Profiles of Filipino Fisheries Scientists

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Nazario A. Pidlaoan: Pioneer Dean of UP College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences

By Melchor F. Cichon
Otolith, July-September 1997, p. 11

The first dean of the College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences, University of the Philippines in the Visayas was Prof. Nazario A. Pidlaoan, a fishery technologist, chemist and a dedicated fishery professor.

From his curriculum vitae, I learned that this gentleman had done a lot in the development of fisheries education in the Philippines particularly that of the UP College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences.

Pidlaoan was born in San Carlos, Pangasinan on April 5, 1905. He finished his Bachelor of Agriculture and a Bachelor of Sciences in Agriculture degrees in the UP College of Agriculture in 1929 and 1933, respectively. Immediately after graduation, Pidlaoan worked as an instructor and researcher at his alma mater from 1929 to 1933. After World War II, the Division of Soil Survey, Department of Agriculture and Commerce hired him as soil biologist. He stayed there from 1946 to August 1947 when he transferred to the Philippine Institute of Fisheries Technology (PIFT), Bureau of Fisheries, Department of Agriculture and Natural Resources as Chief Chemist. At that time, PIFT was located at Port Area, Manila.

He must have been an outstanding administrator because the following year, 1948, he was appointed as Superintendent of PIFT. He held this position until 1957 when the PIFT was transferred to the University of the Philippines in January 1957 by virtue of the Reorganization Act of 1957 (RA 997).

On April 10, 1958, the UP board of Regents reorganized PIFT and it became the UP College of Fisheries, now the UPV College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences. But the new UP academic granting unit remained in Port Area, Manila until 1962. Again because of his excellent performance as head of PIFT, Pidlaoan was appointed by the Board of regents as first Director of the College of Fisheries effective April 11, 1958 to June 30, 1965. Since the College was expanding, the position of the head of the College was changed from director to dean in 1966. Pidlaoan was appointed dean from July 11, 1969 to April 11, 1970. This made him the first dean of the College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences.

It was during his term as dean when the College started offering major courses in the Bachelor of Science in Fisheries. The existing Certificate in Fisheries curriculum programs were slowly being phased out. Also, it was during his term that the College acquired from Japan the M/V Pampano, a research and training vessel thru the Philippine reparation Commissions. The turnover of the vessel to the College was on February 9, 1962.

In 1962, the College was transferred from Port area, Manila to its new building at Albert Hall, Diliman, Quezon City. The building was named after the acting UP President and Chairman of the UP Board of Regents, Alejandro Albert. The College stayed there until May 1988 when it moved to its larger and scenic campus at the UP Visayas, Miag-ao, Iloilo.

It was also during Pidlaoan’s term that the Institute of Fisheries Development and Research (IFDR) was established thru Republic Act 4514 which was signed into law by pres. Diosdado Macapagal on June 19, 1965. IFDR served as the research and extension arm of the College.
As a researcher, Pidlaoan focused on nutrition and fisheries education. Some of his works include “Nutritive Value of Fishes”, 1952; “Fisheries Education in the Philippines”, 1962; “quality Assessment of Fish and Fishery Products,” 1965.

Pidlaoan’s thesis at the College of Fisheries, University of Washington, U.S.A. is entitled “The Vitamin A Potency of the Liver Oil and Oil Yield in the Ratfish of Puget Sound and the Relationship of these Factors to Sex of the Fish.”

He also did a study on the artificial propagation of milkfish (Chanos chanos) in 1963-1964. The National Science and Development Board and the College of Fisheries funded it.

Other than being a member of various learned organizations and honor societies, Pidlaoan also attended several international scientific conferences.

It cannot be denied that Pidlaoan played a critical role in moulding the present and future structures of the UPV College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences. Thus, though he no longer lives, his legacy remains. His achievements as a leader will continue to inspire the present and future leadership of the College.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Guillermo Luzada Ablan: A Pioneer in Diwal Fisheries

By Melchor F. Cichon
July 3, 2006

One of the earliest Filipino fisheries scientists is Guillermo L. Ablan.

A native of Dagupan City, he rose from the ranks.

By the time he retired from office, he was the Regional Director of Region I of the Philippine Fisheries Commission in Dagutan City. This commission is the present Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR).

Director Ablan was born in Laoag, Ilocos Norte on February 7, 1904. His parents were Gregorio Ablan and Anastacia Luzada. He was married to Susana Nonato in 1945.

A B.S. in fisheries graduate, Director Ablan took his master of science at the University of Washington in 1932.
Immediately upon his return from his studies abroad, he worked as Junior Scientist, 1932-1933, at the Philippine Fisheries Commission and rose to become a Regional Director, Philippine Fisheries Commission, in Region 1.
Between these years, Director Ablan conducted various researches on Philippine fishes, bivalves, oysters and published them in various periodicals. His pamphlet, The Commercial Production of Oysters in the Philippines, is one of the most used materials on oyster.

