Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources

Quezon City, Philippines

Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources

Quezon City, Philippines

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News Article | May 8, 2017
Site: www.undercurrentnews.com

There is a need to reduce regulations in the tuna industry to make it efficient and competitive, according to researchers of state think tank Philippine Institute for Development Studies (PIDS). The industry’s current regulatory framework is burdensome, according to the authors of “Reducing Unnecessary Regulatory Burden: The Philippine Tuna Industry" -- PIDS' president Gilberto Llanto, research analyst Maria Kristina Ortiz and former supervising research specialist Cherry Ann Madriaga. Tuna fishing is one of the major industries in the Philippines' agriculture, fisheries, and forestry sector. However, its contribution to the economy is still minimal, accounting for only 1.7% of the gross domestic product. The authors mapped out the regulations imposed on the industry and identified those that are unnecessary and too burdensome for the key players. They also conducted interviews and focus group discussions with regulatory bodies such as the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) and the Marine Industry Authority (MARINA) and with the local government of General Santos City, tuna industry associations, commercial tuna fishers, tuna exporters, tuna canners, and municipal fishermen. Analyzing business registration, the study found a number of steps and requirements that need to be simplified to shorten the process. At present, tuna investors have to comply with the requirements and certifications set not just by their local government units but also by the different regulatory bodies. This makes the whole process costly and tedious especially for small fish operators, according to the study. The authors observed that “complying with the registration and licensing requirements was difficult for fishing vessels, especially since some of the regional offices of MARINA and BFAR may be not in the same city or municipality.” Moreover, “certain steps have to be undertaken in the BFAR regional offices, which means that actual processing time depends on the availability of inspectors.” Meanwhile, when it comes to the processing stage, tuna companies also have to make sure they comply with the standards set by the BFAR and the Food and Drug Authority (FDA), such as the cooling/chilling temperature that must be applied throughout the handling process, the essential composition and quality factors, standards for food additives and contaminants, proper hygiene and handling practices, proper packaging and labeling practices, methods of sampling, examination and analysis of products, definition of defective products, and the requirements for lot acceptance. The final stages of marketing and distribution are also no easy feat for companies as their exports need to undergo various laboratory tests depending on the requirements of the importing country, according to the study. The costly training to become a qualified person in industry regulatory affairs that are provided by the FDA are also posing challenges for industry players, the study said. Inadequate staffing on the side of the regulator, lack of proper and effective communication and consultation mechanism between regulators and regulated entities, inadequate understanding and appreciation of regulatory intent, and inconsistent application of regulations were also the factors highlighted in the study. The study urged regulatory agencies to make use of technology to expedite their processes.


