IN THE NEWS
FAC hosts small group meeting on the Philippines' tilapia industry
LJ Fajardo | 2010-05-08 11:52:05 AM

The Freshwater Aquaculture Center (FAC) hosted a small group meeting on the tilapia industry in the Philippines last May 6 at Phil-Sino Center for Agricultural Technology.

Attended by 27 participants representing six institutions, the meeting was organized to level off expectations among the various agencies and scientists on the status and needs of the tilapia industry in the country. According to Dr. Maripaz L. Perez, regional director for Asia and Country Manager - Philippines, WorldFish Center, “work must now focus on developing the industry thru science and technology. The challenge is how to make the industry more competitive and how all stakeholders particularly the private sector could collaborate to institutionalize efficient and effective management practices that will enable the country to meet domestic and international demand for tilapia”.

Dr. Sevilleja, CLSU president, emphasized the long-term collaboration between CLSU and the WorldFish Center which dates back to the 1980s and expressed high hopes for the current collaboration. A brief background on the tilapia industry in the Philippines and an overview of research, development and technology transfer in fi sh genetic improvement were given by Dr. Tereso A. Abella, FAC director; and Dr. Raul Ponzoni, principal scientist of WorldFish Center in Malaysia, respectively. Dr. Abella emphasized the importance of tilapia in Philippine aquaculture and highlighted key issues that affected or could affect any efforts to promote the industry. Meanwhile, Dr. Ponzoni indicated the major challenges faced by breeders if the species were to survive any drastic changes in the physical environment. He further proposed for the establishment of a GIFT Breeders Association that could link key populations and ensure that the minimum level of effective population is maintained to sustain the species when such happens. Several issues raised included questions on statistics concerning production and consumption; environmental impacts of hybrid fish species; availability of seeds of hybrid fi sh; marketing and value adding concerns including export and global trade; high cost of production of tilapia in the Philippines; intellectual property rights implications of the GIFT Foundation contract with Genomar, strain comparison and breeders association.

Moreover, a Technical Working Group was formed to conceptualize and prepare the program for the Tilapia Industry Roundtable Discussion. It is composed of the participating institutions as follows: FAC-CLSU (as Chair), Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR), Bureau of Agricultural Research (BAR), Philippine Council for Aquatic and Marine Research Development (PCAMRD), WorldFish Center (as Secretariat), and TGA Farms and Genomar (private sector).

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The Freshwater Aquaculture Center (FAC) hosted a small group meeting on the tilapia industry in the Philippines last May 6 at Phil-Sino Center for Agricultural Technology.

Attended by 27 participants representing six institutions, the meeting was organized to level off expectations amo...

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