USSEC – Southeast Asia (SEA), led by Lukas Manomaitis, USSEC Aquaculture Program Lead Technical Consultant – SEA; Levy Loreto L. Manalac, USSEC Technical Consultant, Aquaculture – Philippines; Pamudi, USSEC Technical Consultant, Aquaculture – Indonesia; and Hsiang Pin Lan, USSEC Asia Marine Specialist, Aquaculture – SEA, together with international speakers helped the Philippines to develop a sustainable, high-volume, export-focused marine fish aquaculture sector in a workshop conducted on May 8 at the Marco Polo Ortigas Hotel in Pasig City, Philippines.
According to Mr. Manomaitis, USSEC has been working with the marine fish aquaculture sector in Philippines for the past few years and anticipates that the current industry will become larger scale and will produce a large volume of marine fish products. In order for this to succeed, the industry will have to focus on extra-regional sales of product and not primarily on intra-regional trade (national or SEA regional sales). This workshop aimed to inform, educate, and discuss important topics as the Southeast Asian marine fish aquaculture industry starts to develop larger scale production.
During the workshop the invited resource speakers presented the following topics:
- Roy C. Ortega, OIC of IFAD of DA-BFAR, discussed the Philippines Fishery government current policy and future policy plans for marine fish aquaculture.
- Manomaitis provided an introduction to USSEC and discussed the seminar topic and workshop program.
- Matt Brooker, business development manager of The Fishin’ Company in the U.S., presented requirements for a company’s entry into a marine fish export market including how a species market is developed or expanded (if already existing), format, volume, quality, certifications, and challenges and opportunities.
- Elsie Tech, vice president South Luzon, Hi-VAP Inc. and technical consultant of Palawan Aquaculture Corp., discussed and introduced HI-VAP Inc. and how they see the marine fish industry in the next five years.
- Pamudi gave an introduction to the ideas of standards setting and certification bodies for marine fish export market.
- Isidor Yu, farm assurer, GlobalGAP, discussed the importance of standards and certifications for aquaculture products and for export products in particular.
- Lourdes Tanco, managing director of MIDA Trade Ventures International Inc., talked about how Philippine marine fish producers may need to link to the processing and export industry for smooth development of the industry.
This workshop was highlighted by the four different sectors in four breakout sessions where they discussed and addressed the following:
- Import related: What is the best way to link to markets, identify products and encourage buyers to look at SEA marine fish production?
- Certification related: What are the key concerns with regards to standards/certifications that may impact a move to an export marine fish aquaculture industry?
- Government: What actions in the short/medium/long term are needed to support an export marine fish aquaculture industry?
- Industry actions: What changes need to occur within the current industry to move to export volumes? How will feeds be a part of this?
The workshop was attended by 36 marine fish farmers and company, aquaculture feedmills, seafood importers and exporters, Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources and other government agencies, members of Philippine Association of Fish Producers Inc. (PAFPI), Philippine Milkfish Industry Group Inc. (PhilMIG), High Value Aqua Philippines Inc. (Hi-VAP), fish cage manufacturers, and other aquaculture stakeholders in Philippines.