When Typhoon Haiyan struck the Philippines in 2013, 73 percent of coastal communities were severely affected and approximately two-thirds of small-scale fishers lost their productive assets—including boats, fishing gear and post-harvest equipment. Substantial damage was also incurred by the aquaculture and mariculture industry, which contributes to more than half of the total national fisheries production. The loss of livelihoods resulting from the typhoon had far-reaching effects on the overall quality of life of Filipino fishers, particularly for women who play an important role in the post-harvest processing of fish. The rehabilitation process of the fisheries sector presented the opportunity to introduce improved practices and help small-scale traders and fish processors add more value to their production. Paving the way for more sustainable development, FAO worked closely with the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources and local authorities to restore the fisheries-related livelihoods of nearly 18 000 fisher households in the regions of Eastern Visayas, Western Visayas and northern Palawan. Because the Philippines is at high risk of recurring natural disasters, FAO provided safety at sea training and technical assistance to coastal communities along with developing fisheries management improvement plans to contribute to more sustainable fishing practices. As part of the programme, boat builders were trained on the construction and maintenance of a newly developed hybrid wood-and-fibreglass boat, which provided a more environmentally sustainable and cost-effective option for fishers. This was complemented by the distribution of various inputs, such as boat engines and fishing gear. In addition, the provision of post-harvest kits and related training activities enabled fish farmers, particularly women, to consolidate production at the household level and to engage with larger markets. The project encouraged women’s organizations to explore other value-adding practices using more innovative drying technologies and to reduce fish wastage, therefore increasing their household income. A new hybrid boat and training for boat builders “In my 39 years of life, it’s the first time I encountered that kind of typhoon,” recalled Domingo Olediana, a carpenter from the island of Culion. “The night of Yolanda, we told everyone to leave their house and go to the school or to the church because that is the designated evacuation centre of our barangay. Then in the evening, Yolanda came. It totally damaged our place and all our boats.” Typhoon Haiyan damaged or destroyed some 30 000 fishing boats and affected coastal communities in Regions IV-B, VI and VIII. Massive requirements for hard timber to replace or repair damaged fishing boats were therefore a major concern. FAO, together with the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR), explored various boat design possibilities that could be adopted to create a boat that is both environmentally sustainable and locally feasible. This resulted in the development of a hybrid boat that retains most of the components of traditional wooden boats but replaces the keel with fibreglass, which was traditionally made of hardwood timber. To facilitate community acceptance, FAO trained boat builders and carpenters in the three affected regions on the construction and maintenance of the fibreglass keel. The trainings were conducted in BFAR’s regional training centres and were facilitated by local boatbuilding consultants commissioned by FAO. The training package included boatbuilding manuals with detailed illustrations on the construction of the hybrid boat and focus group sessions on fibreglass preparation and safety requirements. Through the programme, FAO has trained 900 boat builders and carpenters, who can now teach other carpenters and boat builders when they return to their communities. By training trainers, knowledge on construction and maintenance is expected to be passed on to 3 000 boat builders and carpenters. For carpenters like Domingo Olediana, the training on how to build the hybrid boat will have long-term benefits for his community. “I have something to teach my brothers and neighbours so that they will also know how to make the hybrid banca (boat), without using hard wood,” he said. “A banca like this can be handed down from generation to generation, given that it lasts three times as long as the traditional banca.” An innovative approach to post-harvest and processing activities Through the same programme, 7 200 households were engaged in post-harvest and processing activities. Post-harvest kits and related training were provided to enable fish farmers to consolidate production at household level and also engage with larger markets. The programme was able to target areas that had not previously been reached and because of this, fishers living in remote areas received access to culturally-acceptable, simple and practical ways of improving their livelihoods. Loida Lagan's family is one of thousands of fisher households whose shelter and livelihoods were destroyed by the typhoon. As she predicted, making both ends meet was even more difficult after Haiyan. “It was difficult for us to move on. The storm destroyed our drying facilities. Our men couldn’t fish because their boats were damaged; and if they could, there was very meagre catch. I could not dry squid or fish anymore because there was nothing left to dry. We had little security because we had no income.” Prior to Typhoon Haiyan, women processors like Loida bartered their dried fish products for rice from farmers during the harvest season. This practice was common in areas where farm to market roads were inadequate. FAO interventions after the typhoon encouraged women organizations to explore other value-adding practices using more innovative drying technologies, reduce fish wastage and therefore improve the income of their families. With the support, Loida’s livelihood source is now back on track. “We learned how to dry fish and squid more efficiently by minimizing spoilage and proper cleaning. We also learned how much salt was necessary to avoid spoilage and how to make new products like fish tocino,” she added. “Right now, we’re optimistic that we can have better incomes. We’ve learned not to be too dependent on our spouses; that women can help; and we’ve become more confident in doing that.”


