Human resource development training course in Indonesia

 Participants of the on-site HRD training courses on Inland fisheries development and Rural aquaculture AQD provided technical support during the conduct of the Human resource development (HRD) training on catfish culture held in Boyolali Regency, Central Java, Indonesia last October 20-24.

The training is part of the HRD on-site training course on rural aquaculture organized by the Indonesian Departmen Kelautan dan Perikanan (Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries) under the HRD on poverty alleviation and food security by fisheries intervention in the ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) Region. It is funded by the Japan-ASEAN Solidarity Fund of the ASEAN Foundation.

AQD Scientist Dr. Ma. Lourdes Aralar and Associate Researcher Ms. Antonietta Evangelista were on hand to provide support and observe the conduct of the training.

Fifteen trainees attended two HRD courses which were conducted at that time: Inland fisheries development and Rural aquaculture. These courses focused on the seed production and grow-out of the Dumbo catfish, respectively.

The site for the inland fisheries development training course is the Kampung Benih Lele (Catfish Seed Village), a few kilometers from the Kampung Lele (Catfish Village) where Dr. Aralar and Ms. Evangelista were assigned.

According to Dr. Aralar and Ms. Evangelista, Catfish Village is already well-versed in catfish culture but they still need training on nutrition, feed formulation, and disease management.

The farmers in Catfish Village harvest 8 to 11 tons of catfish daily within an aggregate pond area of 21 hectares. Individual ponds are small (ranging in size from 20 to 60 sq. m) and achieve a feed conversion rate (FCR) of 0.8 to 1 using commercial feeds with a stocking density of 300 to 500 pcs/sq. m.

On the last day, Ms. Evangelista was requested to deliver a lecture on natural food which was given in plenary with both groups of trainees in attendance. Ms Evangelista’s lecture was given in English but translation to Bahasa Indonesia was provided.

AQD wins 2009 AFMA best paper award

Ms. MRJ Luhan (2nd from right) receives the award  from (L-R) BAR Director Nicomedes Eleazar, IRRI Operations and Support Services Deputy Director General Dr. William Padolina; and DA Assistant Secretary Preceles Manzo A paper by AQD Researcher Ms. Maria Rovilla Luhan and Technical Assistant Ms. Hannaniah Sollesta was awarded by the Bureau of Agricultural Research (BAR) as the AFMA (Agriculture and Fisheries Modernization Act) Best Paper (basic research category) during the 21st National research symposium last October 9 at the Bureau of Soils and Water Management Building in Diliman, Quezon City.

Their paper was entitled Growing the reproductive cells (carpospores) of the seaweed, Kappaphycus striatum, in the laboratory until outplanting in the field and maturation to tetrasporophyte.

Present to award the winners were Mr. Nicomedes Eleazar, BAR Director; Dr. William Padolina, chair of the Agriculture and Food Panel Congressional Commission on Science and Technology and Engineering (COMSTE) and deputy director general for Operations and Support Services of the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI); and Department of Agriculture (DA) Assistant Secretary for Policy and Planning Mr. Preceles H. Manzo.

In the same event, AQD Associate Scientist Dr. Nerissa Salayo, who co-authored the paper of Dr. Yolanda Garcia (University of the Philippines Los Baños) won the AFMA Best R&D Paper (socioeconomics category) with their study entitled The role of infrastructure developments on market price formation of major aquaculture species in the Philippines.

AQD welcomes new SEAFDEC Secretary-General

From left: AQD Chief Dr. Joebert Toledo gives a tour of AQD facilities to SEAFDEC Secretary-General Dr. Chumnarn Pongsri and Mr. Somnuk Pornpatimakorn The new SEAFDEC Secretary General Dr. Chumnarn Pongsri visited AQD last October 16-17 to familiarize himself with AQD’s programs, facilities, and personnel.

Dr. Pongsri replaced Dr. Siri Ekmaharaj who completed his four-year term as SEAFDEC Secretary-General last September 30. Prior to his nomination, Dr. Pongsri served as an Expert in Ecology at the Department of Fisheries (Thailand).

