of high quality meat products, which can serve to improve food sustainability through the adoption of appropriate technologies and practices in grazing and livestock management.  The Academy also seeks to provide local farmers, ranchers, technical resource personnel and other interagency collaborators with assistance and guidance in planning and developing special local projects to improve the economic viability of grazing activities in the CNMI, to include meat processing and marketing systems.

For more information on the Marianas Grazing Academy (MGA), visit the MGA website at marianasgrazingacademy.org.   Or, feel free to call Claus Bier at 234-3690, Ext. 1707, or, Lawerence Duponcheel at 433-0639(Tinian), or Dr. Allan Sabaldica, NMC-CREES Livestock Improvement Program, at 433-2576.  On Rota, call Alejandro Badilles at 532-9513.
The Marianas Grazing Academy project has been made possible by a grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, National Institute of Food and Agriculture, Outreach for Disadvantaged Farmers and Ranchers program, grant #2009-51200-19601(NMC)

 


 

NMC-CREES Open House 2011 in Tinian


Northern Marianas College - Cooperative Research Extension & Education Service (CREES) will hold their annual Open House in Tinian from April 29 to May 3. The event will be split in two, presentations from CREES’ programs on the San Jose Festival grounds on Friday and Saturday, and the Tinian Agricultural Development Conference on NMC Campus, room D, on the following Monday and Tuesday.

On Friday and Saturday (noon to 8 pm both days) CREES will have several demonstrations. EFNEP will show how to prepare tasty, nutritious food on a budget. The Food Safety Program invites to sour sop wine and betelnut tasting. Community Resource Development will demo fruit and vegetable carving. CREES staff will be available for information on all of CREES programs, and how they serve the public of the CNMI.

On Monday and Tuesday (May 2-3), the public is invited to the free Tinian Agriculture Development Conference from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm both days in room D on NMC campus.  These two days will be filled with workshops on funding opportunities through grants, plants diseases, pest management and much more.

CREES Extension Agent Lawerence Duponcheel is excited to have this event held on Tinian, “It is encouraging to have such an outstanding line-up of professionals visiting our island for an extended period in order to assist and advice local residents on a variety of subjects”.

For more information on CREES Open House and the Tinian Agricultural Development Conference contact Lawerence Duponcheel (433-0639 or lawrenced@nmcnet.edu), or visit our calendar page .

 


 

Marianas Grazing Academy - third round.

The Northern Marianas College’s Marianas Grazing and Livestock Academy (MGA) will host a third series of workshops on March 18-19, 2011 in Room D-1 at the NMC As Terlaje campus in Saipan. Registration begins at 7:30 am with instructional activities to follow from 8:00 am to 4:00 pm each day.

The MGA workshops are aimed at building local agricultural capacity and educating farmers and ranchers about increasing the economic viability of their products.

The workshops will cover various topics such as reproductive management, planning and artificial insemination, replacement heifer selection criteria, production risk management, ranch planning and monitoring, meat goat Management, pastured poultry management, and more. The workshops will also include farm visits demonstration sites and field activities.  

During the workshop, the MGA team will also provide information on the upcoming Slaughterhouse Facility Study workshop in May. For more information on the study, interested individuals can visit http://www.agenergyenterprises.com/feasibility/index.html.

The Academy, a project organized through a collaborative effort between the Northern Marianas College-Cooperative Research Extension and Education Service (NMC-CREES) Livestock Improvement Program, and experienced pasture, livestock, and soil specialists from the University of Hawaii, University of the Virgin Islands, and the University of Guam, seeks to enhance the production of high quality meat products, which can serve to improve food sustainability through the adoption of appropriate technologies and practices in grazing and livestock management.

The Academy also seeks to provide local farmers, ranchers, technical resource personnel and other interagency collaborators with assistance and guidance in planning and developing special local projects to improve the economic viability of grazing activities in the CNMI.

For more information on the workshops, contact NMC-CREES Outreach Coordinator Claus Bier at 234-5498 ext. 1707, NMC-CREES staff Lawrence Duponcheel or Dr. Allan Sabaldica at 433-0639 on the NMC Tinian Instructional Site, or Alejandro Badilles at 532-9513 at the NMC Rota Instructional Site. There are no registration or participation fees.

