The Philippine fisheries sector remains a substantial player in the Philippine Economy. Not only is fisheries a Php 197 billion GDP earner for the country but is also a means of subsistence for the socio-economic needs of more than one million fishing operators and their families across the archipelago. About seventy five percent of the total animal protein requirement of the country comes from fish thus placing this resource as basic to national health and nutrition.
However, ensuring food security in the face of an increasing demand for these aquatic resources as mirrored by the rapidly increasing population is an enduring challenge for all sectors of fisheries. Perennial issues have fronted the industry as it tries to provide sufficient food and livelihood, develop new technology and mechanization while natural habitats and aquatic ecosystems are given due time to recuperate and replenish. Poverty, non-optimal utilization of marine resources beyond the 15km limit, clashing regulations on access of shared fishing grounds, natural disaster, post-harvest losses, limited marketing networks are few of the issues cited in the Comprehensive National Fisheries Industry Development Plan (CNFIDP).
As such, Research, Development and Extension (RDE) plays a pivotal role in revitalizing the fisheries sector as it provides scientific information to generate new technology, develop effective policies and support management approaches. Furthermore, RDE extends throughout the spectrum of issues from increase of production in aquaculture up to the detrimental effects of climate change.
This year, Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources - National Fisheries Research and Development Institute brings the 8th Fish SciCon with the theme "#FisheriesRDE: Pagkaing sapat para sa lahat" to engage various fisheries stakeholders in presenting various RDE initiatives geared towards improving the resources and providing sufficient food fish in the country.
One of the most interesting theme introduced in this year's Conference is the inclusion of Model Technologies being introduced in the country as well as the most promising "Malinis at Masaganang Karagatan (MMK)" and exemplary stakeholders "Gawad Saka" such as the most outstanding fisherfolks in Capture, Aquaculture, Postharvest and Science. "Spotlight Presentation" is also added which will serve as a springboard for presentation of undergraduate thesis of previous BFAR Scholars. This is to encourage them to venture on R&D careers.
The 8th Fisheries SciCon aims to provide a venue for fisheries stakeholders to: