Dr. JD Toledo: the legacy of SEAFDEC Aquaculture Department

As SEAFDEC Aquaculture Department celebrates 35 years of research, technology demonstration, training and information dissemination, AQD Chief Dr. Joebert Toledo paid tribute to the past & present AQD staff, past AQD Chiefs, the Government of the Philippines (Department of Agriculture, DA-Bureau of Fisheries & Aquatic Resources, Department of Foreign Affairs, and Department of Budget & Management), the Government of Japan, and past & present funding & collaborative partners.

Dr. Toledo said that because of these men and women working on and supporting responsible aquaculture, AQD was able to leave behind the following legacy to the aquaculture industry:

The legacy of tiger shrimp and milkfish, the two pioneering commodities in aquaculture. AQD practically built the tiger shrimp industry which became a sunshine industry in the '70s and '80s. AQD aided its partial recovery in the mid-'90s when the mangrove-friendly shrimp culture technologies were developed and tested in the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam.

With milkfish, AQD began a national breeding program with the Department of Agriculture in 1981, and is now supporting 16 hatcheries that have recently mushroomed as backyard operations. These hatcheries are the answer to the fry shortage outcry a few years back, and are indispensible to the growing milkfish sea cage industry today.

The legacy of diversified aquaculture. AQD no longer limited itself to tiger shrimp and milkfish. It has diversified as the aquaculture industry has diversified. Through scientific research, new technologies on hatchery and grow-out were developed for abalone, mudcrab, freshwater prawn, bighead carp, tilapia, grouper, snapper, seabass, rabbitfish, and seaweeds. The offering of a wide range of commodities is because sites can be very specific. One technology or commodity will not work for all sites. Conditions may be different, people's skills may be different, or the market demand may be different. But AQD is prepared to make its aquaculture technologies suitable to investors, small-scale, medium-scale, or big-scale; in freshwater, brackishwater, or in marine waters.

The legacy of scientific research. AQD technologies are backed by scientific research, by peer-reviewed papers in science journals. There are more papers published for mature technologies. Milkfish for instance has 160 papers in science journals, with the first paper published in 1976 and the latest in 2006. Mudcrab, an emerging technology, has 40 journal papers, most of which were published after 2000.

It is not just the numbers, with AQD having nearly 900 research papers published. It is also the quality, with more than 100 of these papers having been cited for best research.

The legacy of skilled manpower or skilled womanpower for Southeast Asia. Since AQD started offering its first training course on brackishwater aquaculture in 1975, it has trained more than 7,000 people from more than 20 countries in 68 kinds of training course topics. Most trainees have gone on to positions of responsibility in their home countries, and they represent their respective countries in SEAFDEC-hosted regional meetings and consultations. They attribute their aquaculture skills to AQD.

The legacy of fishfarmer-friendly materials, of information dissemination to support technology transfer efforts. AQD endeavors not to cater to the scientific community alone. It does not want to be considered an ivory tower of purely intellectual wisdom. AQD hence labors to write and publish how-to manuals and books that fishfarmers and other stakeholders can use as field references. Over 35 years, there have been over 200 farmer-friendly publications, at least 700 newsletters, and 32 videos. All of AQD's recent materials are also available through the website http://www.seafdec.org.ph/, including the library collection which is reputed to be the best collection of aquaculture materials in Southeast Asia.

The legacy of responsible aquaculture and fisheries. The SEAFDEC family, including the four Departments in the Philippines, Thailand, Singapore and Malaysia, has regionalized the Codes of Conduct for: aquaculture & mangrove ecosystems, fishing operations, fisheries management & co-management, and postharvest & trade. SEAFDEC endeavors to have these adopted by stakeholders of the aquaculture and fisheries industries, and turned into law by SEAFDEC member-countries. Meanwhile, AQD's own aquatic ecology program has been up and running since 2006.

