Chief Dan Baliao (center) with Dr. Edgar Amar (seated left) and Dr. Leobert dela Peña (seated right) take a photo with future aquaculturists. SEAFDEC

ILOILO City –   The increasing annual population is putting undue pressure to our resources that led to a race between consumption and conservation.

The biggest challenge in the 21st century that aquaculturists are facing is the pressure to produce food without sacrificing conservation of resources.  This was the message of Chief Dan Baliao to the first batch of graduates of Manpower Development for Sustainable Aquaculture Training Course.

Chief Baliao told the graduates that the training course on management of sustainable aquaculture is not a simple matter because the world has reached the point where the biggest global challenge is how the aquaculture industry meet head-on the powers of aquaculture technology with the powers of the population. “How do we ensure that developing countries like ours will continue to develop aquaculture technology but along pathways that are sustainable in the long run?”

The two-month-intensive training on Manpower Development for Shrimp, Marine and Tilapia Aquaculture ended last Friday with a short program at SEAFDEC/AQD Training Conference Room.

Nineteen trainees were able to pass both the theoretical and practical components of the training. They come from different fishery schools and colleges in Western Visayas.

Dr. Leobert dela Peña, Head of Research Division in his welcome remark,s reminded the participants the value of hard work.  “Now that you have successfully hurdled the rigors of this training you have certain responsibility ahead of you,” he said.

The Head of the Training Section, Mr. Caryl Genzola presented the participants.

Chief Baliao distributed the certificates of completion to the participants. He was assisted by Dr. dela Pena and Dr. Egar Amar, Head of Training and Information Division.

Two graduates, Ms. ShangrillaSeposo and Mr. Rey Lagutin, Jr. delivered their impressions of the training. “The diversity of the participants made it difficult for us at first considering the different backgraounds and preknowledge, however, were able to surpass it”, said Ms. Seposo. She recalled the hardest part was the time pressure and the fact that what they learned in four years had to be compressed in two months but that she said the experience made them realize how it will be in the real workplace.

Mr. Lagutin thanked everybody for the support and motivation. He could not thank enough the heads of different stations for the knowledge and skills they learned from the practical experience that they had.

Dr. Amar in his closing remarks advised the trainees to maintain friendships developed during the training and continue to connect with each other especially to their mentors at SEAFDEC. “Don’t hesitate to ask your mentors questions and doubts that you may encounter in your future workplaces for I am pretty sure they will not hestitate to help you”, he said.

The training under the program “Internship Training on Manpower Development” will hopefully address the problem faced by the country due to declining fish supply.  From being primarily based on capture of wild fish to culture, AQD Chief Baliao is confident that this program will boost fish supply in the country as well as generate livelihood for the people.

The participants’ knowledge in aquaculture was enhanced by the practical component of the training which enabled them to develop their skills and techniques in hatchery/seed production as well as pond culture using different culture systems. Producing natural food and basic information on disease management was also included in the package./PN

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