But his most famous pioneering work is on diwal fishery.

According to him, "the diwal is locally considered the most healthful; and delicious among the shell foods found in this locality (Pontevedra, Occidental Negros), not excepting the oyster. It is of good flavor, either raw or prepared, and has a large amount of meat compared with other bivalves. Therefore the diwal is in great demand, not only in the local markets but also in other markets of the Philippines."

At that time, 1938, he had already observed that the supply of diwal or angelwings (Pholas orientalis (Bivalvia: Pholadidae) fishery in Occidental Negros was diminishing due to the growing communities with increasing populations and industrial plants, such as sugar centrals and rice mills. He therefore suggested that water pollution from these establishments be controlled.

His warning came true in the years to come.

In 2001, E. T. Marasigan and L. V. Laureta of the University of the Philippines said that "the high demand for angelwings, (Pholas (Monothyra) orientalis locally known as diwal in Panay and Negros islands in Central Philippines resulted in the overexploitation of the species. The once dense beds are now almost devoid of this resource."

Luckily, thru the initiative of the officials of Capiz and with the technical help of Dr. Laureta, diwal fishery was rehabilitated.

Here are Ablan’s publications:

Ablan , Guillermo L. April 1940. Two new Philippine gobioids. Philippine Journal of Science 71(4): 373-379. Table. 2 plates, 3 refs.
Ablan , Guillermo L., Jose R. Montilla and Basilio M. Martin July 1940. The salt-making industry of Northwestern Luzon. Philippine Journal of Science, 72 (3): 319-329, graphs, tables, plates.
Ablan, Guillermo L. and Godofredo L. Alcasid. August 1938 Two species of Piana apparently new to the Philippines. Philippine journal of Science. 66 (4): 497-499. Plate.
Ablan, Guillermo L. 1934. Breeding habits of the Siamese fighting fish, Betta splendens. Agricultural Life Magazine.
Ablan, Guillermo L. 1949. The commercial production of oysters in the Philippines. Manila, Bureau of Printing. 27p. map, tables, 14 plates, 10 refs. (Philippines (Republic) Dept. Of Agriculture and Natural Resources. Popular Bulletin no. 26)
Ablan, Guillermo L. and Westremundo M. Rosario. April 1961. Teuthid fish for marine culture in the Philippines. Fisheries Gazette 5(4): 23-24.
Ablan, Guillermo L. and Westremundo M. Rosario. Jan. 1962. Method of collecting and transporting live teuthid fry (padas) for stocking. Fisheries Gazette 6(1):6-8, 36, 31.
Ablan, Guillermo L. July 1938. The diwal fishery of Occidental Negros. Philippine Journal of Science 66(3): 379-385. Tables, 2 plates.
Ablan, Guillermo L. July-Dec 1953. Lattice method of oyster culture. Philippine Journal of Fisheries, 2(2):191-195.
Ablan, Guillermo L. July-Dec 1953. Two Philippine boring mollusks. Philippine Journal of Fisheries 2(2):191-195.
Ablan, Guillermo L. and Guillermo J. Blanco. A rare parasitic crab new to Pangasinan province.
Herre, Albert W. and Guillermo L. Ablan. June 1934. Aplocheilus luzonensis, a new Philippine cyprinodont. Philippine Journal of Science 54 (2): 275-277. plates 6 refs.
Guillermo L. Ablan and Guillermo J. Blanco. August 1938. A rare parasite crab new to Pangasinan province. Philippine Journal of Science 66(2): 217-219. Table, plate, ref.
Roxas, Hilario A. and Guillermo L. Ablan. June 1938. A new taenioid fish from Occidental Negros. Philippine Journal of Science 66 ( 2): 261-265. Plates, 6 refs.
Roxas, A. Hilario and Guillermo L. Ablan. Jan. 1940. A new fish from Lingayen Gulf, Philippines. Philippine Journal of Science 70 (1): 77-79. Plate, 3 refs.

Director Ablan was a member of the following societies and organizations:

American Association for the Advancement of Science
Fisheries Society of the Philippines
International Association of Lions Club (charter member)
International Cooperation Society of the Philippines
Men of Science, Dutch East Indies
National Research Council of the Philippines
Pangasinan Department of Agriculture and Natural Resources Employees Association (Chairman, 1965)
Pangasinan Oyster Farmers Association, Member, Board of Directors, 1965
Phi Sigma (Biological Honor Society)
Philippine Association for the Advancement of Research
Philippine FAO Fellows Association
Philippine Phycological Society
Sigma XI (Scientific Society)

For his distinguished career in fisheries, Director Ablan received the following awards:

Man of the Year in Fisheries. Bureau of Fisheries, 1953
ICA-NRC travel grant to various countries of Southeast Asia, 1956.


