6 ISUFST faculty join international fisheries conference

Six faculty members from the Iloilo State University of Fisheries Science and Technology (ISUFST) successfully participated in the 1st International Conference on Responsible Fisheries and Sustainable Aquaculture (ICORFASA) held from July 3-5, 2024, at the Limketkai Luxe Hotel in Cagayan de Oro City, Misamis Oriental, Philippines.

The event was attended by 200 participants from 22 schools across seven countries. Dr. Roy Villanueva and Dr. Jescel Bito-onon, pioneers of the Ph-Turkey project that prompted the conference, served as concurrent session moderators.

Dr. Villanueva presented a poster on innovative techniques for induced spawning of African catfish, while Prof. Caryl Jade Villanueva and Prof. Rother Gaudiel delivered separate papers on the health of the Tinori-an River, mangrove composition, and coastal habitat management. Dr. Rolindo Demo-os, Jr., dean of the College of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences (CFAS), discussed his research on coastal habitat mapping using remote sensing. All ISUFST entries were in the non-contesting category.

Dr. Herman Lagon delivered a plenary pledge of support from ISUFST to partner universities on behalf of ISUFST President Dr. Nordy Siason, Jr. He highlighted the university’s unwavering dedication to sustainable fisheries and aquaculture practices.

Dr. Lagon, along with Dr. Jescel Bito-onon, who was recognized as one of the best-dressed delegates, engaged in strategic discussions with partners to outline future steps for the fisheries consortium.

Dr. Siason expressed his support for the event, stating, “ISUFST is deeply committed to advancing our programs in fisheries and aquaculture. We believe that through international collaboration, we can drive innovation and elevate the standards of our research and education. This conference exemplifies our dedication to working alongside global partners to address the pressing challenges in fisheries and aquaculture.”

Reflecting on the conference’s impact, Dr. Bito-onon, the team leader for the ISUFST delegation, remarked, “Participating in ICORFASA is a tremendous opportunity for our faculty and students. It allows us to engage in meaningful research and knowledge exchange, opening doors for collaborative initiatives that will significantly enhance the fisheries and marine biology standards at ISUFST.”

Dr. Elnor Roa, Chancellor of Mindanao State University (MSU) Naawan, praised the conference’s success and future potential.

“The attendance exceeded our expectations, demonstrating a strong commitment from all participants. This conference marks the beginning of robust collaborations and future projects among our institutions, paving the way for significant advancements in responsible fisheries and sustainable aquaculture,” Roa said.

The conference featured a series of activities, beginning with registration and opening ceremonies, which included multimedia presentations and remarks from key dignitaries. Various keynote and plenary talks were delivered by experts from the Philippines, Turkey, Malaysia, and Thailand, followed by Q&A sessions and breakout discussions for deeper engagement.

It also included a stakeholders’ forum, poster sessions, and a series of breakout sessions, culminating in a closing ceremony with awards and messages of support from partner universities and the signing of the pledge of support.

Keynote and plenary speakers included CHED Chairman J. Prospero de Vera III, DOST X Regional Director Engr. Romela Ratilla, Ankara University Dr. Emre Keskin, Canakkale Onsekiz Mart University Prof. Dr. Sebahattin Ergun, Universiti Malaysia Terengganu Prof. Dr. Khor Waiho, Asian Institute of Technology-Thailand Prof. Kyoko Kusakabe, BFAR Region X Regional Director Edward Yasay, and BFAR National Mariculture Center and ISUFST Alumnus Dr. Jericardo Mondragon.

ICORFASA aims to become a cornerstone international event, promoting sustainable practices and innovative solutions in fisheries and aquaculture. The participation of ISUFST faculty underscores the university’s dedication to contributing to global discussions on responsible fisheries and sustainable aquaculture. (Herman Lagon/PAMMCO)

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