Dr. Toledo articulated two more legacies that he wants his generation of AQD researchers to leave in the future. The first is the legacy of a systematic and institutionalized technology transfer mechanism backed by scientific research. He said he aims for substantive results of AQD's two new technology demonstration programs. The first program is for people's cooperatives, their local government units, and NGO partners under the ICD-SA program or the Institutional capacity development for sustainable aquaculture program. The second program is for entrepreneurs under an ABOT Negosyo or Agree-build-operate-transfer Aquabusiness. The technical assistance provided is from project planning to actual operation up to project evaluation. For the ABOT, the SEAFDEC Secretary-General Dr. Siri Ekmarahaj has given the green light for AQD to expand it to all the member-countries of SEAFDEC.

The second is the legacy of publishing research findings in science journals as the prime movers for technology development and innovation. This ensures that AQD's research will continue to be available to SEAFDEC member-countries in perpetuity.

Dr. Hiroshi Ogata : ordinary people are AQD’s bosses

SEAFDEC/AQD's Deputy Department Chief, Dr. Hiroshi Ogata, a Japanese national, considers himself the representative of "Japanese experts who have exerted themselves sincerely for the development of AQD in the last 35 years" but who are, unfortunately, not able to attend the July 11 anniversary ceremony at AQD's main station in Tigbauan, Iloilo, Philippines.

"I am also proud that the Government of Japan and the Japanese experts have been part of the institutional advancement of AQD and technology development of tropical aquaculture together with you, distinguished AQD staff. In addition, I wish to express our sincere thanks to you all, for your Filipino hospitality and friendliness that have been given to Japanese experts and their families for the last 35 years.

"As you are aware, Japan's Official Development Assistance mechanism, specifically rendered to SEAFDEC had shifted from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs through JICA to the Trust Fund of the Fisheries Agency which started in 1998. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Fisheries Agency have been providing technical and financial assistance to the development of aquaculture in the region, because they recognized the important role of aquaculture for the stable supply of food for the people not only in the region but also in the world. Since 1998 until now, SEAFDEC Aquaculture Department has accomplished 7 programs, of which 3 programs are still ongoing under the Japanese Trust Fund in collaboration with other SEAFDEC member countries. A number of useful findings and information have been accumulated by AQD through the implementation of the programs.

"Here, to represent Japan, and I would like to extend my highest appreciation to all who have actively participated in the implementation of the programs. I expect and hope that tangible results and accomplishments from the Japanese Trust Fund Programs can be appreciated by the end user.

"This year, AQD proposed 4 new Trust Fund Programs for 2010 and onward, aimed at promoting sustainable and responsible aquaculture and resource enhancement. Although the Fisheries Agency of Japan still have a hard time finding funds, I strongly hope that the Japanese Trust Fund Programs will continue to enable AQD to achieve the new goals and the strategic plans that were proposed and adopted this year.

"Personally, I started my career as a scientist 35 years ago. Today, I am somewhat emotional, because the 35th AQD anniversary reminds me where I was, what I was doing and what I was thinking 35 years ago. Although I had known AQD's activities since early 1980's through its publications in various international journals, my first chance of working here started in October, 2001. What I was so impressed about when I first came here is that AQD is a comprehensive organization, a professional family with the capability of implementing research & development, verification, dissemination and training for aquaculture in Southeast Asia. This may be not a special thing to you, but in Japan we have Research Institute of Aquaculture but, we don't have comprehensive organizations such as AQD And I want to emphasize that it is the individual and organizational capacity of our AQD that is evaluated internationally, being comprehensive and systematic is one of the Department's fortes, I would say.

"I also would like to mention another forte of AQD, that is, the technologies developed by the Department are based on science. Our science is not pure science but applied science or industrial science which is closely related to our existence and lives. As you know, we are now facing many issues such as climate change or price increases. Although in a sense, technology development based on science might have brought about the crisis of global warming, I think that we have to demonstrate that science also can contribute to a better world. We, applied scientists, can directly fight the issues and contribute to the solution through our science for our next generation. I think this is a wonderful thing. I am reassured by knowing that development and promotion of science-based technologies is one of the new goals of SEAFDEC/AQD.

