SEAFDEC-AQD forum advocates for blue economy

SEAFDEC-AQD scientist and researcher Dr. Roger Edward Mamauag discusses Pompano hatchery, nursery, and cage and pond (grow-out) operations during the SEAFDEC-AQD Farmers’ Forum on Tuesday, July 9, at SEAFDEC Main Station in Tigbauan, Iloilo. (Mariela Oladive photo)

By Juliane Judilla

The Southeast Asian Fisheries Development Center – Aquaculture Department (SEAFDEC-AQD) held its Farmers’ Forum on Tuesday, July 9, at the SEAFDEC Main Station in Tigbauan, Iloilo.

Themed “51 Years Strong: SEAFDEC/AQD Leading Aquaculture Innovation,” the forum provided information on new methods and practices for small and large-scale fishers in aquaculture cultivation and innovation, strengthening the call for food security in the country.

Mr. Marwin de la Cruz, associate researcher of SEAFDEC-AQD, opened the forum, sharing insights on the cultivation of Macrobrachium rosenbergii, locally known as “ulang,” alongside other freshwater and brackish water species.

This was followed by a discussion on Tropical Anguillid Eel culture by Dr. Frolan Aya, a scientist at SEAFDEC-AQD and renowned freshwater aquaculture expert who has published several papers on eel aquaculture.

Kathleen Trebol, Chief Executive Officer of Marmi Agricultural Corporation, tackled sustainable and innovative shrimp farming practices, as well as the culture techniques they use on their 6.6-hectare shrimp farm in Silay City, Negros Occidental.

The first part of the forum concluded with SEAFDEC-AQD scientists and researchers Dr. Roger Edward Mamauag and Ms. Irene Cbanilla Legaspi discussing Trichinotus Blochii, or Pompano hatchery, nursery, and cage and pond (grow-out) operations.

Gelyn Cayanan, a pompano and milkfish aquafarmer from the Pandaraonan Unified Association-Fisherfolk sector in Pandaraonan, Nueva Valencia, Guimaras, emphasized the relevance of such forums in raising their knowledge and enhancing their aquaculture farming techniques.

“Kaagi na kami orient kag seminar, pero mas nami diri, mas higher level pa gid nga mga resource person ang amon nga mabatian,” Cayanan said. (We have already attended orientations and seminars, but this one is better, since we get to learn from higher-level resource persons.)

SEAFDEC-AQD aims to further boost aquafarming and aquaculture knowledge in communities to advance a more sustainable and blue economy through various practical sessions, such as tilapia masculinization, micropropagation of seaweeds, sending samples for disease diagnosis/detection, and induced spawning of catfish.

The forum concluded with the book launching of Aquaculture Extension Manuals 75 and 76, “Breeding, Seed Production and Culture of African Catfish (Clarias gariepinus)” and “Manual on Important Marine Parasites and Their Hosts in the Philippines.”

This one-day forum is an annual gathering of specialists and experts with aquafarmers and aquaculture enthusiasts to exchange and discuss the most recent breakthroughs in the cultivation and production of major aquaculture commodities. It is also part of the research center’s 51st anniversary.

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