By Development Communication Section
The partnership between SEAFDEC/AQD and the Philippine Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) was highlighted during the 44th Anniversary Program of SEAFDEC/AQD held last 07 July 2017 at its Multi-Purpose Hall in Tigbauan, Iloilo, Philippines.
“SEAFDEC/AQD is our most important ally in developing the aquaculture industry further,” remarked BFAR national director Eduardo Gongona in his keynote message delivered by BFAR 6 regional director Remia Aparri.
Gongona acknowledged the work done by SEAFDEC/AQD for the past 44 years in terms of research, technology generation, and trainings which benefitted their common stakeholders.
“You have become our ever-ready partner in updating the technical skills and knowledge of our aquaculturists, who in turn helped in empowering our fish farmers,” Gongona said.
“You have done the government so much favor whenever you contribute ideas for the formulation of new policy guidelines for fisheries,” Gongona added, referring to SEAFDEC’s contributions to the Food and Agriculture Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries and the ASEAN Guidelines for Preventing the Entry of Fish and Fishery Products from Illegal, Unreported, and Unregulated Fishing Activities into the Supply Chain.
“Now that the aquaculture industry is expanding, we anticipate greater partnership with SEAFDEC/AQD specifically on combating emerging diseases, adapting to climate change, and making the aquaculture industry more resilient,” Gongona concluded.
SEAFDEC/AQD acting chief Dr. Chihaya Nakayasu echoed Gongona in his message. “SEAFDEC/AQD has always been a proud partner of BFAR in advancing aquaculture development in the Philippines. I believe much more can be done to develop aquaculture, especially in empowering rural fisherfolk who consistently rank as the poorest of the poor in the Philippines,” he said.
Nakayasu enumerated new technologies developed by SEAFDEC/AQD such as the production of Class A single oysters that are bigger and meatier, as well as a seaweed strain currently being tested that grows faster and is more resistant to diseases.
“We have also stepped up our efforts to promote and disseminate our developed technologies,” Nakayasu said, referring to the efforts of AQD in training, extension, and publications.
Nakayasu also said that AQD continuously caters to institutions and individuals who wish to learn AQD’s science-based technologies and in the span of 44 years, AQD already produced more than 11,000 training alumni. In the past 30 years alone, over 429 trainees were BFAR personnel and extension workers which illustrate the significance of SEAFDEC/AQD’s partnership with the bureau.
Other partnerships made by the Department were also mentioned by Nakayasu, including the mud crab and soft-shell crab technologies which were recently adopted by both private and public sectors.
He also commended the Department’s efforts in being responsive to the technological needs of Southeast Asian aquaculture. He mentioned the number of aquaculture workshops including the recent international consultative meeting that addressed the need for alternative protein sources for aquafeeds.
“As we strengthen our ties with our partners and strive to be more responsive to the industry, we will continue to make discoveries and innovations for truly competitive and sustainable aquaculture,” Nakayasu ended.
The anniversary program was also graced by SEAFDEC deputy secretary general Dr. Kaoru Ishii who expressed his wish for AQD to continue addressing the issue of food security in the region.
The program also honored retirees and staff who served AQD for many years as well as research staff who won awards in various external symposiums.