Travelling with Dr. Pongsri was Mr. Somnuk Pornpatimakorn, Administration and Finance coordinator of SEAFDEC.

AQD Chief Dr. Joebert Toledo toured Dr. Pongsri and Mr. Pornpatimakorn around the facilities in Tigbauan Main Station (TMS) and Dumangas Brackishwater Station (DBS) and introduced them to the study leaders and heads of various offices.

In a speech to AQD staff, Dr. Pongsri shared his views on the sustainable development of aquaculture in the Southeast Asian region and his appreciation for what AQD has achieved during its “very, very long history.”

Dr. Pongsri also stressed that the value and potential of AQD does not lie only in its facilities but more importantly on its human resources.

“The value of the facility itself is high already, but the value of the human resources here is even higher. With your ability, with your expertise, AQD can have a very strong progress in the future in targeting many new challenges, many new species, a lot of activities, a lot of achievements.”

In closing, Dr. Toledo added that he and Dr. Pongsri “have plenty of work to do,” but they are also faced with a shortage in funds.

“We will be discussing how to attract funds by working together, making concept papers, and helping each other in reaching out to various donors,” Dr. Toledo added.

AQD at PTAC, ISEP meetings

AQD participated in two meetings last October, which addressed research-and-development, administration & finance, and information-related concerns.

AQD Chief Dr. JD Toledo (right) with Dr. Jonathan Dickson (left), Head of BFAR’s Capture Fisheries Division,  and Dr. Carlos Baylon (middle), Dean of the College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences, University of the Philippines Visayas, during the PTAC meetingPTAC meeting. The Management Committee of AQD and senior representatives of relevant Philippine Government institutions (Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources/Department of Agriculture, University of the Philippines Visayas, Department of Budget and Management, Department of Foreign Affairs, and the Bureau of Agricultural Research) gathered together last October 15 at the Philippine Social Science Center (PSSC) Building, Diliman, Quezon City for the 19th Meeting of the Philippine Technical Administrative Committee (PTAC).

PTAC comprises the high level representatives of relevant Philippine Government agencies and is tasked to provide close coordination between the host government and SEAFDEC with regard to the operation of AQD.

This year’s PTAC meeting was convened with the following objectives: (i) to review the status of accomplishments of AQD in 2009 (R&D programs and administration and finance) and plans for 2010, for endorsement to the SEAFDEC Program Committee; and (ii) to discuss the pressing issues and matters that concern the present and future operations of AQD and its relations with the Philippine Government.

PTAC noted the progress of AQD’s R&D activities in 2009 and endorsed its 2010 planned activities, including AQD’s proposed budget for 2010-2012. The Committee also noted and approved the Operation and Management Guidelines prepared by AQD for the use of the Laboratory Facilities for Advanced Aquaculture Technologies.

ISEP meeting. The 10th meeting of the SEAFDEC Information Staff Exchange Program (ISEP) was held in Ayutthaya Province, Thailand last October 12 to 14.

AQD’s Development Communication Section Head Ms. Milagros Castaños and Information Assistant Mr. Rommel Guarin represented AQD in the meeting which was also attended by the SEAFDEC Secretary-General, Deputy Secretary-General, Senior Officials of the SEAFDEC Secretariat and Training Department, as well as information officers and staff from other SEAFDEC departments.

Among the items discussed during the meeting is the opportunity for AQD researchers to publish their journal articles in the Fish for the People magazine after rewriting them in layman’s language. This is hoped to address the demand for an external newsletter by AQD.

Additionally, the AQD website’s home page will be available in the languages of member countries next year with the help of information officers from the other SEAFDEC departments.

Participants during the 10th SEAFDEC Information Staff Exchange Program (ISEP)Guidelines on the fair-use of SEAFDEC information materials by member and non-member countries will also be drafted to address the concern raised by AQD regarding the unauthorized translation and publication of one of its manuals.
A better system for AQD’s online and distance learning courses is also hoped once the Secretariat finds the funding. The new system will have an improved interface and better content, complete with short teaching videos.

The 11th ISEP will be hosted by AQD next year in close coordination with the SEAFDEC secretariat.

