By Development Communication Section
ILOILO CITY – Global experts in aquaculture said in a recent international workshop here that to enhance successes in resource enhancement and prevent failures in the aquaculture industry, member-countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) must share information.
The appeal was made at the International Workshop on the Promotion of Sustainable Aquaculture, Aquatic Animal Health and Resource Enhancement in Southeast Asia (SARSEA) organized by the Southeast Asian Fisheries Development Center/Aquaculture Department (SEAFDEC/AQD) on 25-27 June 2019 at Richmonde Hotel Iloilo.
The experts said sharing information among ASEAN member-countries was in view of the need for stronger capabilities in the detection of diseases in aquaculture resources so that aquaculture industries and institutions engaged in aquaculture resource enhancement avoid repetitions of mistakes.
“Aquaculture is growing and the gap is really widening in terms of disease detection capability. I firmly believe that working together is much better than working in isolation. If we work together, we will be benefited much faster,” said Dr. Arun Dhar, a speaker from the University of Arizona.
Other recommendations during the workshop funded by the government of Japan were the enforcement of the established guidelines on disease surveillance and disease reporting and the adoption of established guidelines for food safety and traceability.
On the other hand, SEAFDEC/AQD expert Dr. Jon Altamirano shared the same view as Dr. Dhar on enhancing information sharing among ASEAN countries, emphasizing during his synthesis of the workshop that there is insufficient awareness on resource enhancement successes and failures among ASEAN member countries.
The Japanese were also concerned about diseases in aquatic resources, with Mr. Akito Sato, Japanese Trust Fund Program Manager and SEAFDEC Deputy Secretary-General saying in his closing remarks, “I hope SEAFDEC/AQD and member countries continue activities for preventing aquatic disease in advance and promoting early warning more effectively as well as strengthening laboratory capacity for aquatic disease.”
There were four aquaculture experts across the globe to share their knowledge on aquatic animal health, sustainable aquaculture, and resource enhancement to 53 participants in the SARSEA. The participants also reported on the status of sustainable aquaculture and resource enhancement and aquatic animal health of their respective countries.