For additional information on the Marianas Grazing Academy (MGA), visit marianasgrazingacademy.org.

The Marianas Grazing Academy project has been made possible by a grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, National Institute of Food and Agriculture, Outreach for Disadvantaged Farmers and Ranchers program, grant #2009-51200-19601.

 


 

Open Ocean Cage Culture Symposium - 10/25/2010

Farming the Sea - Open Ocean Cage Culture the Future?

According to numbers the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) released in 2003, fish is the main source of animal proteins for roughly 20% of the world’s population. About 170 million people are employed directly or indirectly in the fishing industries worldwide. The fisheries industry provide household incomes of 35 billion dollars. Through the multiplier effect, commercial fisheries provide a total of roughly 520 million jobs in related industries. The commercial catch in 2007 was about 95 million metric tons.

However, the United Nations Environmental Program (UNEP) warns that only 25% of - mostly low-priced - fish species are under exploited. The catch of 27% of higher valued species is down to approximately 10% of the highest ever registered catch. In their 2010 report, UNEP points out that commercial fisheries will be depleted by 2050.

Over the last couple of decades, a rapidly developing aquaculture industry is  working on offsetting these bleak figures. In 2007, the global aquaculture production has been nearly 60 million tons - a 70 billion dollar business. The USA has a 1.1 billion dollar slice of the aquaculture pie. However, this number pales to the about 50 billion dollar share China has. The future for aquaculture looks good. Additionally to replacing the declining wild catch, aquaculture will have to provide 40 million tons of extra seafood to meet the demand from a growing world population by 2030. There is an enormous growth potential. Especially for the USA. But where to build all the tanks and ponds that are needed without competing with farmers and ranchers for land? The solution to this problem is to raise the fish in the ocean.

Up until 2007, there were no clear mechanisms and regulations on commercial aquaculture production in federal waters, three to 200 miles offshore. Therefore, Pres. George W. Bush signed the National Offshore Aquaculture Act 2007. This act laid down the basic framework for the permitting process of Offshore Aquaculture, or Open Ocean Cage Culture as it is also called. The law was developed in consultation with the industry, conservation groups, researchers, the states and others. The law authorizes the Secretary of Commerce to issue needed permits, establish environmental requirements, work together with other agencies to develop and implement a coordinated permitting process, and authorize research and development programs. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is the enforcing arm of this act.

With the regulatory issues out of the way - what exactly is Offshore Aquaculture aka Open Ocean Cage Culture? How can one grow fish in the ocean? The technology is rather simple.

Basically, spherical or double cone shaped cages made of a kevlar-like, high strength poly fiber netting, with a steel pipe frame giving them semi-rigidity, are submerged to 40 to 75 feet. The cages are anchored to the sea floor with cement blocks. Water in the frame pipes give extra ballast, and also serves for buoyancy.  The size of the cages can be anywhere from 20,000 to 1.4 million cubic feet. A 100,000 cubic feet cage holds about 60,000 fishes. The fish are fed through a pipe that runs from the surface down to the tank. For harvest, the cages are brought up to the surface by blowing air into the frame pipes, just like in a submarine.
 
The infrastructure on land consists of a building used as a hatchery/nursery, a warehouse to store feedstock, and a small processing plant for filleting and packaging the harvested fish. In the processing plant, the fish is packed on ice and flown out directly to the market, where, depending on species, it can sell for $10-50 per pound.

With all the positive aspects, land-based and near-shore aquaculture, especially in Asia, has been receiving a bad press over the years. Reports of diseases from dense stocking scare consumers away from buying farmed fish. Effluent from fish farms can  pollute drink water wells or lead to algae bloom in open waters that are detrimental to coral reefs. Runaways from salmon farms had a negative impact on the gene pool of wild salmon. Even though these problems are oftentimes over exaggerated, or already solved, they still stay in the mind of the consumer.