Bio-data of Guillermo L. Ablan. Typewritten. No date.
Ablan, Guillermo L. July 1938. The diwal fishery of Occidental Negros. Philippine Journal of Science 66(3): 379-385.
Marasigan, E. T. and L. V. Laureta. 2001. Broodstock maintenance and early gonadal maturation of Pholas orientalis (bivalvia:Pholadidae). Journal of Shellfish Research 20(3):1095-1099.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Dr. Deogracias V. Villadolid: Father of Fisheries Education in the Philippines


Melchor F. Cichon
Otolith, January-March 1996, p. 13

Many UPV constituents were surprised when former Chancellor Francisco Nemenzo approved the naming of the present Administration Building of the College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences, University of the Philippines in the Visayas, in Miag-ao, Iloilo to DR. DEOGRACIAS V. VILLADOLID HALL. They were surprised because it was the first time that they ever heard about this man.

Who is Dr. Deogracias V. Villadolid? Why honor him?

Villadolid is not known among non-fisheries graduates. However, those who have been trained in fisheries know him especially in relation to the early beginnings of fishery science and fisheries education in the Philippines.

It was Villadolid who introduced tilapia in the Philippines in 1950 when he was Director of the Bureau of Fisheries. He also initiated fisheries education in the country. For this reason, he is known as the Father of Fisheries Education in the Philippines.

From his humble beginnings in Nasugbu, Batangas, Villadolid rose to become the most respected Filipino fisheries scientists in his time. In fact, he is also known as the Dean of Philippine fisheries. He studied agriculture at the U.P. College of Agriculture (UPCA), now the College of Agriculture, University of the Philippines at Los Baños, Laguna. He earned three degrees from UPCA: Bachelor of Agriculture in 1919, Bachelor of Science in Agriculture in 1923, and Master of Science in Agriculture in 1923.

From UPCA, he proceeded to Stanford University in Palo Alto, California in the United States of America where he obtained a Doctor of Philosophy degree, major in marine biology and minor in aquatic botany in 1927.

Upon his return to the Philippines, he taught at the UPCA. It was there where he designed a course of instruction on limnology, biology of aquatic fauna and flora, particularly fishes, phycology and a general fisheries program. This course was incorporated in the College of Agriculture program. It was also at this time when Villadolid trained UPCA students on the mechanics of fishery science.

From UPCA, he transferred to the newly organized Fish and Game Administration of the Department of Agriculture where he worked with the world famous ichthyologist, Dr. Albert Herre. (the latter was the man who discovered the smallest fish in the world, Pandaca pygmea, which was then found at the Dagat-Dagatan lagoon in Malabon, Metro Manila. Thanks to the development projects of our government and to the pollution contributed by our people so that the lagoon and this Philippine pride are now gone. But you can still see the preserved form of this very rare species at the UPV Museum of Natural Science in Miag-ao, Iloilo)

Villadolid then served as Director of the Bureau of Fisheries and continued to do so even during the Japanese occupation. After the war, he spearheaded the establishment of the first fisheries school in the Philippines, the Philippine Institute of Fisheries Technology (PIFT) in 1946. The school, then located in Navotas, Port Area, Manila, attracted students not only from the Philippines but also from Thailand, Burma, Indonesia, Vietnam, India and Pakistan. The said Institute was transferred from the Bureau of Fisheries, Department of Agriculture and Natural Resources in January 1957 to the University of the Philippines through Republic Act 997 or the Reorganization Act. This law was approved by the Philippine President Ramon Magsaysay. (It was in this school where Dr. Rogelio O. Juliano, the former Chancellor of the UPV received his Certificate in Fisheries in 1952). This school stayed in Port area, Manila until 1962. On April 10, 1958, the PIFT was reorganized by the UP Board of Regents and became the UP College of Fisheries. This pioneering school became the forerunner of more than 50 fisheries schools in the country today.

It was during his stint in the Bureau of Fisheries where Villadolid produced about 150 articles on fisheries research, most of which are pioneering researches on Philippine fisheries. In fact, the proceedings of the D.V. Villadolid symposium held on March 22, 1966 and sponsored by the National Research Council of the Philippines, the Philippines Fisheries Commission and the U.P. College of Fisheries, listed 146 works authored by Villadolid which also included those done in collaboration with other Filipino fisheries scientists.

During his term as Director of the Bureau of Fisheries, he succeeded in sending 125 Filipino fisheries pensionadores to the United States of America to train on deep-sea fishing. He also contributed to fisheries development in the country by declaring a Fish Conservation week which until today is being observed every October throughout the country.

