Baliao is SEAFDEC/AQD Chief for a third term

Dan Baliao gets a third term as Chief of the Aquaculture Department (AQD) of the Southeast Asian Fisheries Development Center (SEAFDEC) and will serve for another two years from Sept. 7, 2021 to Sept. 6, 2023. Photo courtesy of JM de la Cruz

Dan Baliao, the current Chief of the Iloilo-based Aquaculture Department (AQD) of the Southeast Asian Fisheries Development Center (SEAFDEC) was reappointed to a third term and will serve for another two years until Sept. 6, 2023.

SEAFDEC Secretary-General Malinee Smithrithee confirmed the reappointment of Baliao after the approval by a majority of the SEAFDEC Council Directors composed of representatives from 11 member countries.

The approval comes after his endorsement by the Department of Agriculture and nomination by President Rodrigo Duterte to the SEAFDEC Council.

Baliao was first appointed as Chief of AQD on Sept. 7, 2017. Since then, he has prioritized development programs to uplift the sufficiency of aquaculture seeds in the Philippines, the host country of the SEAFDEC/AQD.

He has also pushed for SEAFDEC/AQD’s development of low-cost aquafeeds, rallied for the intensive training of fisheries graduates, organized activities to accelerate techno-transfer in aquaculture, and promoted the revival of the tiger shrimp industry in the Philippines.

Baliao also extended assistance to the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) in conducting feasibility studies towards establishing over a dozen legislated multi-species hatcheries in various parts of the Philippines. He also advocated for the rehabilitation of abandoned and underutilized hatcheries in Region 6, one of which is already operational in Batan, Aklan, and one is nearing completion in Concepcion, Iloilo.

Under his leadership, new broodstock and hatchery facilities were recently completed at the SEAFDEC/AQD headquarters in Tigbauan, Iloilo, to expand the research center’s capacity to produce and supply both marine and freshwater seeds such as milkfish, tiger shrimp, giant freshwater prawn, and catfish.

To support food security during the COVID-19 pandemic, SEAFDEC/AQD ramped up its own production and delivery of aquaculture seeds and extended technical assistance to farmers through BFAR.

The research center also developed and conducted a series of online training courses in aquaculture for the National Fisheries Research and Development Institute (NFRDI) to equip BFAR personnel. In light of the pandemic, Baliao also enabled the online release of numerous books and farmer-oriented manuals authored by SEAFDEC/AQD experts so the public may freely download them from the Internet.

SEAFDEC is an autonomous inter-governmental body established in 1967 whose mission is to promote and facilitate concerted actions among member countries to ensure the sustainability of fisheries and aquaculture in Southeast Asia.

It has five departments in Thailand, Singapore, the Philippines, Malaysia, and Indonesia. Its Aquaculture Department was established in the Philippines in 1973 to conduct research, develop technologies, disseminate information, and train people in the farming of fishes, crustaceans, mollusks, and seaweeds for food, livelihood, equity, and sustainable development.