DA-BAR Conducts Fisheries and Aquaculture project review

To track the progress and ensure that the accomplishments are according to the objectives and workplan of the projects, the DA-Bureau of Agricultural Research (BAR) spearheaded the virtual review of five fisheries and aquaculture projects on 14 November 2023. 

Among those evaluated were two ongoing projects, Improved modified intensive tilapia hatchery (iMITH) technology being implemented by the DA-National Fisheries Research and Development Institute (NFRDI) in collaboration with the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources-National Freshwater Technology Center (BFAR-NFTC); and Co-culture of sea cucumber (Holothuria scabra) with sea urchin (Tripneustes gratilla) and advanced nursery culture by the Marine Environment and Resources Foundation, Inc. of the UP Marine Science Institute. 

The iMITH automation system for intensive tilapia fry production reported an increased hatchery production of high quality tilapia fry by 30-40% through the upgrading of intensive tilapia hatchery facility and refinement of hatchery protocols.

Project leader, Dr. Ma. Jodecel Danting reported that, “the package of technology (POT) introduced the use of a recirculating system in intensive tilapia fry production, and demonstrated the use of retractable aquashade net and automated water quality monitoring system which boosted the year-round availability of tilapia fry and fingerlings for improved yield resulting to increased income of tilapia growers.”

The project team was recommended to include additional information and data to further enhance the project report.

The Co-culture project, on the other hand, shared information on sea cucumber culture and its management initiatives in the region and explored the feasibility of the integrated multitrophic aquaculture with sea cucumber in Ilocos, Cagayan Valley, and Central Luzon regions through their R4D feedback and workshop. 

“The innovation on diversified and sustainable culture production of sea cucumber will provide supplemental source of income to small fishers and households and, at the same time, help rebuild depleted natural stocks,” noted project leader Dr. Marie Antonette Junio-Meñez.

The evaluators suggested to include in the completion report, a summary matrix showing the feasible co-culture system in the experimental sites, biophysical parameters, and other site characteristics for easy reference of stakeholders to replicate the culture system.

Meanwhile, completed projects: Improved milkfish nursery protocols in Cagayan Valley region implemented by the NFRDI; Stock enhancement of blue swimming crab in Guimaras Strait implemented by BFAR-Western Visayas; and Community-based cage culture of siganids in Cagayan implemented by BFAR-Cagayan Valley were reviewed to assess their milestones, impacts, and sustainability of developed technologies. 

The expertise of Froilan Aya of SouthEast Asian Fisheries Development Center, Len Garces of Food and Agriculture-Philippines, and Paul Joseph Ramirez of UPLB-College of Economics, together with DA-BAR technical focals, provided guidance and insights to further enhance the implementation of the projects and technical reports. (### Maria Elena M. Garces)