Staff from the National Stock Assessment Program (NSAP) in BFAR Region 11 conducted a capacity-building activity to provide a reorientation program for both seasoned and new technical enumerators and analysts. Invited NSAP staff from the DA-National Fisheries Research and Development Institute (NFRDI) delivered lectures on effectively translating scientific insights into actionable strategies, with a focus on NSAP data collection and analysis.

Through the lectures, field staff received guidance on interpreting and analyzing collected data empowering them to make informed decisions. The activity was held from May 1-3, 2024, in Digos City, Davao del Sur.

Topics discussed during the activity included a general review of the NSAP sampling methodology and data analysis, work plan for 2024, generation of progress reports, topics related to Fisheries Management Areas (FMA) 2 Reference Points (RPs), and Harvest Control Rules (HCRs), among others.

The program was jointly facilitated by Francisco SB. Torres Jr., NSAP co-program leader and the newly designated BFAR NSAP Region 11 Leader Rose Loquere. Highlighted were the critical role of data enumerators and analysts in ensuring the project’s smooth implementation within the region and updating NSAP 11 on required RPs and HCRs for priority species in FMA 2. Also presented were FMAs with submitted RPs and those adopted by their respective Scientific Advisory Group (SAG) and Management Board (MB), which were submitted to Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) Central Office. This facilitated comprehensive discussions on objectives and strategies for translating science into management action.

Meanwhile, Nicko Amor Flores, along with NSAP focal staff, Renalyne Acosta and Noimie Rose Dicdiquin of NFRDI-Capture Fisheries Research and Development Division (CFRDD), led an open forum discussion on the unique and specific challenges encountered at specific fish landing areas. This was aimed to ensure that project implementation aligns with the objectives and deliverables of the NSAP.

The capacity building activity equipped NSAP 11 personnel with the information and resources needed to effectively address challenges and fulfill their roles as data enumerators and analysts. Part of the session reviewed the project’s implementation progress, achievements in 2023, and upcoming activities planned for 2024. The meeting also looked into specific project activities while clearly redefining and assigning roles and responsibilities to the involved staff.

As the primary research arm of BFAR, the Institute provides scientific knowledge that is responsive to the needs of fisherfolk and the fisheries industry. NSAP is a flagship program of the DA-NFRDI and is conducted in collaboration with BFAR regional field offices. It is implemented for cross-cutting stages of production, providing scientific baseline data on the optimal use of aquatic resources and fish stocks. ### (Rita dela Cruz)