"I urge AQD employees not to forget that as a staff of a public organization, we should recognize that we are public servants for ordinary people, because our salary comes not from the Government but from the ordinary people, who are our customers -- the ordinary people who is our boss -- ordinary people. The public support by ordinary people is essential in the subsistence of public organizations. I understand that concern for customer and the commitment to the localities are good traditions of AQD. Do not forget these things -- concern for ordinary people and the commitment to the localities, as long as AQD exists. I hope SEAFDEC/AQD will continue and move forward in reaching its new goals and mandates at the same time holding your good traditions together with ordinary people. Continue giving people a bright future and hope by your science and by your activities. I also wish that we could enjoy the 100th anniversary of SEAFDEC/AQD although not from here, but from the higher place."

"Best wishes for continued development, success, and happiness."

DA-BFAR expresses support for SEAFDEC/AQD

"The Department of Agriculture and the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources join the chorus of exultant voices in congratulating SEAFDEC's Aquaculture Department for chalking up 35 years of solid and meaningful contributions to the cause of sustainable development and responsible stewardship of aquaculture resources in Southeast Asia," Atty. Malcolm Sarmiento, BFAR Director, said in his written message to AQD employees.

"It says a lot about the stature, reputation and credibility of SEAFDEC/AQD that people from different cultures have taken time off from their busy schedules and traveled from near and far to express their collective appreciation and gratitude for the way this venerable institution has successfully elevated aquaculture research, training, technology transfer and information dissemination into a vital cog of food security and poverty eradication programs in the region.

"The impact of SEAFDEC/AQD on the growth and development of the aquaculture industry cannot be overemphasized. During the last 35 years, it has pioneered in the development of various aquaculture technologies, the most notable of which include the seed production of the tiger prawn or sugpo; the breeding and production of milkfish; and, of late, the farming of commercially important aquaculture commodities such as abalone, mud crab, freshwater prawn, grouper, snapper, sea bass, rabbit fish, seaweeds and other freshwater fishes.

"For all of us who live in the so-called biodiversity hotspots where resources for capture fisheries have been seriously impaired by a deathly mix of abuse and misuse, it is providential that SEAFDEC/AQD has come to the rescue in the form of science-based technologies that have resulted in rapid increases in aquaculture production – increases that have somehow made up for the steady decline in the contribution of the commercial and municipal fisheries subsectors to the national fish production effort.

"The Philippine government has long recognized the thrust of SEAFDEC/AQD on harnessing research and extension for poverty alleviation and livelihood generation complements the long-term objectives of the Department of Agriculture and that of our agency, the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources. It is for this reason that DA-BFAR has seen it fit to partner with SEAFDEC/AQD in the implementation of various production-enhancement and capacity-building activities. The most recent of these collaborations include the national abalone breeding and culture program, fish health management through training and collaborative research; aquaculture biotechnology program; dissemination and adoption of milkfish aquaculture technology in the Philippines; and, joint mission for accelerated nationwide techno-transfer program.

"The good news is that by resolving to work together, DA-BFAR and SEAFDEC/AQD have managed to craft model schemes that facilitate coordination and cooperation, and in the process, enable both parties to extract the best conservation benefits from production-enhancement ideas that take into account the imperatives of sustainable and responsible aquaculture development.

"We are thus happy to note that in its effort to remain competitive and relevant in the face of "increasing scarcity of resources available to it," SEAFDEC/AQD is gearing up to assume a more active role in technology transfer and verification but not at the expense of its primary mandate of research and technology innovation. We agree that no cap should be imposed on technology generation since the future holds great and demanding challenges that will require proactive research programs and directions.

"In its 35 years of existence, SEAFDEC/AQD has gifted this part of the world with dynamic and trailblazing ideas that have removed the dangers, threats and uncertainties in production-oriented aquaculture projects.

