Dr. Mudjekeewis Santos (2nd from left, front row) of DA-NFRDI with the delegation from the Department of Fisheries Sabah headed by Dr. Norasma Dacho (left, front row) during their visit at the Institute on April 28, 2023.

A delegation from the Department of Fisheries Sabah (DOFS) visited the Department of Agriculture-National Fisheries Research and Development Institute (DA-NFRDI) to strengthen efforts on fisheries management under the Coral Triangle Initiative on Coral Reefs, Fisheries and Food Security (CTI-CFF) on April 28, 2023.

The DOFS delegation was composed of Dr. Norasma Dacho, deputy director of fisheries for operations; Talip Hasan, senior principal assistant director of the Planning Unit; and Sylvia Michael, fisheries officer.

Specifically, the DOFS officials wanted to understand the successes and challenges in implementing seasonal closure practices and to gain an overview of the work done on the Fisheries Vulnerability Assessment Tool or FishVool.

Dr. Mudjekeewis Santos, Scientist IV and chief of NFRDI’s Training Division, discussed the successes and challenges in implementing seasonal closure practices of sardines in the Philippines. Meanwhile, Gilda Joannah Calderon of NFRDI’s Aquaculture Research and Development Division presented the results of FishVool.

FishVool is used to generate data and information to determine the vulnerability and suitability of identified priority fishery commodities for capture fisheries and aquaculture. The tool is useful in providing a way to understand the interactions among the natural system, pressures, and threats that serve as a basis for developing options and strategies for climate change adaptation.

The conclusion of the activity was to establish a continuous collaboration with the institute and seek assistance and support for the implementation of future projects. Also present during the meeting were representatives from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources – Biodiversity Management Bureau (DENR-BMB) and DA-Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR).

The CTI-CFF is a multilateral partnership consisting of six countries – Indonesia, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines, Solomon Islands, and Timor-Leste – that aims to preserve and manage the vast marine, coastal, and small island ecosystems, as well as the unique biodiversity of corals in the Indo-Pacific region. This initiative provides invaluable livelihood and food security for the communities in the area. ### (Joannah Calderon)