Eight CLSU Alumni presently working as Senior Aquaculturist of the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources, namely: Lilibeth B. Afan, Evelyn H. Zafra, Lydia M. Morales, Antonio P. Morales, Ma. Jodecel C. Danting, Enrique B. Marquez, Ralph Atabay and Roy Ortega had undergone training on Technical Capability Building for Improving Tilapia Production through Manpower Development Program at Aqua Farming Tech Facility in Thermal California 92274, USA from October 31 to November 15, 2016.
While the Fisheries Sector is working in the advancement of technology, the Department of Agriculture headed by Secretary Emmanuel F. Piñol, initiated a short term mission of building the capacity of fisheries personnel of Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources at the Aqua Farming Tech Inc. in Thermal California- the definitive leaders in the industry with Mr. Rocky French as the Industry Innovator.
The group was trained by Mr. Rocky French, the CEO and President of the Farm. Mr. French owns the 42 acres Intensive Tilapia Hatchery and Grow Out farm. The aforementioned Fishfarm utilizes mechanical aerator to improve oxygenation of waters, powered by solar panels. It is also the first farm to manufacture its own feeds as well as the first to develop and implement a method of recycling its waters. The CLSU Alumni were taught on Intensive Tilapia Hatchery Management system on tilapia breeding, hatching of tilapia egg using artificial incubators with 1.5 liters of egg capacity, proper nursing and rearing in rectangular stainless tanks and circular concrete tanks with almost no mortality and about 98% survival from egg to fingerlings using innovative stress-free handling techniques. Within the 15 days of training the group was able to produce about 2 million fries and fingerlings all for rearing into post-fingerlings prior to stocking in grow-out concrete tanks.
Also taught to the groupwas the Technology of Circles to the group of Life, also a technology adopted by Mr. Rocky French wherein there are two circular tanks. One for the fish culture and the other for the plants such as kangkong, eggplants, gabi and other vegetables. It uses recirculating water for the 2 tanks which is solar powered connected to the water motor. The strong points of this practice are: sustainable food production system, the fish waste become nutrients to the crops and communities has an access to low cost, organic locally produced food.
Lastly, the training also covered Feed Formulation using locally available feedstuff such as Malunggay (Moringa) and Kangkong, etc. and Feedmill operation and management.
And he recommends to have a BFAR operated Feed Mill here in the Philippines to lessen the cost of fish feeds which accounted to 80% cost of fish producers.
All the new technologies learned will be presented to Department of Agriculture Secretary and Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Director for implementation, assistance and dissemination of new techniques learned for adaptation here in the Philippines, to increase the production of Tilapia for the benefit of our fisherfolk. Together with other colleagues in BFAR, the participants were all overwhelmed by the US training, and were very proud as CLSU Alumni to be immersed in this kind of training.
As an added information, four of the eight participants in this training namely: Lilibeth B. Afan, Evelyn H. Zafra, Lydia M. Morales and Engr. Antonio P. Morales were together with the following: former Center Chief of the BFAR-NFFTC, Dr. Melchor M. Tayamen and his wife, Mrs. Remedios Tayamen as well as with other CLSU BSIF Alumni Susan Geronimo Wright (now residing in California) with husband Dale Wright and daughter Eilen Sena, and Lorna Mateo Aquino who now works at PNB San Jose City- in participating at the CLSU International Alumni Reunion in Gold Coast Hotel & Casino, Las Vegas Nevada, USA on September 17, 2016.