"We wish it well in its desire to leave behind a stronger legacy of stronger aquaculture development through programs and projects that will enable the countries in the Region to maximize their vast aquaculture potentials without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs."

Dr. Alcala bats for establishment of more marine protected areas

Marine protected areas (MPAs) could not only give fishers increased catch, but could also be an ecotourism destination.

This is the gist of the talk given by Dr. Angel Alcala, director of the Silliman University Angelo King Center for Research and Environmental Management. Dr. Alcada gave the 2008 Dean Domiciano K. Villaluz Memorial Lecture on Marine ecological research for resource management last July 8, 2008 at the Tigbauan Main Station of SEAFDEC/AQD in Iloilo, Philippines.

The MPA concept: 20-30% of the total marine reserve is designated as a "no-take-zone," which means that fishing within this area is prohibited. The remaining 70-80% area may be used for fishing using non-destructive gear, such as hook and line.

By giving fish a protected habitat, they are given more opportunities to grow into bigger sizes and breed. This in turn creates a "spillover effect," wherein fish migrate onto the non-protected area of the reserve. Dr. Alcala noted that with protection, catch could reach 15-20 tons of fish per square kilometer; compared with just 5-10 tons without protected areas.

This setup has had its share of success stories, most notably the Apo Island and Sumilon marine reserves. According to Dr. Alcala, ecotourism receipts reach about $700,000 per year. In addition, around 150,000 coastal fishers have benefited from the spillover, which resulted to increased fish catch of about 10% per year. The concept of no-take reserves has also been adopted by other countries. The Shedd Museum in Chicago has in fact showcased the Apo Island model of coral reef conservation.

The successful implementation is the result of more than 20 years of research and monitoring, community-based coastal resource management (CBCRM), and support from local government units (LGUs), national agencies and NGOs. He noted that CBCRM is a relatively slow process, but if done right, could result to sustained management. He also stated that MPAs work under the situation where LGUs are also involved in its management.

Still, a lot of catching up has to be done: only 20% of MPAs in the Philippines is functional; the rest exist mainly on paper, according to Dr. Alcala.

What are the policy/program implications? Dr. Alcala cited the need to (1) establish more MPAs to conserve biodiversity and combat climate change; (2) conduct coastal resource management training activities; (3) establish deep-water reserves; and (4) strengthen the capacity of LGUs for CRM.

Dr. Alcala closed his lecture with a quote from Edward O. Wilson, a noted writer: "at the end of the day, in a more democratic world, it will be the ethics and desires of the people, not their leaders, who give power to government and the NGOs or take it away. They will decide if there are to be more or fewer reserves, and choose whether a particular species will live or die."

Dr. Alcala was the former Secretary of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources. He was the recipient of the Ramon Magsaysay Award for Government Service in 1992.

The Dean Domiciano K. Villaluz Memorial Lecture is being held every year to honor Dean Villaluz, who was SEAFDEC/AQD's first chief from 1973-1979.

AQD teams up with Red Cross for blood donation drive

There was blood shed on July 8, 2008, but for a good cause.

By donating about 30 minutes of their time and a glass of their blood, AQD personnel and their kin did their part in saving lives by ensuring that those in need could avail of this precious fluid.

In cooperation with the Philippine National Red Cross (PNRC), the bloodletting activity was held at the Conference Room at AQD's Tigbauan Main Station in Iloilo, Philippines.

Dr. Dennise Roy Pasadilla of PNRC gave a pep talk prior to the donation, wherein he explained the procedures and the benefits of blood donation. Among the requirements: the donor – a healthy male or female – must weigh at least 110 lbs (50 kg); must be 18-60 years old (although regular donors can keep giving blood until age 65); and must have a minimum acceptable hemoglobin of 12.5% for females and 13.5% for males as determined by the PNRC's medical technologist. After further screening and blood typing, the donors then proceeded to have their blood taken.

