MANILA, Oct 19 (Mabuhay) — The Department of Agriculture’s Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (DA-BFAR) seeks to improve fish biotechnology with its active partnership with the Republic of Korea’s Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries (MOF).

DA Undersecretary for Agri-industrialization and Fisheries Cheryl Caballero told the Philippine News Agency on Monday that the partnership will enhance the country’s technological innovations.

“[It includes] the establishment of food safety laboratories and support for the conservation and management of fisheries projects in Guimaras,” she said in an interview.

Caballero shared that among the topics discussed during an online meeting on October 1 were new official development assistance and technical cooperation projects like technology transfer and innovation, strengthening the development of capture fisheries and aquaculture, post-harvest, product value-adding, trade, and coastal and marine fishery management, and facilitation of exchanges of experiences, information, technologies, and expertise between the two countries.

“With these proposed strategic areas for partnership, the Philippines would be able to improve the reliability of its exports for octopus, eels, and other high-value species anchored on traceability and catch documentation systems,” Caballero said.

The partnership will likewise allow personnel of the DA-BFAR and National Fisheries Research and Development Institute to acquire training on Korean technology and expertise through exchange visits, workshops and training, and collaborative research as part of the bilateral cooperation.

Korean delegates presented South Korea’s 2nd Master Plan of Fisheries and Fishing Community Development for 2021-2025 while BFAR talked about new developments, policies, and challenges.

The Philippines expressed its intent to host the next fisheries committee meeting by mid-2022 in Manila.

Through the effort of the Philippine Agriculture Office in Seoul, the first Philippines-Korea Memorandum of Understanding on Fisheries Cooperation was signed by DA Secretary William Dar and MOF Minister Seong-hyuk Moon in November 2019 on the occasion of the ROK-ASEAN Commemorative Summit in Busan. (MNS)

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