Press Release
August 1, 2011


Senator Edgardo J. Angara reiterated that aquaculture experts from both industry and the academe can help solve the fishkill phenomenon that has swept the country.

Angara, former Secretary for Agriculture, made the statement in light of recent reports that around 13 metric tons of tilapia, amounting to Php1.04 million, has been affected by the fishkill in Lake Sebu, South Cotabato.

The Department of Agriculture and the Department of Science and Technology are currently investigating the said fishkill, which Lake Sebu Mayor Antonio Fungan described as an "annual occurrence."

"In only a few months, fishkills have affected several of our fish-producing provinces�gravely jeopardizing our food security. We should expedite the identification of the cause and solution to this by tapping into the expertise of agricultural universities and the private sector," said Angara.

Recently, fishkills have also affected Taal Lake and Pangasinan.

Angara, chair of the Congressional Commission on Science, Technology and Engineering (COMSTE), took note that the Ateneo Innovation Center (AIC) has undertaken the 7 Lake Aquaculture Network project in Lake Palakpakin in San Pablo, Laguna. The project looks into using science and technology (S&T) solutions to prevent further fishkills.

Project researchers and engineers are currently testing a floating field server that can roam around the lake, take video footage of fish movement and measure important parameters like water clarity, dissolved oxygen and temperature versus depth. The data are then transmitted over a wireless sensor network to a data center in the community.

The said project is a collaborative effort between the Asia Pacific Telecommunity organization of Japan, Ateneo de Manila University, COMSTE, Department of Transportation and Communcations-Telecommunications Office (DOTC-TELOF), National Electronics and Computer Technology (NECTEC) Thailand, Japan Radio Corporation and NTT Japan.

"Government should support projects like these and capitalize on gains already being realized. With around 3 million families still going hungry today, we need to find a sustainable solution to the fishkills fast," said Angara.

In a recent keynote address during the activities of DOST's National Science and Technology Week, Angara said the DOST should be reinvigorated. He said the DOST should establish "innovation clusters"--Public-Private Partnerships in S&T--that banks on the competitive advantage of the country's provinces in agriculture, mariculture and mining, among other areas.

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