NFRDI implements fisheries research and development programs to drive economic growth, aligning with President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr.’s eight-point socioeconomic plan. It focuses on ensuring food security, increasing profitability in the fishing industry, and improving access to technology and information for stakeholders.

Regular R&D Programs

Hatchery Production (HatchPro) Program

At the pre-production stage, NFRDI implements HatchPro, an R&D intervention for improving broodstock, resulting in increased and sustainable production of fry and fingerlings with improved traits, such as fast growth, high survival rates, and greater resilience to environmental and climate conditions.

The program aims to improve the economic viability and efficiency of hatchery operations through increased R&D efforts. The focus will be on intensifying the mass production of natural food for larvae and fry, adopting modern systems such as automation and controlled biosystems, and providing technical support to BFAR in setting up local aquafeed mills. This will help reduce the dependence on feed importation and drive R&D efforts.

Mariculture and other Aquafarming Systems Research Innovations for Development Program (MARIDeP)

NFRDI implements MaRIDeP under production and post-production stage of the value-chain. It focuses on aquaculture and optimal use of mariculture parks to boost local fish food production including marine cages in offshore areas, integration of multi-trophic production technologies, modernization and digitization support systems of identified mariculture zones. Among the R&D innovations to be pursued include utilizing Internet-Of-Things (IOT) and artificial intelligence to modernize the aquaculture industry.

MaRIDeP aims to enhance and maintain local fabrication and mechanization to minimize or eradicate waste and underutilization of resources, while increasing climate resilience. The objective is to support the blue economy in the agricultural and fisheries food systems. Among the R&D initiatives include implementing zero-waste systems, utilizing bycatch and discards for product development or value-adding, such as organic fertilizers and bio-pesticides, and exploring recent advances in food engineering.

For the postharvest subsector, the focus will be on scientifically identifying sources of inefficiencies and losses along the supply and value-chain, from handling to transportation, market, and distribution. Intervention areas will then be targeted based on the findings.

National Stock Assessment Program (NSAP)

NFRDI implements the National Stock Assessment Program (NSAP) for cross-cutting stages of production, which provides scientific baseline data on optimal utilization of aquatic resources and fish stocks. This information is used to develop guidelines for establishing harvest control rules for different species.

The program incorporates an ecosystem approach to fisheries management (EAFM) and responsible fishing, taking into account the human dimension of society and promoting balanced and sustainable use of resources.

NSAP collects data from 742 landing sites and performs time-series analysis of stock status per fishing ground, to support the strengthening of the 12 Fishery Management Areas across the country.

Technology and Knowledge Promotion (TechKnowPro)

NFRDI implements TechKnowPro to mainstream and accelerate R&D generated knowledge pathways for commercialization and transfer. It capitalizes on human resource building, and information access to maximize economic growth and opportunities in the fishery subsector.

The program aims to boost productivity and efficiency by utilizing Package of Technologies (POTs), Information and Education Campaign (IEC) materials, Technology Business Incubation (TBI), technology business school or trainings, Knowledge Management (KM), digital platforms, and strategic communication and advocacy campaigns.

Special R&D Programs

Development of Salt Industry Project (DSIP)

The DSIP is a joint project of NFRDI and BFAR. This initiative aims to support salt industry stakeholders by providing research-based interventions for production, postharvest, and policy matters.

The NFRDI conducts comprehensive industry profiling, assesses the quality of locally produced salt, and develops traditional salt production techniques.

The R&D efforts focus on advancing technology, ensuring product safety and compliance with standards, providing practical policy guidance, and fostering innovation from production to marketing, to revitalize the salt industry.

Philippine Fisheries and Coastal Resiliency (FishCoRe) Project

FishCoRe is a seven-year World Bank-funded project that prioritizes a comprehensive approach to fisheries governance, with a focus on the social and ecological dimensions of the Philippines Waters and its resources. It is committed to using a science-based, participatory, and transparent framework.

NFRDI, BFAR, and PFDA have collaborated and finalized a work program to benefit approximately half a million fishers and stakeholders.

This project adopts the Ecosystem Approach to Fisheries Management (EAFM) as outlined in RA 10654, which prioritizes a holistic approach that enhances the human component, manages and conserves the Philippines Waters and its resources, and governs fisheries in a transparent, participatory, and science-based manner.

Technology Business Incubation Program

The NFRDI, with funding from the Bureau of Agricultural Research (BAR), implements the Technology Business Incubation (TBI) program to facilitate the transfer and commercialization of mature, science-based technologies from the fisheries and aquaculture sectors.

TBI provides technical support through technology mentoring, postharvest processing, and the provision of agricultural supplies, while strengthening partnerships with aqua farmers, fisherfolk cooperatives, local government units, and other collaborating agencies.

The program’s goal is to create financially viable aquabusiness that can sustain operations and compete in the market.

Fisheries Biotechnology R&D Program

The program aims to conduct research and development activities that promote a globally-competitive, sustainable, and market-driven fisheries biotechnology industry in the country.

It focuses on four priority research areas: breed/strain improvement, nutrition and feed biotechnology, disease and health management, and capacity building enhancement, to address food security and achieve sustainable agricultural modernization.

The DA-Fisheries Biotechnology Center, established through DA Administrative Order No. 21 series of 2005, serves as the central hub to facilitate a more integrated, focused, and inclusive implementation of the DA’s research and development agenda