Villadolid was a well-traveled person. He had gone to several countries like Washington, D.C. in the U.S.A., Japan and Denmark as a Philippine delegate to many international conferences and meetings or a vice-chairman and later as chairman of the Indo-Pacific Fisheries Council (IPFC). He was also a member of several professional and honor societies like Phi Kappa Phi, Sigma XI, and the National Research Council of the Philippines.

For his distinguished achievements and services for the development of fisheries in the Philippines and in the region, Villadolid received awards from local and international organizations. Two of these awards were the Distinguished Science Star medal and Diploma of Honor as a Philippine Presidential Awardee in Science in 1954. He also received the Dr. Shinkishi Hatai Medal in Tokyo, Japan when he was a special Guest of the 11th Pacific Science Congress in Tokyo, Japan. This award is bestowed to scientists with the most remarkable contributions to marine biology in the Pacific area. Villadolid was the first Filipino to receive such an honor.

He retired from government service on March 22, 1961 on his 65th birthday. During his retirement, he served as the Vice-President of Araneta University and as Dean of the Institute of Graduate Studies and Applied Research in the same university until his 70th birthday in 1966.

Indeed, Dr. Deogracias Villamin Villadolid served as a guiding star to numerous Filipino fisheries scientists for many years and even long after he died at the age of 80 in 1976.

Dr. Juan Salcedo, Jr., then Chairman of the National Research Council of the Philippines, describes the Father of Philippine Fisheries Education as: “One of the country’s outstanding biologists, Dr. Deogracias V. Villadolid devoted the last years of his life to the advancement of research in fisheries in the Philippines and in the Indo-Pacific area. He contributed a great deal to the sustained study and interest in the biology of fishes, especially cultivation and conservation as well as to the promotion of the fishery industry.”

Prof. Pepito M. Fernandez: An Educator, A Scientist and An Administrator


Melchor F. Cichon
April 27, 2005

In the next 15 to 20 years, the sea will become the basket of food to Filipinos.

That is if our people will not pollute it.

This was the prediction of Prof. Pepito Fernandez, the former dean of the College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences, University of the Philippines in the Visayas, Miag-ao, Iloilo, when this writer interviewed him on September 1, 1997 at his office in Miag-ao, Iloilo.
He further said that since our arable land area is becoming smaller and smaller because of the conversion of lands into subdivisions and commercial centers, our people will focus their attention to the sea to seek food and livelihood.

He laments, however, that our government is not giving as much attention as it does to agriculture. This is one of the many reasons why he advocated together with Dr. Flor Lacanilao for the approval of the Fisheries Code. He believes that this Code will enhance greater fishery production. Of course, the results of this Code will not be immediate, but with an umbrella organization, like a Department of fisheries or a Fisheries Commission, coordination of programs, projects and activities on fisheries will be better managed.
And funding on fisheries will be optimized.

The Code was approved on February 25, 1998 as RA No. 8550 known as Philippine Fisheries Code of 1998. It is an act providing for the development, management and conservation of the fisheries and aquatic resources, integrating all laws pertinent thereto, and for other purposes.
No department nor a commission on fisheries was established. Instead the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources was reconstituted, and a position of Undersecretary for Fisheries and Aquatic Resources was created.

Prof. Fernandez also laments on the situation of fisheries education in the country. He said that many of our fisheries schools can not pass the standard for Bachelor of Science in Fisheries and Diploma in Fisheries Technology Programs. He said that many of our fisheries schools and colleges lack human and physical resources. He knew this because he was a member of the committee who had been tasked by the Department of Education, Culture and Sports (DECS) to evaluate tertiary fisheries schools in the country. By lack of human resources, he means the lack of highly trained faculty and research staff of these schools. According to him, a great majority of the faculty members of the tertiary schools in the country today do not have masteral degrees in fisheries or biology from reputable universities like U.P., Ateneo de Manila, and De La Salle University. Aside from this, the schools lack scientific equipment, books, journals and other reading materials on fisheries and related subjects to support their academic programs. Of course there are some fisheries colleges that have considerable human and physical resources, like the College of Fisheries of Central Luzon State University, the Iloilo State College of Fisheries and the Regional Institutes of Fisheries Technology (RIFT). But there are only seven RIFTs in the country. So we can see what kind of fisheries graduates we have.
What he envisions is a college of fisheries that “institutes degree programs that address the need for sustainable development of the country’s fisheries resources and can respond to the call for highly trained manpower in the field. Its curricular offerings both in the graduate and the undergraduate levels aim to impart to their students theoretical knowledge and practical skills, toward innovative approaches and solutions to fisheries and related problems.” In short, what we need are fisheries graduates who will lead and initiate changes to sustain fishery development in the Philippines.