News Article | May 4, 2017
Site: www.fao.org

In September 2013, armed members of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) attacked the City of Zamboanga. This resulted in a deadly stand-off with Government soldiers for 19 days. The siege displaced more than 120 000 people, including indigenous peoples and households that depend on fishing and seaweed farming for a living. Three years after the violent siege, many households in coastal communities are finally finding the courage to rebuild their livelihood and strengthen their resilience to disasters. Through the Peace Building Fund of the United Nations, FAO and the International Labour Organization (ILO) have been working in Zamboanga City to provide livelihood recovery assistance to small-scale fishers and seaweed growers who were affected by armed clashes. For residents in some of the conflict-affected communities in Mindanao, the armed struggle between government forces and rebels is more than just a clash of ideologies. It is a test of their resilience. “All the people here in Zamboanga City went through poverty. We struggled. Like us here, we could not go out to sea to fish,” said Norhamblo Sagales, a fisher and the tribal chief of the Sama-Badjao ethnic group in Arena Blanco, Zamboanga, as he describes their condition of his community after the violent siege in 2013. Supporting livelihoods recovery Through the Peace Building Fund of the United Nations, International Labour Organization (ILO) and FAO have been working in Zamboanga City to provide livelihood recovery assistance to small-scale fishers and seaweed growers, primarily women and youth members who were affected by armed clashes. In close collaboration with the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) and the city government, FAO distributed seaweed production start-up kits and livelihood training to around 450 seaweed farming and fishing families. The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and financial institutions like KFI Center for Community Development Foundation, a microfinance institution helping local farmers and fisherfolk, also facilitated market access for the products developed by fisher households covered by the project. “They gave us what we really needed: tools for fishers like us and inputs for seaweed growers”, says Sagales. The support also included better seedling varieties. “Before, harvest was [usually done] within 30 to 40 days. Now, with better seedling varieties, we can do that in 20 to 25 days. The [livelihood] training also helped us a great deal in teaching us how to do business,” explained Baisan Nasakil from Barangay Leha-leha, Zamboanga City. Recognizing the role of women In recognition of their important role in improving household incomes, FAO also provided alternative livelihood opportunities for women. A total of 200 women from different community organizations were trained in good manufacturing practices for fish post-harvest handling and processing, preservation and value-adding of fish and related products. As a result, women now have the means and the skills to start small businesses in processed seafood. “Because of this, I learned that fish [seafood] can be prepared in many different ways like tempura, dumplings and mixed with seaweed pickles. With the help of FAO, we also became stronger in facing tragedies that come our way because we now know better how to rise again,” affirmed one of the project’s beneficiary, Hanina Maldiza from Taluksangay, Zamboanga. FAO has also been assisting the city government in building awareness on coastal fisheries and resource conservation and management. Conrado Dizon, FAO Fisheries Consultant, explains that “providing alternative sources of livelihood to people in coastal communities also reduces the burden on the fish resources as an economic fallback. Fisherfolk will no longer feel the need to resort to active fishing if there are other sustainable ways to earn.” Next Steps? With support from FAO, four women’s associations have since registered with the DTI. The formal registration enabled them to acquire labels for their products, in turn allowing them to enter into mainstream markets and formally engaging in the processing and trading of value-added fish products. Before the project closed, an additional five cooperatives were endorsed to DTI for registration and acquisition of product labels. Additional four women’s organizations, specifically engaged in seaweed farming, are now earning as traders of dried seaweed products in partnership with the KFI Center for Community Development Foundation. An additional 16 seaweed farming women’s associations were also linked with micro-financing organizations, to provide them with access to capital and other resources.