In the end, 35 bags of blood were collected from 35 donors, who each shed about a glass (around 230 cc) of their blood.

Saving lives and celebrating its 35th anniversary, AQD is committed to strengthening the legacy of responsible aquaculture in Southeast Asia.

AQD holds six international training courses

AQD has scheduled practically all of its international training courses in the second quarter of the year, incidentally coinciding with the onset of the breeding season of most tropical species. Six courses have been organized and completed.

The first one was titled "Grouper hatchery training course for the Philippines." Held 7 to 25 April at AQD's main station and in a private grouper hatchery in Iloilo, the course was a collaboration among NACA, ACIAR and AQD. Fifteen Filipinos attended, coming from the Panay provinces, Palawan, Zamboanga, and Tawi-tawi.

The second one was a "Training course on mangrove ecology, taxonomy and community structure" that run from 30 April to 4 May. It was conducted by AQD in collaboration with RESCOPAR, a mainly Wageningen University-funded program (The Netherlands). Twenty-five attended, with trainees coming from Indonesia, Vietnam and the Philippines.

The third course was on "Seaweeds (Kappaphycus) farming" which was conducted 5-9 May with six attending, from the United Arab Emirates and the Philippines.

The fourth was the international training course on "Abalone hatchery and grow-out" held 7-27 May. The nine participants came from Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Oman, and the Philippines.

The fifth course was on "Marine fish hatchery" organized from 20 May to 25 June with nine in attendance. The trainees came from France, Myanmar, Vietnam, Saudi Arabia, and Philippines.

The sixth training course was on "Crab seed production" that opened on 10 June (until 1 July). Four attended, from Myanmar, the USA and Philippines.

AQD FishWorld joins deep sea survey-expedition

AQD FishWorld curator Dr. Teodora Bagarinao joined an expedition dubbed LUMIWAN 2008 that surveyed deep-sea benthic fauna of the South China Sea. The expedition team, aboard the research vessel MV DA-BFAR left Manila on March 22 and made it back April 2 after going to 68 sampling stations off Mindoro and Palawan.

The expedition was conducted by the Museum national d'Histoire naturelle of Paris, the Smithsonian Institution of Washington DC, DA-BFAR, and the University of San Carlos. Other than Dr. Bagarinao, museum scientists from France, USA, New Caledonia, Taiwan, Russia, Singapore, and WorldFish were on-board.

German student conducts thesis at AQD

Ms. Karin Isabela Kühn conducted her Master's degree thesis at AQD from February to April 2008. She is a student of Agricultural Biology at Hohenheim University, Stuttgart, Germany. She compared the growth performance and survival of the giant freshwater prawn in cages relying solely on natural food and those fed with commercially formulated feeds. She also conducted digestibility studies of commercial feeds in prawns using titanium dioxide as digestibility marker.

Her work at AQD was supervised by AQD scientist Dr. Ma. Lourdes Aralar while her supervisors in Germany are Prof. Dr. Klaus Becker and Dr. Ulfert Focken.

AQD and fisherfolk explore the concept of resource management

Under its regional stock enhancement program (socioeconomics component), AQD organized information and planning seminars with and for the program's target community (Brgy. Molocaboc) in Sagay, Negros Occidental in west central Philippines.

The first topic was on the biology of abalone and giant clam to prompt better appreciation of marine resources; this was conducted 13 March and attended by 39 fishers, gleaners, local government officers, Bantay Dagat personnel (local sea patrol) and Sagay Marine Reserve (SMR) staff.

The second topic was on ecotourism, conducted 13 May and attended by 47 people.

The third, a Participatory Action Plan Development, was on 14 May with 41 people in attendance. This activity came up with a community resource map, priority list of problems and corresponding solutions relevant to Sagay fisheries and the collaborative stock enhancement initiatives among AQD, SMR and the local government.

The stock enhancement program is funded by the Government of Japan Trust Fund.