It is good that there are colleges and universities like the University of the Philippines and the Central Luzon State University that have been producing graduates who have played significant roles in the upliftment of fisheries in our country. But again these are very few.
Prof. Fernandez was born on May 5, 1936 in Camiling, Tarlac. His father was a farmer, while his mother was a housewife.

Because of poverty, Pete, as he is fondly called by his colleages, worked his way to college.
While studying in high school at the Tarlac Agricultural College, he worked as a poultry caretaker of that school from 1953-1957. It was there where he developed his interest in research. As a caretaker of the poultry farm, he noticed that it was difficult to determine which hens were poor layers, so he suggested that each layer be caged individually. His supervisor approved his suggestion. And it proved his point. From then on, they knew which layer should be culled early or not.

The systematic method used by Pete in poultry husbandry caught the attention of their superintendent, Nemenzo Bacalso.

Because of this, Superintendent Bacalso enouraged Pete to take up agriculture.
In 1960, Pete enrolled at U.P. Los Baños taking up poultry husbandry. But after a year, through the encouragement of his relative, he transferred to the College of Fisheries, U.P. , Diliman, Quezon City. He thought that enormous challenges were awaiting him in fisheries than in agriculture.

And so far he has no regrets for having taken Fisheries as a career.
Immediately after finishing taking his Bachelor of Science in Fisheries degree in 1966, the College Dean, Prof. Rogelio O. Juliano employed him as research assistant in his research project. Upon termination of the Dean’s project, he applied for a work at the Commission of Fisheries at Port Area, Manila. But when he met Section Head Herminio R. Rabanal, he turned him down.

“This is not the place for you, Mr. Fernandez,” Chief Rabanal told him. “And even if there is a vacancy here,” the Chief further said, “still I will not take you in.” Rabanal must have thought that Prof. Fernandez could earn more money and experiences if he would work in another agency.

And Pete did look for a job in a private firm. He was employed at Litton Mills and Co. in 1968. It was in this company where Prof. Fernandez career as a fisheries scientist started. He worked there as a shrimp biologist together with two Japanese scientists. The project was successful that a new site was established in Tawi-Tawi to be headed by him.
To prepare for the position, he was asked to attend seminars on personnel administration in Manila. In one of his trips to Manila, he learned that the main plant of Litton Mills and Co. was burned down. This incident weakened the shrimp project. Although he was still receiving his salary even without working, he got bored. He decided to seek other employment. Although it was difficult to grant his request for the company already had invested some amount of money on him, he was eventually allowed to leave. But he pledged to come back if ever his services were needed.

He applied for a job at the UP College of Fisheries in Diliman, Quezon City. At that time the dean of the college was Prof. Rogelio O. Juliano. Luckily Prof. Juliano hired him as a Research Assistant. He was assigned at the Institute of Fisheries Development and Research (IFDR), 1968-1970.

In 1970, Prof. Juliano hired him as an instructor of the then College of Fisheries. After four years, Prof. Fernandez became the Secretary of the College. Ten years later, he was appointed as Chairman of Department of Inland Fisheries, College of Fisheries, U.P. Because of his good record as an administrator and other qualifications, Prof. Juliano appointed him as UP in the Visayas Vice-Chancellor for Administration, when the former became the second UPV Chancellor. Chancellor Juliano replaced Chancellor Dionisia Rola when the latter retired on April 30, 1987.

While employed as a faculty and administrator, Prof. Fernandez served as Aquaculture Consultant to some private agencies. Three of which are Trivino Fishpond Project, 1984-1987; DM Consunje Fishpond Project, 1984-1986; and Benguet Management Corporation., 1984-1986. It was here where he developed his pet project: modular method of raising sugpo (prawn).
According to him this method of sugpo farming gives a much higher production than the traditional one, up to 5 folds. Under natural feeding, it enables the farmer to harvest up to 5 times a year for an aggregate yield of up to 2 tons per hectare. If required at all, supplemental feeding maybe resorted to only during the later part of the culture period, or as the growth rates of the prawns so indicate. Thus, this method entails relatively low cost of production with very lucrative returns. The pond operates with three pond series of different bottom elevations. Four weeks or so after stocking the nursery pond (NP), growout pond (GP-1) would be prepared to accommodate the juveniles from the NP. While the stock are at the GP-1, the nursery pond and the grow-out pond two (GP-2) would be prepared to accommodate a new batch of postlarvae and the post juveniles from fry source and GP-1 respectively. The process goes on cyclically every 40-45 days. Moreover, the method maximizes the use of labor and space without altering so much the technical attitude and temperament of the fish farmers. Recommended pond ratio is 1:2.5-3:5-6 (NP:GP-1:GP-2).