News Article | May 4, 2017
Site: www.fao.org

When Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda) struck in November 2013, it severely damaged and destroyed many seaweed facilities and production, crippling the income of Filipino coastal farmers who relied on this as their main source of livelihood. The Philippines is one of the world’s largest producers of seaweed and initial assessments after the typhoon showed that $12.2 million was lost in the aquaculture and seaweed production alone. As part of its recovery and rehabilitation response for the fisheries sector, FAO worked together with The Philippines Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources to provide livelihood and rehabilitation assistance to 2 000 seaweed farming beneficiaries, including 1 000 households in the four municipalities of the islands of Palawan: Coron, Busuanga, Culion and Linapacan. For 31-year-old Jessica Paguia, from the Tagbanua indigenous group on the island of Coron, farming seaweed is a family affair and has been their main source of income for the small coastal community for the past 20 years. “When Yolanda came, our house and all our farming materials were washed out by the typhoon,” said Jessica, looking out at the water that houses their livelihood. “We didn’t know where to start, because we lost everything and have relied on seaweed farming for so many years. Everyone was affected – not only our family.” “With so many seaweed farmers affected, it was critical to re-establish their assets in order for them to recommence their seaweed culture operations,” says Godardo Juanich, FAO Senior Aquaculture and Mariculture consultant. The assistance provided by FAO included seaweed farming packages consisting of nylon lines, floats and planting materials, along with home-based seaweed drying facilities, and establishing seaweed nurseries to enable diversification and culturing of seaweed species. While the damage to seaweed farming was extensive, it also presented an opportunity during the recovery and rehabilitation to introduce better farming practices. Trainings were provided on how to select more suitable farming sites, the preparation of seedlings, seaweed farm maintenance and how to gain access to markets. “We learnt things like proper cutting, transferring to nursery grounds, and the period it takes for seaweed to reproduce,” Jessica says. “Prior to this, we were just harvesting the seaweed and drying them which caused the seaweed to shrink. We didn’t know that we had to transfer them before drying, so the training helped us to cut our losses.” In the aftermath of the typhoon, many of the farmers were falling victims to loan sharks in order to buy seedlings and inputs to re-establish their farms, setting up a vicious cycle of paying high interest rates and being obliged to sell back their seaweed products at below market value. “The inputs and training that we have provided means they will no longer need to get loans from these middlemen,” Juanich explains. “We’re showing farmers how to directly access the markets, and they now know how to produce their own seedlings, thereby allowing them to not be too dependent on other sources for inputs.” With the kits, materials and training they’ve received, seaweed farmers like Jessica and her family are slowly recovering and re-establishing more productive and resilient seaweed farms. “Without this support we wouldn’t have a source of livelihood,” she says. “We can now expand our seaweed farms through the variety of techniques that we’ve learnt and adapt our strategies according to climate conditions.” Jessica doesn’t know what the future holds, but she is sure about one thing: “We are now able to meet our basic needs every day and the materials are also sufficient capital for us to be able to recover from what we lost.” Support to seaweed farming is part of a FAO’s USD8.2 million Haiyan Recovery and Rehabilitation programme for the fisheries sector and is assisting around 19 000 fishing families across three regions of the Philippines: Eastern Visayas, Western Visayas and MIMAROPA.


Romero M.L.J.,Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources | Kotaki Y.,Kitasato University | Lundholm N.,The Natural History Museum of Denmark | Thoha H.,Indonesian Institute of Sciences | And 9 more authors.
Harmful Algae | Year: 2011

Nitzschia navis-varingica is a diatom that is known to produce significant levels of amnesic shellfish poisoning (ASP) toxins. A total of 33 N. navis-varingica strains were isolated from four brackish water localities in the Philippines and Indonesia, and cultured to characterize the toxins produced. The isolates were analyzed for domoic acid (DA) and isodomoic acids A (IA) and B (IB) by HPLC with fluorescence detection. Two toxin composition types were detected that have not been previously described: strains producing only IB and strains producing DA-IA-IB. These two types were isolated from two different localities. Eighteen strains were isolated from the Philippines (northern Luzon Island). Among them, 10 isolates from Alaminos produced only IB with an average toxin content of 3.05pgcell-1, seven isolates from Bulacan produced DA and IB with average toxin contents of 0.68pgcell-1 and 1.18pgcell-1, respectively. One isolate from Cavite produced DA, IA, and IB with a toxin content of 0.58, 0.20, and 0.92pgcell-1, respectively. Fifteen isolates from Indonesia (Bone, South Sulawesi) produced only DA (four isolates) or DA with trace amounts of IB (eleven isolates), with an average toxin content of 2.38pgcell-1 and 0.06pgcell-1, respectively. Sub-strains were established from strains producing either of the three toxin types: IB, DA-IA-IB, and DA-trace IB. Results showed that the toxin composition type was the same for parent and sub-strains, indicating that the toxin composition is a stable character for a strain. © 2011 Elsevier B.V.


