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Forum discusses issues, needs of fisheries industry

Aimed at strengthening the niche of the College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences (CFOS), UP Visayas (UPV) as a center of excellence in the country, a Fisheries Industry Forum was conducted to gather inputs from various stakeholders.

Eight key fisheries industry players representing different agencies and industries participated in the consultation organized by the College on February 20, 2019 at the Pidlaoan Hall, CFOS, UPV Miagao campus.

CFOS dean Prof. Encarnacion Emilia S. Yap presented the CFOS research and public service framework and activities. The invited guests were encouraged to comment if they are responsive to the needs of the Philippine fisheries industry and if they are aligned with the present and future academic programs of the CFOS.

To achieve these goals, the following were invited: (1) Mr. Norberto Chingcuanco, vice president for corporate planning, Feedmix Specialist, Inc.; (2.) asst. director Sammy Malvas, Administrative Services, Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources; (3) Ms. Arlene Dela Vega, UP Aquaculture Society; (4.) Ms. Martha Cadano, National Fisheries for Aquatic Resources and Management Council; (5.) Mr. Joseph Martin Borromeo, national president, Philippine Association of Fish Producers Inc.; (6.) Ms. Sally Rodriguez, shrimp hatchery division head, Feedmix Specialist, Inc.; (7) Ms. Felina Grace Basco, senior aquaculturist, Provincial Agriculturist Office, Province of Iloilo; and (8.) Ms. Glenda Dela Torre, representative, Miagao Fisherfolk Association.

In their 15-minute speeches, the speakers pointed out their expectations, needs as well as the various challenges affecting the industry and how the College including the students could help in addressing these needs.

The stakeholders encouraged the fisheries students to focus their researches on how to help and advance the aquaculture, capture fisheries and post-harvest fisheries industries. They emphasized the call to look at the relevance of these researches and public service activities with that of the actual demands of the community and the industry.

The industry players underscored the importance of the fisheries students to maximize the potential of the industry, which according to them, remains untapped.

“We need our farmers and fishermen every day. We need you who can help in making sure to provide quality service to various fishery sectors,” said Malvas. “Do good in your studies to broaden your knowledge about the sector while you are still in the University.”

They said the students must dig into how to improve feeds quality and lower its costs for aquaculture industry, the survival of fry, how to deter illegal fishing activities, the compliance of the local government units in the enforcement of fishery laws, and solutions to problems of the bangus and sardine industries, among others.

The engaging activity was attended by the faculty members, staff, and students of the CFOS; representatives from the local government unit of Guimbal and Miagao fisherfolk organizations. Chancellor Ricardo P. Babaran, former CFOS deans retired Prof. Pepito M. Fernandez and Prof. Romeo D. Fortes were also present.

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