His other vital research undertakings include (1) nursery technique for sugpo in pond. Here provisions of shelters are provided to ensure high survival rate up to 94% for a 30-day rearing from the postlarvae. This could be in the form of coconut frond; dried branches or twigs of bamboo or non-toxic indigenous materials tied into small bundles. (2) Crab (Scylla serrata) fattening in pens installed in pond and in mangrove areas. The pens inhibit the crabs from escaping and boring holes on the dikes and utilizes spaces in mangrove areas without cutting the vital trees.

He has written and published books, articles and monographs. Some of these are the following: Fishery Arts for Secondary Schools: Exploratory (co-author). MBF Mercantile Corp., Quezon City, 1980. 322p.; A Manual in Fish Culture III. (major author, together with Crispino A. Saclauso and Arnulfo N. Marasigan), UPV College of Fisheries, Iloilo City, 1987. 159p.; Philippine Recommends for Bangus, 1976 (co-athored with Rogelio O. Juliano, Flerida M. Arce, Melchor M. Lijauco and Leda G. Handog); “Prawn farming in the Philippines: problems and prospects,” UPV Fisheries Journal 1(1):13-22 1985.

For his many achievements in and out of the academe, Prof. Fernandez has received the following awards: Most Outstanding Alumnus (Fisheries), Tarlac College of Agriculture, Camiling, Tarlac, April 9, 1985; Most Outstanding Faculty Award of 1986, U.P. in the Visayas, April 28, 1987.

Although Dean Fernandez has already achieved many things which many other individuals have not, yet he still has some dreams. He hopes that his modular method of sugpo farming be adopted by sugpo farmers to avoid the many diseases that have plagued the industry; that fisheries education in our country be improved so we can train and produce not only technical fisheries graduates but future leaders and scientists who will help accelerate fisheries development in our country; that the objectives of the Fisheries Code be realized soonest so that fisheries as a whole in our country will be better managed. Finally, he hopes that our fisheries students will acquire the appropriate information and technologies to better equip them in fighting whatever challenges that will confront them.

Finally, when this writer asked Dean Fernandez how he should be remembered, he said: as a scientist, as an educator and as an administrator.


His curriculum vitae, 1996. 11p.
Personal Interview, September 1, 1997.

Liberato Vallejos Laureta: A Total Fisheries Scientist


Melchor F. Cichon
June 2005

At times success is not what we dreamed of.

He never dreamed of becoming a fisheries scientist. He wanted to become an accountant.

And so Dr. Liberato Vallejos Laureta became a fisheries scientist by accident.

Because of poverty, his father advised him to take up fisheries at the College of Fisheries, U.P. Diliman, principally because there was no tuition fees for fisheries students then.

But he never had loved fisheries even after he had finished his master’s in fisheries. He started to appreciate fisheries only after he got his Ph. D. and started to conduct a research where he was the project director.

After finishing elementary school at San Agustin Elementary School in Castillejos, Zambales in 1964, Jhon, as he is fondly called by his colleagues, proceeded to Zambales National Agricultural School for his secondary education.

Unknowingly, his mind was being led to fisheries. So when he graduated from high school he applied for a scholarship to the UP College of Fisheries in Diliman, Quezon City. And luckily, he passed it. Eventually, he became a Iskular ng Bayan.

He took a Bachelor of Science in Fisheries, majoring in Inland Fisheries and graduated in 1973. Immediately after graduation, he was hired as a Fish
Technician at the Eel Farm of Showa-United Food, Inc. in Mariveles, Bataan.

But he was not satisfied with his work. He wanted to expand his knowledge and skill, so he applied for a work at his Alma Mater, the UP College of Fisheries, now the UPV College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences. He was taken in as a Research Assistant I at the Institute of Fisheries Development and Research, the research and extension arm of the UP College of Fisheries.

He must have been very efficient and effective researcher because he was always promoted. After a year of being a Research Assistant (RA) I, he was promoted to RA II. Then in 1978, he was again promoted to RA IV, and in 1982 he became a Research Associate IV. Then in 1986, he was promoted to Researcher II.

After coming home from his study leave for his doctorate degree, Jhon was reclassified into a faculty with a rank of Assistant Professor IV. Now he is Associate Professor III, a rank given to a faculty who has completed a lot of researches, undergone a series of extension and community services, and has published in international journals. Beside that, he must have won awards.

So what is his secret?

Higher education.

While he was going up the professional ladder, Jhon continued his studies, first by taking a master’s degree in aquaculture at the UP College of Fisheries, as a PCARRD Scholar. Being a dedicated student, he became a College Scholar, and finished the degree in 1982.

Not contented with it, he took a master degree in Business Administration at the Central Philippine University, in Jaro, Iloilo. But he just completed 30 units.