AQD presents UNITAR project results in Japan

AQD Associate Scientist Dr. Nerissa Salayo presented the results of the UNITAR-Bannai Small Grants project at the Training workshop series on sea and human security: Towards a comprehensive security for seas and oceans: The Hiroshima initiative organized by United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) and held last Sept. 27 to Oct. 2 in Hiroshima, Japan.

Dir. Felix Mendoza of the Philippine Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Region V was with Dr. Salayo to present the results of two UNITAR-funded workshops held earlier this year in Masbate City and Culasi, Antique.

Dr. Nerissa Salayo (sitting, 2nd from right) is one of the participants at the sixth session on Governance Towards a Comprehensive Security for Seas and the Ocean: The Hiroshima InitiativeThe two workshops aimed to identify environmental, socioeconomic and sociopolitical problems relevant to the seas and human security in their locality.

The UNITAR panel commended the practical application of the project activities and its linkage to the integrated coastal management being promoted by the UNITAR.

After presenting the project results, Dr. Salayo and Dir. Mendoza discussed the next steps with UNITAR staff and participated as well in work group discussions, lectures, and study visits.

AQD participates in PAEDA convention

The 47th Biennial Convention of the Philippine Agricultural Economics and Development Association (PAEDA) was held last October 22-23 at the Bureau of Soils and Water Management Convention Hall, in Quezon City.

Training and Information Division Head Mr. Renato Agbayani, Senior Technical Assistant Mr. Vincent Encena II, and Associate Scientist Dr. Nerissa Salayo presented papers in the fisheries and aquaculture sessions.

Mr. RF Agbayani presenting his paper during the 47th Biennial Convention of the Philippine Agricultural Economics & Development AssociationMr. Agbayani presented a paper on the Institutionalization of public-private partnership on dissemination of information in aquaculture: SEAFDEC experience.

Mr. Encena’s paper was entitled R&D success and challenges in high-value fish food production to sustain food and livelihoods in the Philippines and Southeast Asian region: the case of abalone.

Lastly, the paper of Dr. Salayo was on Markets, stakeholder paradigm shift and development issues in small-scale fisheries in the Philippines.

The theme of this year’s PAEDA convention is Reshaping institutions and accelerating economic reforms for a more competitive Philippine agriculture in the 21st century.

The PAEDA Board of Directors are looking forward to the involvement of AQD in the 48th convention, which they hope to hold in the Visayas next year.

AQD joins AgriLink, Pinoy Aquatic Fair

To showcase its science-based technologies, publications, training programs, and other services, AQD participated in two fairs last September and October.

Centerpiece of the trade fair featuring aquaria with freshwater and marine species provided by AQD and private aquaculture farmsAgrilink/Foodlink/Aqualink.
Taking part in the “most influential trade fair on agriculture, food and aquaculture,” AQD set up its booth to showcase its expertise, technologies, and information materials during the Agrilink/Foodlink/Aqualink 2009 which was held at the World Trade Center-Metro Manila in Pasay City last October 8-10.

Binangonan Freshwater Station (BFS) and Manila Office (MO) staff took turns in manning the booth, providing free consultation, and distributing AQD publications to the numerous exhibit guests.

The centerpiece of the Foodlink/Agrlink/Aqualink exhibit were aquaria containing freshwater and marine aquatic species provided by AQD and private aquaculture farms. The AQD booth on the other hand had an aquarium containing freshwater prawns and flasks with freshwater algae. A large LCD monitor was used to play various AQD institutional and instructional videos.

Dr. MLC Aralar (rightmost) giving consultations to guests at the AQD boothWith the large number of guests, AQD earned more than 45 thousand pesos in book sales with the manuals on tilapia and abalone hatchery topping the list as bestsellers. Free flyers and institutional reports were also given.

A growing demand was also noted for information materials on milkfish grow-out, grouper, siganids, marine fish hatchery, and feeds & feeding.

Upon the request of Agrilink organizers, Associate Researcher Mr. Ruel Eguia gave a seminar on the business prospects of koi breeding and farming while Scientist Dr. Ma. Lourdes Aralar gave two lectures on freshwater prawn farming and white shrimp farming. MO Head Ms. Grace Garcia also served as technical resource person for the Aqualink Special Setting.

