Milkfish harvest at Igang

Two tons of milkfish were harvested February 28 from one of the cages of the Petron cage culture project at the Igang Marine Station.

Since their stocking in the cages August last year, the milkfish have grown to an average of 400 grams per piece from an initial stocking weight of around 40 grams per fingerling. The harvest was sold at the Iloilo Fishing Port Complex.

Petron approved the partial harvest, which was conducted in consonance with the 5th session of the Season-long training course on milkfish cage culture. It was also a good time to harvest because of favorable market prices.

The last harvest of the cage was scheduled last March 18. Two other cages are still in grow-out phase.

The project is a collaboration between Petron Foundation Inc, SEAFDEC Aquaculture Department, the Philippine Business for Social Progress (PBSP) and the local government unit of Nueva Valencia, Guimaras.

AQD inks agreement with Misamis Occidental

Another Philippine province teams up with AQD with the signing of an agreement between AQD Chief Joebert Toledo and Misamis Occidental Governor Loreto Leo Ocampos last January 31 at the Misamis Occidental Aquamarine Park (MOAP).

Board Members Dello Lood, Jimmy Regalado, Estela Obut as well as AQD Research Division Head Dr. Evelyn Grace de Jesus-Ayson were present to witness the signing.

Under the agreement, which is effective for two years, AQD shall transfer the technologies on integrated grouper hatchery and culture and fishery resources management. AQD will provide a technician as well as train the province's technical staff and support the development of mariculture in Misamis Occidental. Impact assessment studies will be conducted as well.

On the part of Misamis Occidental, the government shall provide logistical support, initiate action from the grassroots level, allow AQD's use of MOAP for researchers and technical staff, and enact policies for the development of a sustainable aquaculture industry in the province.

An amount of P6,661,395 will be appropriated by the province for the implementation of mariculture projects which will include the construction of hatchery and grow-out facilities.

AQD advisees dominate research competitions

All winners in the three categories of the 3rd BIOTA Regional Biology Student Research Competition held last February 20 conducted their research under the supervision or assistance of AQD scientists.

The research tilt was held at the University of San Agustin and was organized by the Biology Teachers Association of the Philippines Western Visayas Chapter. First place for the college group category went to students from the University of Saint La Salle, Bacolod namely Merryjan Azucena, Jennifer Federizo, Cherry Grande, Jonel Lim, Nea Cecille Quiachon, and Myra Valencia. Along with their adviser Jessica Pacalioga, the students acknowledged Ms. Annie Franco and Dr. Evelyn Grace de Jesus-Ayson of AQD for assistance with the spirulina culture and the conduct of the crude protein analysis. Their study was entitled Effect of waste aquaculture pondwater and treated seawater on the production of spirulina Arthrospira platensis.

First prize, high school, individual oral presentation category was won by Kristelie Mae Tilla-in from Capiz National High School. Her study was on Gel strength analysis, hardiness test, and viscosity test of alginate from brown alga (Sargassum oligocystum) carageenan from red alga (Kappaphycus alvarezii) and agar from Gracilaria bailinae for the binding capacity of abalone (Haliotis asinina) diet. She worked under consultation with AQD's Ms. Maria Rovilla Luhan and Dr. Relicardo Coloso. She also acknowledged Mr. Kenneth Tibubos for assistance in processing the seaweeds. Paul Eugene Avelino, Felizardo Demayuga, Jr., and Christopher Dellota from Capiz National High School emerged first place (high school team category) with their study Immunostimulating diet additive from calamansi (Citrus microcarpa Bunge) rind crude extract for tiger prawns (Penaeus monodon Fabricius). Their adviser is Dr. Edgar Amar of AQD.

National Intel Philippine Science Fair

AQD's advisees also made a mark in the National Intel Philippine Science Fair last February 13-17 2008 in Tagaytay City. Mae Anne Tabasin (Team Leader), Tranquilino Tono, and JohnVincent Gabiano of Maasin National High School emerged 1st place with their study The effects of levamisole on the non-specific cellular immune response in tilapia, Oreochromis niloticus. Their adviser is also Dr. Amar.

Congratulations to all the winning students and to their mentors!

AQD joins UP Centennial Parade

Calling themselves Taga-UP sa SEAFDEC, AQD-based alumni and graduate students of the University of the Philippines were among the estimated 6,000 people who attended the UP Visayas Grand Centennial Parade last January 26.

The AQD contingent marched the 4-kilometer parade nicknamed Bayle sa Kalye which began at Plaza Libertad and culminated with a program at the UP Iloilo City Campus.

