“We are very thankful for our partnership with AQD and hopeful that this stock enhancement project will continue until the community can completely manage the marine resources in the area,” says Mr. Mayo Antonio Cuevas, Superintendent of Sagay Marine Reserve (SMR). This project is implemented at SMR as part of the GOJ-TF program on resource enhancement of internationally threatened and over-exploited species in Southeast Asia.
It is one of the four projects evaluated during the Annual progress meeting on the program under ASEAN-SEAFDEC Consultative group mechanism funded by the Government of Japan Trust Fund in SEAFDEC/AQD held 8-9 February in Tigbauan, Iloilo.
“We are grateful with the technical advances that AQD introduced to the community. It really helps our local barangays especially in Molocaboc where we have very little alternative to fishing when the reserve implemented the no-take policy,” Mr. Cuevas added. He and 70 others, including AQD study leaders, attended the meeting.
The three other thematic areas under GOJ-TF are (1) promotion of sustainable and region-oriented aquaculture practices; (2) accelerating awareness and capacity-building in fish health management in Southeast Asia; and (3) food safety of aquaculture products in Southeast Asia.
A total of 34 studies were reviewed by Mr. Hidenao Watanabe, SEAFDEC Secretariat assistant trust fund manager; Dr. Carlos Baylon of the University of the Philippines Visayas; Dr. Clarissa Marte of the Integrated Services for the Development of Aquaculture; Dr. Zubaida Basiao of the University of the Philippines Diliman; and Dr. Mitsuru Ototake of the Fisheries Research Agency in Japan (who sent his evaluation by mail). The evaluators acknowledged AQD’s efforts in addressing aquaculture issues and doing a good job despite the limited budget. They noted that AQD should strengthen further its collaboration with external academic and government organizations. They also suggested that AQD evaluates the impact of its training program considering the number of GOJ-TF supported courses.
Dr. Teruo Azuma, trust fund manager for AQD projects and AQD’s Deputy Chief, expressed his gratitude to all the study leaders, technical assistants and the rest of the AQD staff who helped and supported all the GOJ-TF projects. He also acknowledged the evaluators for giving valuable comments on the GOJ-TF activities. He, likewise, reminded all the study leaders to follow the SMART concept (Specific, Manageable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-bound) in considering the activities needed to be done this year onwards.