By Development Communication Section
Six trainees successfully finished the two-week course on sandfish seed production, nursery and management from 2 until 17 October 2013 at SEAFDEC/AQD Tigbauan Main Station, Iloilo. As AQD Chief Felix Ayson explained, the lectures (20% of the course schedule) are where the theories behind the techniques are described and practicals (80%) are done to gain the actual experience the trainees would remember.
At the closing ceremony, the trainees said nothing but good words for AQD. “What I like about the training is that you don’t have to be an aquaculturist to understand the lectures because it’s so basic. You can eventually learn and develop the knowledge. I am very confident now and I think I can do this [producing sandfish],” said Mr. Ali Shafeeg of Maldives. Mr. Shafeeg also said that he will be back to train to learn about other commodities and will recommend AQD to other people in his country who are interested in aquaculture, even wished for the President of Maldives to see what AQD has to offer.
Associate scientist Dr. Jon Altamirano, the technical lead person of the sandfish course, noted that relationship of AQD and its trainees go beyond the time they spent training at the department. AQD was requested by Mr. Keith Ng, a former sandfish trainee from of Century Marine Products (Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia) to assess hatchery facilities and recommend improvements in operations. Century is into sandfish farming and processing, and has been relying on natural sandfish juvenile stocks. Dr. Altamirano, who was sent by AQD in 5 until 7 November 2012, said that the Tanjung Badak multi‐species hatchery research complex shows high prospects for expansion into sea cucumber production.