Phase 2 of mud crab project in Northern Samar

DSC03340 AQD and its partners Action for Community Empowerment (ACE) Association Inc. and Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) made plans for the phase 2 of the Institutional capacity development for sustainable aquaculture (ICDSA) project in Northern Samar entitled Mariculture enterprise development project. The meeting was conducted May 27-29 in Catarman, Northern Samar.

The partners also assessed the progress of the nursery and grow-out (see photo on AQD's homepage) of the first phase - Enhancing adoption of mud crab production technologies (nursery, grow-out, and fattening). The target survival rate of 40% at the nursery was met at the three sites. Lao-ang, Pambujan, and Rosario had 46%, 70.18%, and 54% survival rate respectively.

Phase 1 activities for the remaining months of this year and preparation of an illustrated manual were also discussed during the meeting.

DSC03137 Other than the project meeting, AQD scientists Dr. Mae Catacutan and Dr. Emilia Quinitio conducted a training entitled AquaFeed: feed formulation and preparation at Pambujan as requested by its local government and pond operators. The training is part of a season-long training course.

The project is funded by the Australian Centre for International Agriculture Research (ACIAR) and the Community Agricultural Technologies Project (CATP).

Lastly, AQD specialist Ms. Didi Baticados also joined the group to gather data about her Government of Japan-Trust Fund study on the socioeconomic aspects of mud crab culture while AQD Devcom section head Ms. Milagros CastaƱos and information assistant Mr. Rommel Guarin documented the team’s activities.

SEAFDEC scientists garner national recognition

Three scientists based at the Southeast Asian Fisheries Development Center Aquaculture Department (SEAFDEC/AQD) in Tigbauan, Iloilo were recently recognized in the national scene for their impressive track records in their fields.

Outstanding Professional of the Year

jdt award Dr. Joebert Toledo, marine fish scientist of SEAFDEC/AQD, was awarded as Outstanding Professional of the Year (Fisheries Technologist) by the Professional Regulation Commission (PRC) last June 19 at the Manila Hotel.

A “nationally and internationally renowned consultant in aquaculture,” Dr. Toledo was cited by PRC for amply demonstrating “professional competence of the highest degree” and for his “significant contribution to the advancement of the profession by sharing his expertise and knowledge in various local and international trainings and extension activities.”

Dr. Toledo was previously recognized by the Philippine Fisheries Association as Outstanding Fisheries Professional “Gawad Pangisdaan Award” in 2003.

University of the Philippines Distinguished Alumni

primavera007 Also, Dr. Jurgenne Primavera, scientist emerita of SEAFDEC/AQD, was honored by the University of the Philippines (UP) Alumni Association as one of its Distinguished Alumni Awardee for Environmental Conservation and Sustainable Development at its Annual Homecoming held last 20 June 2009 at the Bahay ng Alumni at the UP Diliman Campus.

Dr. Primavera was cited for being “one of the Heroes of the Environment by Time Magazine, a scientist, a researcher, a tireless champion of replacing unsustainable aquaculture practices with sustainable one, for which she was given international recognition.”

Also named as one of the women of science in 2008 by the Department of Science and Technology, Dr. Primavera retired from SEAFDEC in 2006 but continues to hold office there for her projects under the Pew Marine Conservation Fellowship, regarded as the world’s preeminent award for marine conservation.

Diplomate of Philippine Academy of Microbiology

pakingking007 Dr. Rolando Pakingking Jr, a fish health scientist at SEAFDEC/AQD, was conferred as Diplomate of the Philippine Academy of Microbiology (PAM) during the 38th Annual convention and scientific meeting of the Philippine Society for Microbiology Inc. last May 14-15 at the Hyatt Hotel and Casino in Manila.

PAM diplomates are chosen for their exceptional track record in the academe or industry. They are practitioners of microbiology who are enterprising and creative in initiating and advancing microbiology-based endeavors. Included in these ranks are distinguished educators and researchers on basic and applied microbiology and related fields.

SEAFDEC is an intergovernmental treaty organization mandated to promote sustainable fisheries development in Southeast Asia. Its four departments are based in the Philippines, Thailand, Malaysia, and Singapore.

