Monterey Bay Aquarium visits UPV for partnership talks

The Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch team visited the University of the Philippines Visayas (UPV) on May 15, 2024, to explore potential collaborations on sustainable seafood initiatives.

The delegation was welcomed by UPV Chancellor Clement C. Camposano, Vice Chancellor for Research and Extension Prof. Encarnacion Emilia S. Yap, and the deans of the College of Fisheries and Ocean Science and the College of Arts and Sciences, Dr. Harold M. Monteclaro and Prof. Pepito Fernandez, Jr., respectively.

Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch Program, established in 1999, began as a special exhibit on the impacts of seafood consumption. Due to its positive reception, it evolved into a permanent conservation program aimed at promoting sustainable seafood practices.

The Aquarium has a significant project in the Philippines focused on wild-caught blue swimming crabs. The Philippines is the fourth largest producer of blue swimming crabs globally and the second largest exporter to the United States.

Currently, the Monterey Bay Aquarium is collaborating on a socio-economic baseline study on blue swimming crab communities and the Model Village Project through the University of the Philippines Visayas Foundation, Inc. (UPVFI).

The project is in partnership with the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) Region 6 and the local government units of Concepcion, Iloilo, and Manapla, Negros Occidental.

During the visit, the Monterey Bay Aquarium team was escorted by experts from the UPV College of Fisheries and Ocean Science (CFOS) Institute of Fisheries Policy and Development Studies, including Dr. Liberty Napilan-Espectato, faculty member; Ms. Ruby P. Napata, University Researcher I; and Mr. Ariel S. Sefil, University Research Associate I.

UP Visayas is a strong advocate for sustainable seafood initiatives, and partnering with organizations like Monterey Bay Aquarium that share the same vision will enhance efforts towards creating a more sustainable and beneficial system for both people and the planet.

Ms. Reyna Fe Quilantang from the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research and Extension noted, “UPV is an ardent supporter and mover of sustainable seafood initiatives. Partnering with teams with the same vision will lead to a more active system that will benefit the people and the planet.”

This visit marks a significant step towards strengthening the collaborative efforts between UP Visayas and Monterey Bay Aquarium in promoting sustainable seafood practices in the Philippines. (Ms. Reyna Fe Quilantang, OVCRE)