This year’s Agrilink, Foodlink, and Aqualink revolved around the theme Sustainable food production: focus on the Filipino market and was organized by the Foundation for Resource Linkage and Development Inc.

2nd Pinoy Aquatic Fair. In another fair, AQD was given an award for having the best aquatic technology (private sector) during the 2nd Pinoy Aquatic Fair held last September 18-20 at the AANI Herbal Garden and Livelihood Center in Quezon City.

The fair was a project of the Agri Aqua Network International Inc (AANI) in collaboration with Department of Agriculture’s Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (DA-BFAR), the private fishing industry, Aquaria Manila, REEF Philippines, Philippine Game Fishing Foundation, Quezon City LGU, and the Quezon Memorial Circle administration.

Training courses for Negros LGUs, Guimaras fisherfolk

Local government personnel and fisherfolk from Negros Occidental and Guimaras, respectively, benefited from AQD training courses conducted last October. The training courses focused on two economically important aquaculture commodities, namely abalone and milkfish.

Abalone training for Negros
DSC00188 Four LGU staff from the Southern Negros Coastal Development Management Council (SNCDMC) underwent a 12-day Special training course on abalone hatchery and grow-out from October 5-16.

While the trainees attended comprehensive lectures on abalone biology, aquaculture, feeding, and economics, the bulk of the training focused on actual hatchery and grow-out operations in AQD’s Tigbauan Main Station (TMS) and Igang Marine Station (IMS). The group also visited a private abalone hatchery in Oton which was established using AQD technology.

SNCDMC is an alliance of three LGUs namely Sipalay City, and the municipalities of Cauayan and Hinoba-an in Negros Occidental.

The training course is part of SNCDMC’s Livelihood diversification program for Southern Negros which involves the establishment of abalone farms in Sipalay City and Hinoba-an as well as seaweed farming and pen culture of mud crabs in mangroves in Cauayan.

More training courses for SNCDMC is in the pipeline with an on-site training course on seaweeds farming slated next month and more in 2010.

Training on milkfish for Guimaras fisherfolk
The training participants observe a demonstration on milkfish deboning The second phase of the Season-long training course on milkfish cage culture, which is implemented in four barangays in Nueva Valencia, Guimaras is part of a collaborative pilot project on Mariculture livelihood program for Guimaras fisherfolk between AQD, Petron Foundation Inc, and Citi Philippines. Two training sessions were held last October.

Brgy. San Antonio. Fisherfolk from Brgy. San Antonio attended their last training module on Fish health management, business planning, financial analysis, and cooperatives development and management last October 8 to 9 at Roma Beach Resort in the said barangay.

On the first day, a lecture on business planning and management was given by Training and Information Division Head Mr. Renato Agbayani while Scientist Dr. Edgar Amar gave a talk and a demonstration on disease diagnosis, prevention, and control.

On the second day, Igang Marine Station Head Mr. Albert Gaitan lectured on cage operation and maintenance, Senior Technical Assistant Ms. Dianne Hope Tormon on financial analysis, and lastly, Researcher Ms. Didi Baticados lectured on the development and management of cooperatives.

Dr. Edgar Amar (leftmost) demonstrates on the disease diagnosis. Right: Fisherfolk  take turns glancing into a microscopeBrgys. Igang, Magamay, and Sto. Domingo. Meanwhile, the last training module, Post-harvest and marketing of milkfish, for Brgys. Igang, Magamay, and Sto. Domingo was held last October 26-27 at the Nueva Valencia National High School.

Eighty-eight participants from the three barangays were treated with lectures which were given by Ms. Rose Mueda, a researcher from the University of the Philippines Visayas (UPV) Institute of Fish Processing Technology (IFPT).

Ms. Mueda also facilitated the practicals with the help of Ms. Rosana Alama and Ms. Nida Momblan, who were laboratory assistants also from IFPT.

Among the topics covered were product development, value added products from aquaculture, product formulation, proper handling and icing, and market potential and marketing strategies.

During practical sessions, trainees eagerly observed demonstrations on milkfish deboning before trying it out themselves.