AQD exhibits on food security

The Philippines is known as the fiesta islands, and AQD joined five exhibitions which have been timed to coincide with town festivals. In each activity, AQD showcased aquaculture technologies that can improve livelihood for food security.

The Bicol Trade Fair held April 13-19
was organized by the Metro Naga Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the City Government of Naga. It introduced the Bicolanos and their visitors to trade and investment opportunities in the province.

The Sinigayan Agri-Fair was from March 14-17 in Sagay City. Among the guests who visited AQD's booth were Department of Agriculture Secretary Arthur Yap and Congressional Representative Julio Ledesma IV with his wife-actress Assunta de Rossi.

The Semana sang Iloilo (or Iloilo Week) Agri-Fair was held April 8-11 at the Capitol Grounds in Iloilo City. AQD likewise participated in the Capiz Farmer's Day organized by the Provincial Government of Capiz last April 14 in Roxas City. AQD also joined the one-town-one-product trade fair organized by the Rizal local government units and the Department of Trade & Industry that ran from 12-15 June in a shopping mall in Taytay, Rizal.

Shrimp farmers in the Philippines go for the Pacific white shrimp

Thirty-eight (38) grow-out farms and seven (7) accredited hatcheries might not seem a lot, but their very existence signals the Philippines' entry into white shrimp Litopenaeus vannamei aquaculture.

Foreign and local experts speaking during the 6th Philippine Shrimp Congress held 28-30 May 2008 in Bacolod City, south of the Philippine capital of Manila, have agreed on how to ensure success in white shrimp culture:

1. the use of specific-pathogen free (SPF) or specific-pathogen resistant (SPR) broodstock and "high-health" fry. Importations of SPF or SPR broodstock will only be from government-approved sources. At the moment, only 10 facilities in the U.S.A. are accredited, all pre-cleared or certified by the Oceanic Institute or the United States Marine Shrimp Farming Program Consortium. On the other hand, hatcheries producing "high-health" fry from these imported broodstock would have to seek accreditation from the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR). Accreditation is contingent upon water treatment (incoming and effluent water), physical isolation, aeration, and sanitation & disinfection facilities and practices.

2. the use of best management practices (BMPs) in grow-out farms which means:

  • provision of settling & treatment ponds, filtration system & reservoirs
  • the use of probiotics (several products are commercially available and usually made-up of Bacillus spp.);
  • installation of biosecurity measures, including tire bath at farm entrance, footbath & hand disinfection at the pond entrance, nets & high-density polyethylene liners as crab fence, bird scaring devices, individual paraphernalia for each pond, and hygiene facilities for farm personnel
  • continuous monitoring of shrimp stock for disease symptoms. BFAR and other institutions like SEAFDEC/AQD have disease diagnostic laboratories where shrimp farmers can send shrimp samples
  • Grow-out farms also need to get certification from BFAR prior to their operation.
3. the marketing of the right size of shrimp demanded by consumers, and compliance by producers, processors & exporters to regulations on food safety (e.g. HACCP), traceability, environmental and social components (e.g. fair trade)

The road to white shrimp in the Philippines has been long and paved with controversies. Prior to January 2007, the government banned the importation of L. vannamei (it is not native to the country) amidst fears of exotic disease agents that would ride on the white shrimp.

White shrimp culture in other countries is not problem-free. It has been hit by viruses -- i.e., WSSV, taura syndrome virus, yellowhead virus, gill-associated virus, infectious hypodermal & hematopoietic necrosis virus, and infectious myonecrosis virus – and bacteria (necrotizing hepatopancreatitis).

But the private sector, through the Fisheries and Aquaculture Board, lobbied for the lifting of the ban because shrimp farmers found tiger shrimp (Penaeus monodon) culture extremely difficult, as they have been forced to live with white spot syndrome virus (WSSV) among other diseases. Some losses have been devastating.

It's too early for the Philippines to appear on the white shrimp radar. The biggest producing countries are Thailand, China, Indonesia, Vietnam, India, Ecuador and Brazil. Since white shrimp was first introduced to Asia from Ecuador in 2000, production has jumped 1,000% to nearly 1.6 million metric tons in 2005. In contrast, tiger shrimp only increased 15% in the same period. Shrimp production is now dominated by white shrimp (78%) and most (74%) are produced in Asia.

The need for research and development

Speaking at the Shrimp Congress, Philippine Senator Edgardo J. Angara called for an intensified research and development (R&D) effort to help boost the country's shrimp industry.

"Following the collapse of shrimp farming in the last decade due to the unsustainable practices and diseases, we realize now more than ever the need to beef up efforts at developing technologies and practices that will ensure the sustainability of the industry. I believe that potential problems in the shrimp industry can be prevented and by strengthening our R&D efforts," said Angara, who also chairs the Senate Committee on Agriculture and Food.

He added, "Traditional farming methods no longer suffice. An export-oriented industry such as this requires more technology-intensive practices. Therefore, we must provide massive training and skills development for local shrimp growers and fishers, as well as their children. We will improve farming productivity if we are able to adopt modern technology and produce competent technical manpower."

Angara also sees four major solutions in achieving long-term viability and productivity of the Philippine shrimp industry, enumerating among others: the need to tap existing pond resources, introduction of cost-effective and environment-friendly farming practices, adoption of a sound biosecurity program and to genetically improve shrimp species especially the tiger shrimp.

"If we strengthen research and development in the country, shrimp industry's output and productivity will definitely improve as investment in R&D has the highest economic return of all economic activities," he said.

The Shrimp Congress was organized by PHILSHRIMP Inc. with the support of DA-BFAR, DOST Region VI, SEAFDEC Aquaculture Department, Negros Prawn Producers & Marketing Cooperative Inc, and the World Aquaculture Society.

The industry sponsors are Cruz Aqua / Epicore / Kona, Merck, Hoc-Po Feeds, Santeh Feeds, Schering-Plough. Spectrum International, Inve, BNH Marketing, Cargill, Feedmix, Novus, B-Meg, Yama Water Inc, CP, Bayer Animal Health / Genereach, Biostadt, and 2Go-Aboitiz.

AQD’s researcher bags best paper award

Congratulations are in order for AQD's Ms. Eleonor Tendencia as she garners a prestigious award for her published paper.

Entitled Polyculture of green mussels, brown mussels and oysters with shrimp control luminous bacterial disease in a simulated culture system, the paper was selected as the Best Published Paper in Aquaculture/Inland Fisheries by the Dr. Elvira O. Tan Memorial Awards for 2008.

Ms. Tendencia will be honored during the Science Community's celebration of the National Science and Technology Week on July 18, 2008 at the D.L. Umali Auditorium College, Laguna, Philippines.

Ms. Tendencia is a Scientist at AQD. She is a PhD candidate of Aquaculture and Fisheries of Wageningen University, The Netherlands.

Read this award-winning paper in the journal Aquaculture 272:188-191.

AQD launches new publications during 35th anniversary

Hot off the press: four new SEAFDEC/AQD publications for sale.

These, plus new flyers, an institutional video, and a compendium of SEAFDEC-developed technologies will be unveiled July 9th at Tigbauan, Iloilo during the book launching program.

The four aquaculture extension manuals are: (1) the second edition of The biology of mud crabs Scylla spp. ET Quinitio and FDP Estepa; (2) Abalone hatchery by AC Fermin, MR dela Peña, RSJ Gapasin, MB Teruel, SMB Ursua, VC Encena II and NC Bayona; (3) Breeding and seed production of the Asian catfish Clarias macrocephalus by JDT Fermin, AC Fermin, RF Bombeo, AD Evangelista, MR Catacutan and CB Santiago; and (4) Grow-out culture of the Asian catfish Clarias macrocephalus by EB Coniza, MR Catacutan and JDT Fermin.