Contrary to land-based and near-shore aquaculture, Open Ocean Cage Culture is environmentally harmless. The cages are in depths with rather strong currents. The currents take care of dispersing of fish feces and uneaten feeds. The latter even have a positive side effect, as they will lure in wild fish to gather around the cages. Corals won’t be harmed at all. The Open Ocean Cage Cultures are situated atop of sandy sea floors where no corals are found. Even if falling debris will result in algae growth, it has the advantage that these algae will be eaten by wild fish or serve these fish as nurseries - in the end promoting growth of wild stocks. To prevent the pollution of wild stock or escaped fish to become invasive, there are only species used for growing that exist in the area already. As no water filters and and air blowers are needed to keep the water quality suitable for growing fish, there is no need for electricity, keeping operational cost low.

To recap, Open Ocean Cage Culture is an environmentally sound investment with a high ROI, but will it work in the CNMI? The answer to this question is a resounding yes. According to Michael Ogo, Aquaculture Specialist with Northern Marianas College - Cooperative Research, Extension and Education Service, “we have everything that is needed for this industry on the island. What is missing are investors”. He names the CNMI’s strengths, about the cleanest open waters world, infrastructure in place, but most of all: Closeness to the markets in East Asia.

Saipan is surrounded by deep water already close to the island. Open Ocean Cage Culture is best situated in water depths from 50 to 200 feet. These depths can be found just outside the reef. Michael Ogo points out that the best area for setting up cages is north of Tanapag harbor, not even half a mile away from shore. This keeps the fuel costs for the boats needed to feed and harvest the fish low. In other places, like the Hawaiian Islands, the cages are placed about three miles off the coastline. Sufficiently strong underwater currents take care of the dispersion of feces and unused feed. The sea floor is sandy which makes it easy to anchor down the cages. As this area is  far outside the reef, no corals will be affected by the operation. NOAA ha done extensive research and suggests this site as perfectly suited for Open Ocean Cage Culture.

Structures for hatching, storage and processing don’t have to be built. There are many abandoned former garment factories on the island that are perfectly suited for these purposes. These buildings already have access to the island’s infrastructure, eliminating the need for expensive construction. Saipan has a typhoon proof harbor and marina that’ll protect the fleet of maintenance boats. Contrary to land-based or near-shore aquaculture, Open Ocean Cage Culture cannot be harmed by typhoons. The cages sit deep in the water were seas are aren’t as rough as on the surface. The fish in the cages is well protected from detrimental storms.

The main markets for fish are in South East and South Asia. The Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands is about four flight hours away from major Asian cities, with daily flights going out to these places. There is no faster way to get fresh fish to the main consumer than this.

The Marianas have been marketed to tourists as “America’s best kept secret”. The possibilities for Open Ocean Cage Culture in our islands have, so far, also been a secret that should go out to the open. Therefore, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands is co-hosting the 2011 Open Ocean Cage Culture Symposium which is sponsored by our very own Northern Marianas College - Cooperative Research, Extension and Education Service and the Western Pacific Regional Fishery Management Council. This event is to be held from January 26 to 27 at the Saipan World Resort.

The symposium will focus on the development and advancement of an Aquaculture Industry based on raising high valued fin fish species in off-shore cages. This technology has been proven to be very successful in regards to profits with a low impact on the environment. To give an overview of this technology, we have invited several experienced presenters from the fields of science, technology and business.

Featured speakers include Dr. Charles Laidley (Oceanic Institute), Robert Jimmy (Aquaculture Officer, Secretariat of the Pacific Community), Randy Cates (Cates International, Hawai’i), Neil A. Sims (co-founder Kona Blue, Hawai’i), John Brown (Guam Aquaculture Development and Trainings Center), Michael Ogo (Aquaculture Specialist Northern Marianas College).

These esteemed speakers will present peer-to-peer information on future developments of Aquaculture in the Pacific Basin. Presentations will be as interactive as possible to give participants the opportunity to share knowledge or concerns on the topics of aquaculture research, environmental impacts, regulatory issues, and business investment opportunities.

The general is invited to this symposium. For registration, please call NMC-CREES, Mr. Mark Flores at 234-5498 ext. 1706. A registration package can also be downloaded from http://crees.org. The event will be streamed via video teleconference to NMC’s Instructional Sites in Tinian and Rota, as well as simulcasted to the internet at http://www.ustream.tv/channel/open-ocean-cage-culture-symposium. This site allows for comments or questions during the sessions.