Then a great break came to him: He was given a scholarship through the UPV-World Bank Scholar Program of the University of the Philippines in the Visayas to take a doctorate degree in marine biology with a major in benthic ecology at the University of Liverpool, England. So when he came back to the Philippines with a PhD degree, he was reclassified from Researcher II to Assistant Professor IV.

To become a UP professor one has be good in the tripartite functions of the university: to teach, to conduct research, and to serve the community ins the form of extension and community service.

In all these functions, Jhon is on top.

As a faculty, Jhon often gets excellent remarks from his students both in the undergraduate and the graduate levels.

As a researcher, Jhon has conducted 13 researches, and has written scientific articles, some of which have been published in peer-reviewed journals. His current researches focus on angel wings, a bivalve that is becoming rare in Western Visayas.

Here are some of his unpublished researches.

Laureta, L., U. Focken and K. Becker. 2000. Growth and metabolic responses of milkfish fingerlings (Chanos chanos) fed with composed diets under controlled condition.

Laureta, L. and Marasigan, E. 1998. The ecology and reproductive biology of the angel wings, Phoilas orientalis. Project supported by the Fisheries Sector Program of the Department of Agrciulture.

Marasigan, E. and Laureta, L. 1998. Broodstock maintenance and induced spawning of Pholas orientalis. Project supported by the Fisheries Sector Program of the Department of Agriculture.

Laureta, L. and Santos-Garibay, S. 1998. The kapis industry of the Philippines with emphasis on its biology in Batan Bay, Aklan.

Laureta, I. V. The trophic dynamics of a benthic community off the west coast of the Isle of Man with particular reference to the ecological energies of Corbula gibba (Olivi). Ph.D. dissertation, University of Liverpool, Liverpool, England.

To date, June 2005, Jhon had published five scientific papers and a monograph. Three of these papers were published in peer-reviewed journals, two of which received awards.

Here are his published works:

Marasigan, E. T. and L. V. Laureta. 2001. Broodstock maintenance and early gonadal maturation of the angelwings, Pholas orientalis (Bivalvia: Pholadidae). Journal of Shellfish Research 20(3):1095-1099.

Laureta, L. V. and E. T. Marasigan. 2000. Habitat and reprodutctive biology of angelwings, Pholas orientalis (Gmelin). Journal of Shellfish Research 19(2):19-22.

Laureta, L. V. Catedrilla, L. and Cichon, M. eds. 1996. IA Research Abstracts: 1982-1994. Institute of Aquaculture, College of Fisheries, U.P. in the Visayas, Iloilo. 101p.

Laureta, L. V., Marasigan, A. N. and Melgar, R. 1992. (abstract). "A Study on the Reproduction and Spawning of Placuna sella." Proceedings of the Second National Symposium in Marine Science held at Mindanao State University, Tawi-Tawi, November 1992.

Taki, V., Saclauso, C. Laureta, L., Ohno, T., Kohno, Y. and Morioka, S. 1989. "Survival of milkfish fry on the surf zone." In: Proceedings of the Second Asian Fisheries Society Forum held in Tokyo, Japan, March 1989.

Carreon,, J., Laureta, L., Estocapio, F. and Abalos, T. 1984. Milkfish seedling survival in raceways of freshwater recirculating systems. Aquaculture 36:256-272.

Jhon has rendered extension and community services. On March 14 and 15, 2002, Jhon led the coastal assessment survey and evaluation of possible establishment of rehabilitation project for the diwal Pholas orientalis in Pontevedra, Negros Occidental. On October 3-4, 1999, he served as a resource evaluator during the ocular inspection and area assessment of Sigay shellfish in Sipalay, Negros Occidental under the support of UP Ugnayan Pahinungod and the Negros Occidental Provincial government.

But two of the most significant extension works Jhon has ever undertaken was when he served as program coordinator for the training of 18 Iranian aquaculturists on "shrimp Grow-Out management held at the Brackishwater Aquaculture Center, College of Fisheries, U.P. in the Visayas, Leganes, Iloilo on November 20, 1993 to January 17, 1994. The other one was when he served a program coordinator on the seminar workshop for the 156 fishpond owners and caretakers in Pangasinan on "culture of prawn, milkfish and groupers" held at the College of Fisheries, Pangasinan State University, Binmaley, Pangasinan on April 28-30, 1994.

When you are good enough, people cannot afford to ignore you, especially those people who are concern with the future of the industry.

As a scientist, Jhon is not just good enough, he is in fact one of the best young Filipino fisheries scientists today.