The parade jumpstarts the year-round centennial celebration of UP to be highlighted by a Grand Centennial Alumni Homecoming in Araneta Coliseum this June and a Grand Lantern Parade at UP Diliman in December.

A notable number of AQD employees are UP alumni including the Chief and three Division Heads.

Dr. JH Primavera in science magazine booklet

At home you think of work and at work you think of your babies at home," describes AQD's Scientist Emeritus Dr. Jurgenne Primavera referring to her experience of being a mother and a scientist at the same time.

Dr. Primavera is included in the L'Oréal Women in Science booklet along with other "women scientists" from around the world.

The booklet was commissioned by the Science magazine of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in cooperation with the L'Oréal Corporate Foundation in time for the L'Oréal-Unesco Awards for Women in Science.

Dr. Primavera is seen along with her two grandchildren in page 18 of the booklet that hopes to inspire young female scientists, undergraduate students, and school children to consider a career in science.

Download the PDF of the booklet here.

Special training courses at AQD’s freshwater station

Fourteen staff based in AQD's Binangonan Freshwater Station (BFS) participated in a special in-house trainors' training on Natural Food Culture and Feed Formulation conducted November 12-22, 2007. The training course intended to upgrade the skills of BFS staff in the preparation and formulation of aquatic animal feeds.

Ms. Antonieta Evangelista, Ms. Alma Lazartigue, and Mr. Manuel Laron lectured on natural food culture, computation of plankton density, nutrition and feeding, feed formulation, and feed preparation & proper storage.

The participants were given hands-on training on the proper techniques in phytoplankton isolation and identification, media preparation, phyto- and zooplankton culture, processing of indigenous raw materials as feed ingredients, preparation of feed ingredients, and the production of tilapia feeds.

Cyanobacteria training

In another training, two graduate students from the University of the Philippines' College of Engineering attended a special training the proper techniques in phytoplankton isolation and identification, media preparation, and phytoplankton culture. The main resource persons were Ms. Antonieta Evangelista, Dr. Maria Lourdes Aralar and Ms. Alma Lazartigue.

The topics helped the students prepare for the conduct of their masteral theses which focus on the blue green algae (Microcystis sp), the toxins they produce and the presence of these cyanobacteria in natural water bodies.

Training course on mangrove ecology

SEAFDEC/AQD, in cooperation with Rebuilding Resilience of Coastal Populations and Aquatic Resources (RESCOPAR), is pleased to announce the Training Course on Mangrove Ecology, Taxonomy and Community Structure to be held on April 30-May 04, 2008 at the SEAFDEC/AQD Tigbauan Main Station (TMS), Tigbauan, Iloilo and Ibajay, Aklan, Philippines.

The 5-day course aims to provide participants with technical knowledge and skills to identify and characterize mangrove species and communities, and select appropriate species for replanting. The course consists of lectures on mangrove biology and ecology, taxonomy, and community structures with corresponding field work and laboratory calculations (please see attached schedule of activities). All field work will be done in Ibajay, Aklan in Panay Island, central Philippines where healthy and highly diverse mangroves are present. Moreover, nearby Kalibo has the best man-made mangrove plantation in the country.

The training fee is U$450 per person. This covers registration fee, training materials, honoraria of lecturers, and transportation and travel to and from Ibajay, Aklan. Participants must cover expenses on lodging and meals, and international and domestic airfares. Local participants can avail of special training fee.

For more information, please contact SEAFDEC/AQD Training and Information Division at: Tel. No.: (6333) 511-9172;
Fax No.: (6333)5118709; Email: or

Schedule of Activities





April 29 (Tue)

Arrival of participants/billeting at AQD Apartment

April 30 (Wed)

8 - 8:30 AM


Training Section

8:30 - 9:30 AM

Tour of AQD Facilities

Training Section

9:30 -10 AM

Opening Ceremony

Training Section

10 AM - 12 PM

Mangrove Biology

JH Primavera

1 - 3 PM

Mangrove Ecology

JH Primavera

3 - 5 PM

Mangrove-Friendly Aquaculture

JH Primavera

May 01 (Thu)

8 -10 AM

Taxonomy of Mangroves

JL Ramos

10 AM -12 PM

Mangrove Community Structures

JL Ramos

1 PM

Depart for Ibajay, Aklan

May 02 (Fri)

Whole day

Fieldwork on Mangrove Taxonomy

JH Primavera

JL Ramos

May 03 Sat

Whole day

Fieldwork and computation on Community Structure

JL Ramos

May 04 (Sun)

8 - 10 AM


10 - 11 AM

Closing Ceremony

11:30 AM

Depart for overnight stay in Boracay Island (Optional)

May 05 (Mon)


Return trip to respective places