To gain knowledge on the reproduction of the Philippines’ native catfish (Clarias macrocephalus), the Global Technology Search (GTS) team of the Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST-PCAARRD) and the University of the Philippines Visayas (UPV) visited Kasetsart University (KU), Bangkok, Thailand on July 18-23, 2022.
Dr. Augusto E. Serrano, Jr. and Mr. Barry Leonard Tumbokon of UPV and Dr. Cynthia V. Almazan of DOST-PCAARRD comprised the GTS team.
The benchmarking activity aimed to document KU’s successes in the hatchery of the native catfish including: knowledge on the different advanced technologies on C. macrocephalus reproduction protocol; proposed C. macrocephalus hatchery facility, and proposed re-introduction program of C. macrocephalus in the Philippines.
During the visit, the team interviewed the following KU officials: Dr. Uthairat Na-nakorn, head of the Fish Genetics Laboratory; Dr. Suriyan Tunkijjanukij, dean of the Faculty of Fisheries, and Dr. Yaowapha Waiprib, assistant dean for International Affairs, Department of Fishery Products. The team toured the facilities of the Kamphaeng Saen Fisheries Station of KU and visited a commercial catfish farm (BT Farm) in Suphanburi Province. The team also paid a courtesy call to the Southeast Asian Fisheries Development Center (SEAFDEC) and Network of Aquaculture Centers in Asia-Pacific (NACA).
Through this mission, the team has assessed that ex situ methods of conservation practiced by Thailand can be applied in the Philippines such as cryopreservation of sperm and DNA banking. The setting up of repository for the native catfishes C. macrocephalus and C. batrachus can be one of the ways forward to advance the catfish breeding research in the Philippines. DOST-PCAARRD, UPV, and KU plan to forge linkage through collaborative R&D and capacity building. (Cynthia V. Almazan and Augusto E. Serrano Jr./DOST-PCAARRD S&T Media Services)