Also to be launched are the AQD Highlights (annual report); the AQD Magic video; the flyers for Abalone culture, ABOT AquaNegosyo, SEAFDEC/AQD and Institutional capacity Development for Sustainable Aquaculture (ICD-SA); the DVD compendium; and reports on the Research output of the Fisheries Sector Program and the Tangab fishing gear.

The launching is one of the activities lined up for the 35th anniversary of SEAFDEC/AQD.

SEAFDEC Council reappoints AQD Chief Dr. JD Toledo for second term

An Ilonggo from Oton, Iloilo gets the nod from President Gloria Arroyo to continue leading the world-class research center in aquaculture that has main offices in Tigbauan, Iloilo. Dr. Joebert D. Toledo is Chief of the Southeast Asian Fisheries Development Center (SEAFDEC) – Aquaculture Department (AQD) for a second two-year term, April 2008 until April 2010.

This was recently announced in Bali, Indonesia where the SEAFDEC Council, the highest policy-making body of the Center, accepted and approved President Arroyo’s endorsement of Dr. Toledo.

Dr. Toledo, 47 years old, is married to Nieves Aquino-Toledo, a faculty member of the College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences of the University of the Philippines Visayas, Miag-ao, Iloilo. They have four children.

Dr. Toledo graduated from Oton National High School, obtained his B.S. in Fisheries degree from the University of the Philippines Diliman, and both his Masters in Science in Aquaculture and Doctorate in Agriculture in Applied Biological Science from the University of Hiroshima, Japan. He was previously seconded as Marine Fish Seed Production Expert to the Department of Fisheries of Brunei Darussalam.

Dr. JD Toledo’s first term

April 2006 was the first time AQD got a Chief who rose from the ranks. Dr. Toledo was first employed as research assistant in 1981 and became Scientist II in 2002. His status as a Department insider for 23 years made it easy for him to define and implement a vision of a streamlined organization capable of addressing the needs of the aquaculture industry for science-based technologies.Dr. Toledo’s first act was to bring back 22 researchers and other senior staff who mass-resigned in the middle of 2004. To carry out AQD’s programs, his management team first reviewed the technologies developed by AQD then identified gaps for further research and verification, and made plans for technology transfer.

Efforts in fund sourcing have also been done to improve AQD’s overall financial standing, which includes continuing collaboration with research partners. AQD was successful in tapping provincial and local government units to fund an Institutional Capacity Development for Sustainable Aquaculture (ICD-SA) project. ICD-SA aims to build the capacities of aquatic resource users by providing them knowledge and skills to become responsible resources managers and users. Arrangements were made with various stakeholder groups (i.e., government agencies, LGUs, international organizations, private companies, private foundations) to make this dream project a reality. Now on-board are the provinces of Antique, Capiz, Guimaras, Northern Samar, and Misamis Occidental while talks are ongoing with the provinces of Ilocos Norte, Cagayan, Aurora, and Mindoro Occidental.

AQD institutionalized its technology transfer mechanism for the private sector while continuing to demonstrate technologies for people’s cooperatives and local governments. The private sector was offered the Agree-build-operate-transfer aquaculture business packages (ABOT AquaNegosyo), with abalone, mudcrab, grouper, milkfish, seabass, native catfish, bighead carp, tilapia, freshwater prawn, and seaweeds as priority commodities.AQD signed 17 new formal agreements with various partners for the implementation of its projects. Also notable is that for the first time, the mariculture park at the Igang Marine Station was opened up for the use of the private sector and a people’s cooperative.Also in 2007, around 80 research studies and technology generation projects were approved, some with external funding provided by the Government of Japan Trust Fund, ASEAN, Kagoshima University and Fisheries Research Agency in Japan, Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research, UP Visayas, DOST, and various private companies.

SEAFDEC is a regional treaty organization established in 1967 to promote fisheries development in Southeast Asia. Its member-countries are ASEAN + Japan. For more information, visit www.seafdec.org.ph