As part of its commitment to public service, the College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences (CFOS) unceasingly shares its expertise with various fisheries stakeholders, including private organizations and government institutions that seek assistance in the field of aquaculture, capture fisheries, fish processing, and fishery policies.
Recently, a representative from the Philippine Family Farmers Agriculture Fishery Forestry Cooperatives (AgriCOOPh), a non-profit organization that is a national federation of agri-fishery-forestry cooperatives whose members are small-scale family farmers, commended the assistance extended by a team of aquaculture experts from CFOS through the Institute of Aquaculture (IA).
Lourdes F. Diocson, Administrative and Finance Officer of AgriCOOPh, expressed her gratitude to IA Director Prof. Ferdinand M. Traifalgar and his team for a “very fruitful meeting” to assist one of their member cooperatives, SilverBay Producers Cooperative, in operating floating fish cages. Said project is in partnership with the local government unit (LGU) of Balingasag, Misamis Oriental and the Balingasag Producers Cooperative. The initiative is aimed to improve the livelihood of the fisherfolks in the area.
Diocson sent a letter addressed to CFOS Dean Encarnacion Emilia S. Yap seeking needed technical advice and consultancy on the operations of floating fish cages and measures to prevent the possible environmental impact that may result from such operations.
Traifalgar and IA faculty members and researchers responded to the request. They had a meeting with the representatives of AgriCOOPh last August 16, 2022, held via Zoom to thoroughly discuss issues and concerns on the operation of the community project.
Diocson said that, personally, she was happy with the outcome of the meeting. She said that even their chief executive officer, who has rich experience in the agriculture sector, had learned a lot from the fruitful and meaningful discussion.
“We were able to obtain very valuable technical and scientific inputs from him (Traifalgar). His inputs substantially form part of our recommendations on fish cage operations on Balingasag and mariculture park operations as a whole,” Diocson said in a private message.
She added that the comprehensive report that she will prepare to be submitted to the Mayor of Balingasag and TRIAS, a Belgium-based international development organization that funded the aforesaid joint project, will include more inputs from Traifalgar and his team.
She hoped that they would have more future undertakings with CFOS.
The CFOS-IA team was composed of Traifalgar, Asst. Prof. Carmelo S. del Castillo, Asst. Prof. Iris Ann G. Borlongan, Asst. Prof. Sanny David P. Lumayno, Mr. Fredson H. Huervana, Ms. Mary Gold R. David, Dr. Mary Jane A. Amar, and Mr. Alan N. Failaman.
The other party was represented by Diocson, Mr. Cresente C. Paez, Mr. Daryl Jo Balista, Dr. Karsten Schroeder, Mr. Herbert Llano, Mr. Roberto Ballon, Mr. Daven Gamolo, Ms. Malu Tumang, and Ms. Karen Sabugaa.
(This article was first published in the UP Visayas Website on September 6, 2022)