Kotaki Y.,Kitasato University | Relox J.R.,Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources | Romero M.L.J.,Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources | Terada R.,Kagoshima University
Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry | Year: 2010

Naturally produced brominated phenoxyphenols (OH-PBDEs) and phenoxyanisoles (MeO-PBDEs) were analyzed in aquatic plants (16 genera of green, brown, and red algae and angiosperms) collected from Luzon Island, the Philippines. Two brominated phenoxyphenols, 2′-hydroxy-2,3′,4,5′- tetrabromodiphenyl ether (2′-OH-BDE68) and 6-hydroxy-2,2′,4, 4′-tetrabromodiphenyl ether (6-OH-BDE47), were detected in the phenolic fraction of extracts from most of the specimens; Sargassum oligosystum had the highest concentrations (101 ng/g fresh weight (fw)). The corresponding phenoxyanisole, 2′-methoxy-2,3′,4,5′-tetrabromodiphenyl ether (2′-MeO-BDE68), was most abundant in Sargassum aff. bataanense (229 ng/g fw), followed by Padina sp., and 6-methoxy-2,2′,4,4′- tetrabromodiphenyl ether (6-MeO-BDE47) was predominant in Jania adhaerens (29 ng/g fw). Hydroxy-pentaBDEs, hydroxy-methoxy-tetraBDEs, dihydroxy-tetraBDEs, dihydroxy-tetrabromobiphenyl, and hydroxy-tetrabromodibenzo-p-dioxins were also detected. The present study demonstrates that these aquatic plant species could be an abundant source of OH-PBDEs and MeO-PBDEs found in higher trophic organisms in the Asia-Pacific region. © 2010 American Chemical Society.


Fishermen in Japan where in for a nasty surprise when they caught a frightful-looking 5-meter-long (16.4-foot-long) megamouth shark in their fishing nets. This exceedingly rare creature was caught off the coast of central Japan, around 5 kilometers (approximately 3 miles) from the Owase Port in Mie Prefecture. Featured with an enormous head and rubbery lips, the perfectly named shark swims with its "megamouth" wide open, filtering the waters to catch plankton, jellyfish, krill and shrimp, among other seafood. The megamouth shark was first discovered in 1976 off the coast of Hawaii, after which only 60 sightings of the rare sea creature had been confirmed. These sharks swim at a depth of around 120-160 meters (394-525 feet) during the day, but at night they rise up higher to feed, and swim about in a mere 12-25 meters (39-82 feet) of water. The megamouth shark is an extremely rare species of the deepwater shark and is usually found near Japan, the Philippines and Taiwan. As humongous as it is, it is still the smallest of the three plankton-eating sharks besides the whale shark and basking shark. In 2014, another megamouth shark was caught in Japan. More than 1,500 people out of sheer curiosity and intrigue gathered to watch scientists perform a public autopsy on the rare creature at the Marine Science Museum in Shizuoka City. The following year, a 15-foot-long megamouth was found dead by the residents of Marigondon in Pio Duran in the Philippines. Nonie Enolva of the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources-Regional Emergency Stranding Response Team said that the shark's death had not been determined. Enolva noted that the shark's tail was missing and that it had wounds on its body, and said that the shark may have died by getting ensnared in a fishing net or consuming some poisonous organisms underwater. © 2016 Tech Times, All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.