The Aquaculture Department with its main station in Tigbauan, Iloilo is celebrating its 36th anniversary this July. More information is available in its website at

AQD supports students to be research winners

Much is gained by working with the experts.

This is probably the common lesson learned by students conducting their research studies under the guidance of the scientists at the Southeast Asian Fisheries Development Center (SEAFDEC) Aquaculture Department (AQD) based in Iloilo.

Year-round, this research center devoted to promoting sustainable aquaculture in Southeast Asia is host to numerous high school, college, and graduate students who seek the guidance of its competent pool of scientists and the use of its state-of-the-art laboratory facilities.

Indeed, many of them who conduct their researches in the research center proceed to win science fair competitions both in the national and international scenes.

Just, last month, 15-year old Angeli Joyce Yap Dy of Capiz National High School (CNHS) took home the 2nd Special Award from the American Association for Clinical Chemistry during the Intel International Science Fair (ISEF) in Reno, Nevada last May 10-16, 2009.

Despite being only in second year high school, Dy did not limit herself to high school science. She sought the help of notable research institutions to come up with her award-winning study.

Dy’s study which assessed the potential anti-cancer properties of milkfish bile was done in a large part under the guidance of SEAFDEC microbiologist Dr. Rolando Pakingking and used the research center’s modern facilities for protein, cytotoxicity, and microbial assays.

After winning the Intel Philippine Science Fair (IPSF) in Subic which qualified her to proceed to the Intel Fair in Nevada, Dy along with her parents and CNHS research adviser Ronilo Aponte made a visit to SEAFDEC to thank the center for its “very helpful” contribution in the conduct of her study and the writing of her research paper.

“We have trust and confidence in SEAFDEC, 100 percent,” says Aponte who recalled his previous student, Melvin Carlo Barroa, who also gained recognition in the Intel ISEF with the help of SEAFDEC.

Barroa garnered the 4th grand award (microbiology category) during the 2007 Intel ISEF held in Albuquerque, New Mexico. His study investigated the antimicrobial properties of fish mucus. SEAFDEC microbiologist Dr. Gilda Po supervised Barroa during his microbial assay test.

SEAFDEC/AQD Chief Dr. Joebert Toledo says the center is very willing to support young researchers like Dy and Barroa as long as their research topics are in line with the thrusts of the center.

The SEAFDEC stations in the provinces of Iloilo, Rizal, and Guimaras boast of advanced laboratories that are dedicated to its researches on various fish, crustacean, mollusk, and seaweed commodities.

More SEAFDEC-assisted winners

At the 12th Intel Philippine Science Fair (IPSF) held in Subic last February 23-27, 2009, Toribio Ramon Hechanova III, Jonathan Quiogue, and Janvin Jessel Cariscal from the Philippine Science High School Western Visayas won 1st place (physical science group category) and a special award from the Congressional Commission on Science & Technology.

Dr. Ma. Junemie Lebata-Ramos, a stock-enhancement scientist at SEAFDEC, assisted them in the conduct of their study which demonstrated the negative impact of urea dumping on the egg viability and embryonic development of sea urchins.

The previous year, Mae Anne Tabasin, Tranquilino Tono, and John Vincent Gabiano of

Maasin National Comprehensive High School won 1st place (life sciences group category) in the 11th IPSF held in Tagaytay. They studied the effect of the levamisole antibiotic on the immune response of tilapia under the guidance of Dr. Edgar Amar, a fish health scientist at SEAFDEC.

New backyard marine fish, abalone hatchery at AQD

DSC03543 The construction of a Marine fish and abalone backyard hatchery near FishWorld at AQD’s Tigbauan Main Station started middle of May and is scheduled to be inaugurated in July.

The backyard hatchery has an area of 896 sq. m with gravel bedding and perimeter fence made of bamboo posts and hogwire.

The hatchery area devoted to marine finfish will have 6 units of 10-ton circular larval rearing tanks (LRT), 10 units of 10-ton circular natural food culture tanks (NFT), and 12 units of 2-ton circular nursery tanks (NT). LRT and NFT are made of rubberized canvas with marine plywood support while NT are made of concrete.

