UP Visayas, represented by Chancellor Clement C. Camposano, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Regional Office VI (BFAR-6) and NGOs for Fisheries Reform (NFR) on May 11, 2021, on scaling up extension services and technology transfer to support fisherfolks.
The collaboration is expected to improve the quality of life of the fisheries sector by conducting appropriate technical training, access to technology, and providing sustainable alternative livelihood, especially those affected by the pandemic.
This is also in support of implementing the Visayan Sea Management Framework by incentivizing sustainable fishing practices, which is in line with the principles of the ecosystem approach to fisheries management (EAFM).
UPV, through the College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences- Institute of Fish Processing Technology (CFOS-IFPT), will provide technical training to target beneficiaries, including the BFAR personnel, to equip them with entrepreneurial and post-harvest technologies. It will also allow the transfer of its knowledge and technologies for potential replication to other sites and assist BFAR-6 in preparing business plans/proposals for funding and other post-harvest processing initiatives.
CFOS-IFPT has done solid groundwork in fisheries post-harvest research.
IFPT director, Dr. Sharon S. Nuñal, said the engagement provides an opportunity for the Institute to translate its research results into valuable products and services and provides a chance of learning and improving on areas where they lack capabilities.
By offering alternative sources of income, the effort is also seen to minimize the problem of overharvesting and illegal, unreported, unregulated (IUU) fishing.
Under the MOU, BFAR will facilitate creating the Sub-committee on Livelihood for Aquaculture/Production and Post-Harvest in the Technical Working Group of the Management Board of Fisheries Management Area (FMA) 11. It will also primarily identify the target beneficiaries and pool of trainers from BFAR to undergo training from UPV-CFOS-IFPT.
Chancellor Camposano lauded and expressed his gratitude to BFAR (the government agency responsible for the development, improvement, management, and conservation of the country's fisheries and aquatic resources) and NFR, one of the implementing partners of the USAID Fish Right Program, for the partnership that allows them to bring science to the people especially to the marginalized and vulnerable sectors.
Camposano said the MOU signing “gives us the confidence in the kind of work that we do and the direction that we have taken as an institution. We want to be publicly engaged, and we can only do that through this kind of collaborative undertaking.”
The chancellor’s public service agenda is to deepen UPV’s engagements with the communities, bring its research findings to the local communities, and contribute to sustainable growth and development in the region.
Representing USAID Fish Right Program, NFR, a non-government organization that provides technical support to national fisherfolk federations and coalitions, is tasked to provide technical and financial assistance to the target beneficiaries. Its responsibilities include organizing and mobilizing resources for capacity development activities and assisting individual/people’s organizations in developing proposals for funding.
The MOU was also signed by BFAR-6 regional director Remia A. Aparri and NFR board chairperson Marlon P. Palomo.
CFOS Dean Prof. Encarnacion Emilia S. Yap, USAID Chief of Party, Fish Right Program Nygiel B. Armada, and Ms. Maria Aimee Sobrevega of BFAR 6 signed as witnesses to the agreement.