Aquaculture Lab at SEAFDEC Seen Paving Way for GM products.(Business)

Manila Bulletin, August 24, 2002 | Go to article overview

Aquaculture Lab at SEAFDEC Seen Paving Way for GM products.(Business)


Byline: MELODY M. AGUIBA

An aquaculture technology laboratory being set up for South East Asia is paving the way toward the adoption of biotechnology for developing more productive, genetically modified fishery products in the Philippines.

Dr. Rolando R. Platon, chief of the Southeast Asian Fisheries Development Center (SEAFDEC) aquaculture department (AD) in Tigbauan, Iloilo, said that a P400 million grant of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) may later drive up the country into the development of genetically modified fish such as those being done in the United States.

At the onset, it will focus on hybrid technologies using conventional means of propagating fishes that make them bigger in nature and faster in multiplication.

The Advanced Aquaculture Technologies (AAT) includes an infection laboratory, a crustacean hatchery and nursery building, marine plants facility, and other facilities related to enhancing aquaculture production. Platon said the infection laboratory is important in disinfecting fishery from diseases which would require their isolation.

This is important in producing disease-free (fishes), he said.

The crustacean hatchery and nursery involves the most sophisticated facilities that have controlled atmosphere for formulating fish feeds and for experimental hatchery and breeding. While typhoons can destroy open ponds, the hatchery and nursery are sheltered areas where temperature can be controlled.

Wilfredo G. Yap, head of the technology verification and commercialization at SEAFDECs AD, said the marine plant facility holds better prospects for the development of the countrys marine culture where fishes may be raised in open sea areas and still be controlled by putting boundaries on the fish cages.

In marine culture, we put (fish cages) in order like arranging them in blocks like subdivisions (rather than crowding these), he said. …

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