The Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic, and Natural Resources Research and Development of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST-PCAARRD) collaborated with the Department of Agriculture's National Fisheries Research and Development Institute (DA-NFRDI) in disseminating cutting-edge fisheries research and technology.
The 9th Fisheries Scientific Conference (Fish SciCon) took place on September 1-8, 2021, via an online platform. Themed, Pangisdaan ay Paunlarin, Pananaliksik ay Gamitin upang Masaganang Ani, at Mataas Na Kita ay Makamit Natin, the Fish SciCon focused on four primary areas: aquaculture, capture fisheries, postharvest, and cross-cutting. The event was attended by scientists, researchers, fisherfolk, local government agencies, and private institutions.
In his keynote speech, Department of Agriculture Secretary William D. Dar underlined the essential significance of the Fish SciCon in accomplishing sustainable fisheries management measures in the country. Seven fish guide books that exhibited the finfish resources from the Bicol Region and the first book to cover multiple eel industry practices in the country, “Freshwater Eel: Culture Industry Practices in the Philippines” were launched.
At the plenary, notable experts in marine science and fisheries were featured – Dr. Anicia Q. Hurtado of the Integrated Services Development of Aquaculture and Fisheries (ISDA, Inc.); Dr. Elizabeth A. Mendenhall of the Department of Marine Affairs, University of Rhode Island, USA; Yaa Tiwhaa Amoa of the Postharvest Unit Fisheries Commission in Ghana, and Dr. Rhoda Mae C. Simora of the University of the Philippines Visayas.
With focus on preserving the Philippine seaweed industry, Hurtado highlighted the Global Seaweed Star Philippines' accomplishments and potential solutions to the industry's challenges. Mendenhall discussed the negative repercussions of plastic pollution on the marine ecosystem. Meanwhile, Amoah discussed Ghana's success stories in women's involvement in the fishery sector and the potential for deterring postharvest losses by using the FAO-Thiaroye processing technique (FTT) fish smoking ovens. Finally, Simora underlined the CRSPR/Cas9 technology's potential applications in the fisheries sector.
Winners of the spotlight presentation competition were announced at the end of the conference. The first place was given to the study, "Evaluation of Antibacterial Property of Chitosan and Modified Chitosan from Cuttlefish (Sepia spp.) Bone Against Vibrio spp." by Ivy Jinky Briones of the Visayas State University. Eraiza Kim Sese of Western Philippines University and Whelver Surnido of the University of the Philippines Visayas came in second and third, respectively.
Graduates of the BFAR Fisheries Scholarship Program submitted their thesis/dissertation for competition to encourage scholarship program grantees to present their research to the scientific community and participate in an engaged intellectual discourse.
DOST-PCAARRD's strategic support to DA-NFRDI complements the Council's priorities and programs on the aquatic research agenda under the Harmonized National Research and Development Agenda in agriculture, aquatic, and natural resources. The Council has been awarding augmentation funds to qualified professional/scientific and academic organizations that engage in activities that support the Council's advocacies, banner programs, and goals.