They also prepared three marinade solutions (hamonado, lamayo, and adobo) where they soaked their deboned fish. Their finished products were served for lunch on the second day.

Before closing the training session, the materials used in preparing the marinades were also turned-over to the different fisherfolk organizations from the three barangays in order to jumpstart their fish processing venture.

Visitors from Universiti Teknologi Malaysia

Visitors from Universiti Teknologi Malaysia with RD Head Dr. EG Ayson (standing, 2nd from left), Chief Dr. JD Toledo (standing, 4th from left), and Dr. RV Pakingking (standing, 5th from left) Eleven visitors from Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM) dropped by AQD last October 19-21 to tour the different facilities and explore possible fields for research collaboration.

The group was composed of 2 professors and 9 graduate and undergraduate students from the Faculty of Biosciences and Engineering of UTM led by Assoc. Prof. Dr. Fahrul Zaman Huyop.

On their first day, the visitors were toured by AQD Scientist Dr. Rolando Pakingking around the different facilities in TMS. They also met with AQD Chief Dr. Joebert Toledo and Research Division (RD) Head Dr. Evelyn Grace Ayson in the afternoon to discuss possible future research collaborations and the possibility of coming up with an agreement between AQD and UTM.

Upon the invitation of Dr. Ayson, the group held an informal poster exhibit at the RD lobby the next day which allowed the UTM students to interact with AQD staff.

On the last day of their academic tour, the group visited AQD’s Dumangas Brackishwater Station (DBS) in the morning and presented three research papers in the afternoon. Dr. Huyop’s paper was on the Use of 3-chloropropionic acid dehalogenase gene as selection marker for Escherichia coli. Mr. Salehhuddin Hamdan discussed the Effect of effective microorganisms on catfish aquculture, while Mr. Azzmer Azzar Abdul Hamid’s paper was on the Identification of Pseudomonas sp. strain S3 using polymerase chain reaction.

AQD employees pitch in for typhoon victims

AQD employees sort out donations before turning them over to GMA FoundationBFS Admin Asst. Ms Vivian Jatulan (leftmost) turns-over two sacks of goods to the representatives of the Pipindan Parish Mini Pastoral Council for distribution in their barangayResponding to the plight of victims displaced by floods caused by typhoons Ondoy and Pepeng in Luzon, the AQD community immediately pitched in by donating cash and clothes.

At AQD’s Tigbauan Main Station, the Journal Club was able to gather 4 large boxes and 3 sacks of clothing which were turned over to the GMA Foundation last October 6 along with P10,550 in cash.

Residents of Brgy. Pipindan, Binangonan, the host barangay of AQD’s Binangonan Freshwater Station (BFS), were also very thankful for two sacks of goods turned over by the station to the Pipindan Parish Mini Pastoral Council which supervised its distribution. BFS has also previously turned over relief goods to Brgy. Captain Hoseas Montevilla.

Other AQD employees based in Luzon also personally extended help to the typhoon victims which included some of their colleagues.

Back-to-back typhoons Ondoy and Pepeng, which ravaged the provinces in Luzon late September and early October, caused widespread flooding that displaced more than 6 million people in the Philippines.

Microcystis-busting algae found

Ms. Khrista Maria Evangelista garners first place for her research report at the 2009 Division Science Quiz Fair Ms. Khrista Maria Evangelista, a 3rd year high school student of Rizal National Science High School in Binangonan, Rizal and daughter of AQD Associate Researcher Ms. Antonietta Evangelista, found an algal species that can inhibit the proliferation of Microcystis by 50-83%.

Microcystis is an algae that secretes the microcystin toxin which is fatal to fish. It blooms seasonally on certain months in Laguna de Bay.

For this, Khrista garnered first place (Life Science Individual Cluster II) with her research report The biological control of the bloom-forming cyanobacterium Microcystis aeruginosa using Ankistrodesmus falcatus: a preliminary study during the 2009 Division Science Quiz Fair (Region IV-A, Division of Rizal) last September 18.

Khrista thanks AQD Scientist Dr. Gilda Lio-Po “whose brilliant ideas and suggestions” led to the conceptualization of her study.