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SEAFDEC Continues To Contribute To The Industry


PHILIPPINES - The Southeast Asian Fisheries Development Center (SEAFDEC) cited its contributions to sustainable aquaculture in view of environment issues and climate change, with the reappointment of its chief, for the third consecutive term, Dr Joebert D. Toledo.

A SEAFDEC press release said that this reappointment showed the Philippine government's trust and recognition of the institution's progress in aquaculture research and development under Toledo's leadership.

With Toledo at the helm, there has been a significant increase in the number of SEAFDEC's foreign and local partners, and in the number of researchers and scientists who joined the institution.

Further, SEAFDEC has played a significant role in supporting the government's aquaculture strategy for food security and poverty alleviation in rural areas, by refining science-based aquaculture technologies through increased budget allocations.

From his consultations with technical experts in Southeast Asia, Dr Toledo initiated a strategy that prioritized small-scale, integrated farm for aquaculture research and development, recognising the fact that farmers play a pivotal role in the food supply chain.

Moreover, these farmers have better control over the sustainable use of farm resources.

Along with this and through his third term, SEAFDEC will go into 'multi-trophic' aquaculture where fish, abalone, sea cucumber and seaweeds, can be grown simultaneously in a culture system to maximise use of resources and minimise pollution in aquatic environments to deal with climate change.

A significant accomplishment of SEAFDEC was the assistance it has given to the people of Guimaras after the 2008 oil spill through a milkfish cage culture livelihood project in partnership with Petron foundation, Citi Foundation and the local government of Guimaras.

It has also collaborated with fellow SEAFDEC member-countries in a human resource development project funded by the Japan-ASEAN Solidarity Fund of the ASEAN Foundation, focusing on training and extension for abalone culture.

SEAFDEC has now a new facility for small-scale abalone and multi-species marine fish hatchery in collaboration with the Department of Agriculture-Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources in a national abalone breeding and culture programme.

This demonstrates to the private sector how profitable the business can be, as it welcomes private investors in its mariculture park in Igang, Guimaras.

Dr Toledo who holds a Doctor of Agriculture Degree in Applied Biological Science, is a multi-awarded scientist, author and co-author of over 40 research papers, some of which were published in international science journals and proceedings.