Chiang Mai, THAILAND – To ensure the sustainability of its programs and activities, SEAFDEC/AQD presented its plans for next year during the 42nd SEAFDEC Program Committee Meeting (42PCM), 22nd Fisheries Consultative Group of the ASEAN Strategic Partnership (22FCG/ASSP), and Department Chief’s Meeting (DCM19) last 11 to 16 November 2019.
AQD chief Dan Baliao explained that AQD will be gearing towards the harmonization of relevant research and development studies with its partner-agencies in the Philippines including the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR), National Fisheries Research and Development Institute, Department of Science and Technology, as well as academic institutions such as the University of the Philippines.
“We believe that these institutions including the private sector could help in accelerating the transfer of technologies being developed in our end. We wanted the stakeholders to immediately reap the benefits from the work we’ve been doing,” said Baliao.
To support the demand of the industry, AQD will also focus more on refining and improving its technologies to produce safe and good quality multi-species seedstocks in sufficient quantity. Priority species will include tiger shrimp, milkfish, and mangrove crab.
“For 2020, we will guarantee that our scientists and researchers will focus on the priority areas which are geared towards aiding and assisting our fish farmers,” he said.
Baliao also opened the idea of inviting visiting scientists, both local and international, to work with AQD in attaining its mandates. External experts will be tapped to conduct studies within the priority research and development studies.
Although the plans generally address the priorities of the Philippines, the results could be shared with and adapted by other member-countries.
“On behalf of the Philippine government, we commend AQD for undertaking numerous activities that support the aquaculture industry in the country. Rest assured that the experiences and technologies generated by AQD would also benefit the other SEAFDEC member-countries,” said Mr. Rafael Ramiscal, SEAFDEC national coordinator for the Philippines and chief of BFAR’s Capture Fisheries Division.
Deputy Chief Dr. Koh-ichiro Mori presented a new program funded by the Government of Japan – Trust Fund (GOJ-TF) and to be undertaken by AQD. The goal of the proposed program is to attain sustainable aquaculture by developing cost-efficient culture systems and effective management of aquatic animal health.
“AQD has acquired useful information and skills on culture development and fish health management which are helpful in practicing sustainable and responsible utilization of aquatic resources in the country and in the entire Southeast Asian region,” said Mori.
This is already the seventh cycle where the Government of Japan will fund SEAFDEC studies on emerging and relevant issues on fisheries and aquaculture.
Dr. Leobert de la Peña, head of the Research Division of AQD, also presented the conclusion of the project on aquatic emergency preparedness and response system which was funded by the Japan-ASEAN Integration Fund and implemented by AQD.
He reported the successful development of the guidelines, which were already adopted through various meetings and convention by the ASEAN, on an early warning system for aquatic animal health emergencies suited to the needs of ASEAN member-states. Recommendations were also presented to ensure the sustainability of the project.
“In order to move forward, we wish to create contingency plans for high-profile diseases, manual, and other toolkits which are needed in the proper implementation of the guidelines,” said de la Peña.
At the end of the meetings, AQD’s achievements for 2019 were noted and the plans for 2020 were endorsed by the Committee.
— JM DE LA CRUZ