The abalone area on the other hand will have 6 units of 10-ton rectangular settlement tanks, 4 units of 5-ton rectangular diatom culture tanks, and 4 units of 10-ton rectangular secondary nursery tanks. These tanks are made of rubberized canvas with bamboo frames/support.

In addition, each hatchery area has its own independent pre-filtered seawater supply system with 2 HP centrifugal pumps and 1 HP roots blower for aeration. The hatcheries also have concrete drain pits and main canal for harvesting and drainage.

Furthermore, the backyard hatchery has a common harvest and work areas, storeroom, equipment room, and roof structure.

The backyard hatchery aims to produce and sell reasonably priced abalone juveniles and marine fish fry and fingerlings to grow-out operators while showcasing AQD technologies.

Phase 2 of Guimaras milkfish training

Around 30 fisherfolk of Brgy. San Antonio, Nueva Valencia, Guimaras participated in the first in a series of training workshops under the Season-long training course on milkfish cage culture Phase 2 that was conducted by AQD last May 20-21 at Roma Beach Resort in San Antonio.

DSC02601The two-day training focused on proper handling after harvest, value-addition and marketing of milkfish.
The participants were taught deboning techniques and preparing marinades.

The activity was facilitated by AQD’s Training Section with Ms. Rose Mueda (researcher) and Ms. Rosanna Alama (laboratory assistant) from the Institute of Fish Processing Technology of the University of the Philippines Visayas.

AQD’s Igang station head Mr. Albert Gaitan welcomed the participants while AQD’s Training section head Ms. Kaylin Corre explained the course description, objectives, and expected output of the training.

The training course is part of a collaborative project of Petron Foundation Inc. with CITI Foundation and SEAFDEC/AQD on Mariculture livelihood program for Guimaras fisherfolk
In related development, AQD’s Training and Information Division Head Mr. Renato Agbayani met with Petron Foundation Inc. Executive Director Ms. Marilou Erni on May 30 in Makati City to discuss the reallocation of phase 1 budget (around PhP 2.14 million) which will be used for: (1) distribution of phase 1 income to participating fisherfolk association, (2) technical training and efficient transfer of technology to the beneficiaries, (3) evaluation of socioeconomic benefits of the project and assessment of the coastal environmental impacts of the fish cage culture, and (4) social preparation and community organizing.

They also discussed about the proposed budget for phase 2 (around PhP2.19 million) which will be allotted for: (1) construction of one unit of fish cage for San Antonio fisherfolk, (2) operating expenses for one production run for the 4 barangays of Nueva Valencia namely Igang, Magamay, Sto. Domingo, and San Antonio, (3) purchase of four units motorized boats, (4) community consultations, and (5) SEAFDEC/AQD administrative overhead and technical supervision.

New publications from AQD

AQD is launching new titles to its growing list of publications, both for free and for sale. For the second quarter of 2009, the following were produced:

Research and development for sustainable aquaculture in Southeast Asia: strategic plans 2009-2012
Outlines the strategic plans of the SEAFDEC/AQD for the years 2009 to 2012. In it, new mission statement is presented as well as the goals, objectives, and targets of its various research, training, information dissemination, and administrative thrusts

The Malalison Experience: empowering an island community in west central Philippines
A 64-page booklet that describes SEAFDEC’s community fishery resources management project from 1991 to 1998 with a post project assessment in 2009

Field Guide to Philippine Mangroves (flyer) 2q_publications
A guide with a user-friendly presentation of technical botanical description and illustrations of Philippine mangrove species. Contains close-up photographs of distinctive features for visual comparison to facilitate identification of species

Training handbook on rural aquaculture
A 296-page handbook with chapters on concepts & approaches of sustainable rural aquaculture, importance & conservation of coastal ecosystems, aquaculture technologies, socioeconomics of fishing communities, policies concerning fisheries and aquaculture in Southeast Asia, business planning, and approaches and strategies of the technological transfer pathways at SEAFDEC/AQD