By TU Bagarinao
Brian Davy and his wife Tomoko visited SEAFDEC/AQD last week to talk official business with the AQD staff and officials on resource mobilization and to identify the strengths and weaknesses of the institution.
Brian Davy was the Program Officer for Asia of the International Development Research Centre when IDRC supported the Milkfish Program at AQD from 1975 until the broodstock and hatchery technology was firmly established around 1990 and the eventual establishment of the National Bangus Breeding Program all over the Philippines. IDRC also provided scholarships to many AQD research assistants to undertake graduate studies or training in Canada, USA, Japan, Singapore, Thailand and Malaysia.
Brian Davy is a dear friend to many retirees and near-retirables at AQD. There is fully 38 years between Brian and me—from when I assisted in the milkfish ecology project, left for Scripps and came back, tried to collect milkfish fry in Sri Lanka, exchanged books and emails, until last week when he visited FishWorld. I felt such nostalgia for the time long past when Brian would visit the Milkfish Lab (where TVDD now sits) and Noli Almendras and me enjoyed lab meals with Dr. Juario, Ms. Mayet, Dr. Liao, Mr. Kumagai, Mr. Nakajima, Mr. Buri, Dr. Kuo, Dr. Chaudhuri, Dr. Lam, Dr. C.S. Lee, Dr. W. Watanabe and other young Filipinos (i.e., when AQD felt truly international, sigh . . .)
There was barely time to show Brian and Tomoko the sea turtles at FishWorld. To commemorate Brian’s visit, I asked him to release a green sea turtle named Brian/na (2-3 years old, *sex not clear). Brian/na was caught in the fish trap of Narciso Entusiasmo in Buyuan on 9 April 2015, with plenty of small barnacles on its flippers, neck, and tail. At FishWorld, Brian/na was fed frozen sardines, measured (44 cm in curved carapace length, 43 cm in width), cleaned of all barnacles (took two hours!), and tagged (DENR-PCP # PH0409J). Early Saturday morning, 11 April 2015, Brian Davy carried Brian/na from FishWorld to the AQD beach, in one go across highway traffic. From the water’s edge, prodded by Tomoko, Brian/na swam away. I hope I see Brian Davy again, but I hope Brian/na makes it into the open sea and never come back.