SEAFDEC/AQD hosted the back-to-back workshops “Statistics of Tropical Anguillid Eel in Southeast Asia” on 23 April 2019 and “Aquaculture of Tropical Anguillid Eel in Southeast Asia” on 24-25 April 2019 in Alabang, Metro Manila, Philippines.
The workshop was attended by country representatives from Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, Thailand, Viet Nam and the Philippines. Japanese participants represented JANUS, a consulting firm involved in the project. Resource persons were also invited to present on various topics. Eel farmers from Indonesia, Vietnam and the Philippines were present during the aquaculture workshop.
The workshops aimed at presenting the output of the first phase of the Japan-ASEAN Integration Fund (JAIF) supported project on “Enhancing Sustainable Utilization and Management scheme of Tropical Anguillid Eel Resources in Southeast Asia” which officially started in August 2017.
“Statistics of Tropical Anguillid Eel in Southeast Asia”, 23rd April 2019
The first workshop included presentations on the status, utilization, management, and trade of tropical anguillid eels. The ecology of the eels’ inshore migration was also presented as well as the results of a study on the genetic connectivity of eels in Southeast Asia.
Based on the presentations and discussions, a lot of work is still needed to fully capture the status of tropical anguillid eel fisheries and its utilization. Harmonization of fisheries data, particularly on anguillid capture and trade is needed to fully understand the dynamics of tropical anguillid eels and to better conserve and manage remaining eel resources.
It is also important to determine if the populations of different species of anguillids common to some ASEAN countries belong to a single stock or not to determine if a joint or separate management initiatives are needed for such species: e.g. Anguilla bicolor pacifica, A. bicolor bicolor, and A. marmorata.
“Aquaculture of Tropical Anguillid Eel in Southeast Asia”, 24th – 25th April 2019
The second workshop saw representatives from the Philippines, Indonesia and Viet Nam present on the status of anguillid eel aquaculture in their respective countries. Dr. Maria Lourdes Aralar, SEAFDEC/AQD retired scientist, presented Observations and Perspectives on Anguillid Eel Culture in Japan, based on a benchmarking and survey trip to Japan, specifically farms, processing plant and research institutions involved in Anguillid eel.
Dr. Aralar also presented the results of the Eel Aquaculture Survey in the Philippines; Dr. Frolan Aya, scientist, presented on the Nursery Rearing Trials of Philippines Anguillid Eels; Mr. Dan Joseph Logronio, senior technical assistant, presented on Diseases of Eel in Aquaculture/Health management; and Dr. Maria Rowena R. Eguia, scientist, on Morphometric and Genetic Identification of Glass Eel Species Used in Aquaculture.
The final activity of the workshop was the launching and distribution of SEAFDEC/AQD’s Aquaculture Extension Manual No. 65 “Nursery Culture of Tropical Anguillid Eels in the Philippines” authored by Dr. Aralar, Dr. Aya, Dr. Eguia and Mr. Logronio.
In the discussions, scarcity of anguillid glass eels, particularly of the desired species A. bicolor pacifica in the Philippines was raised as one of the problems of the industry. Despite difficulty (as shown by Japan’s experience) in breeding the genus in captivity, ASEAN member states that value the species were called to start investing in research on the breeding of the species found in their country.
On the last day of the workshop, Mr. Richard Sorita, an eel farmer and also an attendee to the workshop, hosted the participants in a field trip to his farm, SMO Pacific Trading in Calaca, Batangas.
These back to back workshops covered the first phase of the JAIF project on tropical anguillid eels and is due to end July 2019. A second phase of the JAIF project on tropical anguillid eels is currently in preparation with activities and tasks still to be finalized, based on the outcome of the current project.