By Ninfa Barcena-Quirante
BORONGAN CITY, Aug. 18 (PIA) — Milkfish Aquafeeds Research, Development and Extension Project (RDEP) was launched in Guiuan, E. Samar on August 11, 2020.
The National Fisheries Research and Development Institute (NFRDI) in collaboration with the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) Regional Office 8, and Southeast Asian Fisheries Development Center- Aquaculture Department (SEAFDEC/AQD) launched the project at the Guiuan Marine Fisheries and Development Center (GMFDC).
Experts on fisheries share that aquaculture has gradually taken over capture fisheries as the leading provider to the country’s annual fish production, which is less vulnerable to climate change.
The RDEP aims to create and develop alternatives to combat the existing high cost of aquaculture feeds in the market.
A new alternative includes the use of locally-made such as the use of plant-based proteins and invasive alien aquatic species.
In a message of the NFRDI Acting Executive Director, Dr. Lilian C. Garcia, she briefly explained the importance of launching the RDEP in this time of crisis.
She said, “Isa sa mga matitinding hamon ng pandemyang Covid ay ang food security with this research project tayo po ay naniniwala na ito ay makakatulong ng malaki upang sagutin ang nasabing hamon. Dagdag pa rito ay makakatulong ng malaki sa pagtaas hindi lamang sa ani kundi sa kita din naman na nagmumula sa pangisdaan.”
As part of the launching activity, a total of 5,760 bangus fingerlings were stocked in six bangus cages.
Three of these cages used commercial feeds, while the other three cages were fed using the aquafeeds developed by SEAFDEC for testing and initial comparison.
The comparative result will be collected after four months when milkfish will be up for harvest.
NFRDI-MRDC OIC Center Chief Nonita S. Cabacaba said that Guiuan is said to be the first municipality in Region 8 to have a field testing activity.
She added that hopefully next year they will be conducting a separate activity for milkfish culture.
Guiuan Mayor Annaliza Gonzales Kwan showed her unwavering support during the aquafeed field testing.
She eagerly shared that through this measure, aquaculture production will improve, ensuring greater income for the fishermen and stabilize supply.
It will also guarantee food security of the locality in response to the fish-eating population especially in the threat of a global pandemic, Kwan said.
The project duration of RDEP will last for a year, from January to December 2020. (nbq with reports from Joe Opana)