By Development Communication Section
Even the rainy weather did not hinder Senate committee chair on agriculture and food Hon. Cynthia Villar, to be the keynote speaker during SEAFDEC/AQD’s 42nd Anniversary foundation program on 10 July.
“SEAFDEC/AQD has an important role in ensuring aquaculture sustainability by providing the needs of the aquaculture sector through technology innovation, promotion of good aquaculture practices and involvement of all the stakeholders,” said Senator Villar.
According to Senator Villar, there is an increasing concern on overfishing due to the growing demand for fish and seafood. She mentioned that aquaculture or fish farming is the best solution to augment the demand. “Aquaculture is truly an industry that provides numerous benefits and if we could really maximize those, we can ensure sustainability and be globally competitive,” she noted.
She also appreciated SEAFDEC/AQD’s effort in addressing the adverse effects of climate change, specifically extreme weather disturbances that affects aquaculture. “I hope that the technological innovations will not only make processes more efficient but also environment-friendly. It is good to know that SEAFDEC/AQD support is there,” she added.
“I am also here to provide support to aquaculture hangad ko ang patuloy na pag-unlad nito (its development is my aspiration),” she said. As a support to the fisheries sector she sponsored the Senate Bill No. 2414 now known as RA 10654 (An Act to Prevent, Deter and Eliminate Illegal, Unreported, and Unregulated Fishing). This law will make the country an active player in the conservation and sustainable development of the world’s fisheries and aquatic resources.
She also sought to form partnerships with SEAFDEC/AQD together with the Philippines Technical Education and Skills Development Agency (TESDA). She expressed her gratitude to SEAFDEC/AQD that will provide modules and training courses that will be accredited by TESDA. After her speech, she then toured some of AQD’s facilities such as the hatchery of high value marine fish.