Members of the USSEC Southeast Asia aquaculture team, led by Levy Manalac, USSEC Philippines Technical Manager-Aquaculture, together with Hsiang Pin Lan, USSEC Marine Fish Aquaculture Specialist, and Chuchai Kanjanamayoon, USSEC Thailand Technical Manager-Aquaculture, visited the Southeast Asian Fisheries Development Center Aquaculture Department (SEFDEC-AQD) in Tigbauan, Iloilo and the Igang Marine Station in Brgy. Igang, Nueva Valencia, Guimaras, Philippines to receive updates on their activities and program on August 22 and 23.
According to Dan Baliao, SEAFDEC AQD chief, their current direction is to develop and improve existing technologies to improve the production of milkfish, tilapia, shrimp (tiger prawn and white shrimp), and seaweeds that can be applied in commercial scale to help in achieving national food security. The program BALIK SUGPO aims to develop the P. monodon fry hatchery and develop new technologies that can be applied on a commercial scale. The milkfish fry program plans to construct more milkfish hatcheries to support the 30 billion per year requirement. Improving marine fish hatchery to produce more fry/fingerlings of Asian sea bass, pompano, red snapper, and mangrove snapper for the growing marine fish industry is also their priority to support the government program to develop the marine fish cage culture or mariculture fish industry to increase aquaculture production.
Edward Roger P. Mamauag, SEAFDEC Scientist and Nutritionist works on the development of a low cost milkfish extruded feed using different plant protein sources to replace fishmeal. He is also improving their milkfish broodstock diets to produce more milkfish eggs and fry to support the milkfish hatcheries to address milkfish fry shortage. USSEC also discussed a possible milkfish diet improvement collaboration using U.S. Soy products.
In the Igang Marine Station, they are planning to conduct a milkfish cage culture comparison using bamboo cages in comparison using HDPE circular cages to determine which cages are more efficient and more profitable for milkfish cage farmers.