USP Professor participates at international Invasive Alien Species symposium
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Dr Joshi with fellow speakers at the Aquatic Invasive Alien Species in South East Asia (AIASSEA), at the National University of Singapore.
Dr. Ravindra C. Joshi, Visiting Adjunct Professor of Agriculture at The University of South Pacific (USP) participated at the International Symposium on Aquatic Invasive Alien Species in South East Asia (AIASSEA), at the National University of Singapore (NUS) from 26-27 July, 2017.
In his presentation, Dr Joshi talked about the present status of the invasive apple snails, its impacts, its management in rice ecosystems and partnerships and collaboration.
As for the impacts of the invasive apple snail, he noted that agricultural economic losses is USD28-45 million annually in the Philippines; USD 28 million annually in Malaysia and USD 55-248 billion globally, per year.
According to Dr Joshi, its health hazard include important transmitters of rat lungworm (a human endoparasite) in Southern China, broken shells and pesticide exposure leading to peeling toes, fingernails, headaches, skin disorders and blindness.
For environmental impacts, Dr Joshi said water pollution including loss of biodiversity in waterways occurs as a result of increase on the misuse and abuse of pesticides.
“The cost of chemical control is also a factor – in 1998, it was US$2.4 million per year. Currently it now costs more than US$7.4million per year.
“With regards to the overall impacts, economic, health and environmental problems are caused by its invasion which are irreversible and the costs are enormous,” he stated.
He stated that the control methods of the Apple invasive snail include agrochemicals, plant molluscicides, biological, cultural and manual and integrated approach.
“For agro-chemicals, Asian farmers use niclosamide and metaldehyde as a first line of defence,” he said.
He added that most plant molluscicides lethal to Invasive Apple Snails are also fatal to other non-target aquatic organisms.
Dr Joshi concluded that invasive apple snails are an issue of global concern, which no single country can adequately address on its own.
“There are enormous synergies available through international cooperation which include narrow incursion pathways, triggering early response measures, and ensuring effective monitoring and control strategies,” he noted.
Dr Joshi also reiterated the need to form strong collaborative partnerships within and among countries.
He is also a Visiting Professor at the Pampanga State Agricultural University, Magalang in the Philippines.
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