Aewsiri T.,Prince of Songkla University | Benjakul S.,Prince of Songkla University | Visessanguan W.,National Science and Technology Development Agency | Encarnacion A.B.,Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources | And 2 more authors.
Food and Bioprocess Technology | Year: 2013

Cuttlefish (Sepia pharaonis) skin gelatin modified with N-hydroxysuccinimide esters of various fatty acids including capric acid (C10:0), lauric acid (C12:0), and myristic acid (C14:0) at different molar ratios was characterized and determined for emulsifying property. Fatty acid esters were incorporated into gelatin as indicated by the decrease in free amino group content. Gelatin modified with fatty acid ester had the increased surface hydrophobicity and emulsifying property with coincidental decrease in surface tension. Gelatin modified with fatty acid ester of C14:0 showed the highest surface activity, especially with the high degree of modification. Emulsion stabilized by gelatin modified with fatty acid ester of C14:0 had a smaller mean particle diameter with higher stability, compared with that stabilized by the control gelatin (without modification). Emulsion stabilized by modified gelatin remained stable at various pH (3-8) and salt concentrations (NaCl 0-500 mM). Emulsion was also stable after being heated at 50-90 °C for 30 min. © 2011 Springer Science + Business Media, LLC.


Lertwittayanon K.,Prince of Songkla University | Benjakul S.,Prince of Songkla University | Maqsood S.,United Arab Emirates University | Encarnacion A.B.,Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources
International Aquatic Research | Year: 2013

Washing is an important process for surimi production, in which undesirable components in fish mince are removed, while myofibrillar proteins are concentrated. However, dewatering is less effective for some fish species. The use of appropriate salt can be a means to increase dewatering and simultaneously improve the gelling property of surimi. The impact of 0.45% NaCl containing CaCl2 or MgCl2 at various levels (0, 4, 8, 12, 16, and 20 mM) as the third washing media on dewatering of washed mince and gel-forming ability of surimi produced from yellowtail barracuda (Sphyraena flavicauda) was investigated. When CaCl2 or MgCl2 was incorporated into the washing media, the contents of Ca or Mg ions in washed mince increased (p < 0.05), whereas the pH of washed mince slightly decreased (p < 0.05). At the same concentration, a higher dewatering of mince was observed when CaCl2 was used, compared with MgCl2 (p < 0.05). Differential scanning calorimetry indicated that the stability of myosin decreased when higher concentrations of both salts were used (p < 0.05), while no difference in the stability of actin was obtained. Washing mince with 0.45% NaCl containing 20 mM MgCl2 yielded increases in breaking force of the gel of resulting surimi for both one-step and two-step heating processes by 46% and 33%, respectively, compared with the control (without CaCl2 or MgCl2 incorporation in washing media). The whiteness of the gel slightly decreased when the mince was washed with MgCl2 (p < 0.05). Microstructure revealed that a gel possessing a fine network with improved water-holding capacity was formed when the third media containing 0.45% NaCl and 20 mM MgCl2 was used. The use of 0.45% NaCl containing 20 mM MgCl2 was recommended to increase dewatering efficacy and improve gel strength of surimi from yellowtail barracuda by rendering a fine and ordered gel network. © 2013, Lertwittayanon et al.; licensee Springer.


Somga J.R.,Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources | De La Pena L.D.,Southeast Asian Fisheries Development Center | Sombito C.D.,Southeast Asian Fisheries Development Center | Paner M.G.,Southeast Asian Fisheries Development Center | And 4 more authors.
Bulletin of the European Association of Fish Pathologists | Year: 2010

Illegally imported koi carp were confiscated at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA), Manila, Philippines by the Fisheries Quarantine and Inspection Service Officers of the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR). The confiscated fish were turned over to the BFAR Fish Health Laboratory where they were held for observation at a water temperature of 28°C. After 5 days, some fish were showing abnormal swimming behavior and some had died. The most prominent disease signs in the freshly dead and moribund fish were body ulcerations and pale gills showing white necrotic patches, consistent with the clinical signs of KHV infection. Gills were dissected and fixed in 95% ethanol. All of the samples tested positive for KHV in a 1-step PCR assay.

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