In recognition of his achievements, Dr. Laureta has received 12 awards and scholarship grants from 1979 to 2003. The most recent of which was the DOST-Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS) Core University Exchange research Scientist to conduct research visit in Japan (September 1-20, 2002). On February 28, 2001, he was a recipient of the International Publication Award in 2000 by the University of the Philippines handed to him by the President of the University of the Philippines. In 1999, Dr. Laureta won the Best Unpublished Research Paper by the Bureau of Agricultural Research, Department of Agriculture. Before this, he also received the Dr. Elvira O. Tan Memorial Award for Best Published Research Paper in Aquaculture. The award was given by PCMARD.

When a faculty is endowed with extraordinary talents, his dean expects so much from that person. And Dr. Laureta was given additional works.

From 2000 to 2005, Dr. Laureta was the Station Head of the Brackishwater Aquaculture Center, Institute of Aquaculture, College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences, U.P. in the Visayas, Leganes, Iloilo.

In September 2001, Dr. Laureta was the Co-Chair of the Committee that conceptualized and formulated training or extension program for the Institute of Aquaculture. On the same year, he was a member of the Committee on CFOS Curriculum Review.

Looking back, Jhon has not regretted for having studied fisheries despite his being away from his hometown. His longing to his parents and brothers and sisters are being filled up by the presence of his loving and supportive wife, the former Ms. Elma Mogote Maca and their two children, Elmer and Michael Jun.

Friday, July 21, 2006

Dean Domiciano K. Villaluz: Pioneer in the Study of Tiger Prawn in the Philippines


Melchor F. Cichon
July 13, 2006

Do you know that one of the earliest Filipinos to study the biology and culture of tiger prawn or sugpo (Penaeus monodon Fabricius) was Dean Domiciano K. Villaluz together with D. V. Villadolid?

As early as 1951 these two Filipino scientists published an article in The Philippine Journal of Fisheries entitled " The cultivation of Sugpo, Penaeus monodon Fabricius in the Philippines". Here they described the morphological structure of sugpo. They also described sugpo’s feeding habits, the migration of sugpo fry, the sugpo fry fishery, and the cultivation of sugpo.

Before that, sugpo were being caught in the wild. At times though, sugpo were harvested in the fishponds but only as a secondary product.

In the 1980s and early 1990s, sugpo was the highest Philippine fisheries export amounting to millions of pesos. But when other countries like Thailand and Indonesia started to produce sugpo and with the onset of luminous bacteria, sugpo’s production started to dive.

Today, sugpo production is at its lowest level.

What could be one of the reasons for the increase of sugpo production in the Philippines in the 1980s?

When SEAFDEC-AQD was being established, the SEAFDEC Council members decided that the focus of this Department would be the production of sugpo, or Penaeus monodon Fabricius.

At that time, Dean Villaluz was experimenting on artificial propagation of this species in Mindanao, where he was the Dean of the College of Fisheries of Mindanao State University in Marawi City.

Before that Dean Villaluz had published a series of articles on sugpo. In 1953, he published a book entitled: Fish farming in the Philippines. In this book, he devoted one chapter on the cultivation of sugpo.

And so the SEAFDEC Council decided to appoint Dean Villaluz as its first Chief of SEAFDEC-AQD in 1973. He stayed in SEAFDEC-AQD until July 7, 1979.

Here is a report from SEAFDEC-AQD how Dean Villaluz was chosen as its first chief: "When SEAFDEC established the AQD in 1973, the Council decided to make tiger shrimp the main R&D focus and appointed Dean Domiciano K. Villaluz of the Mindanao State University the first AQD chief in recognation of his track record in shrimp research. In 1938, Dean Villaluz and F. J. Arriola published a paper on Penaeus taxonomy in Philippine Journal of Science (vol 66, pp. 35-41). In 1950, at the Second Meeting of the Indo-Pacific fisheries Council in Sydney, D. V. Villadolid and D. K. Villaluz presented the paper " The cultivation of Sugpo Penaeus monodn Fabricius in the Philippines. Dean Villaluz was working on the artificial propogation of tiger shrimp at the MSU-Naawan campus at about the same time that Dr. Liao was doing the same at TML. The paper of Villaluz et al (1969): "reproduction, larval development, and cultivation of sugpo Penaeus monodon Fabricius" appeared in Philippine Journal of Science (vol. 98, pp. 205-233). Thus it was that from the very start, the AQD promoted tiger shrimp hatchery and grow-out through research, training and extension including the conduct of the First (1983) and the Second (1996) International Conferences on Penaeid Prawns/Shrimps. Dean Villaluz bannered the AQD effort on tiger shrimp until his retirement in 1979 (July 7, 1979, when Dr. R. Juliano became the second SEAFDEC-AQD chief.

But who is Dean Villaluz?

This writer has very little information about Dean Villaluz' background.

Dean Villaluz was born in Angono, Rizal on July 30, 1909. He took both his Bachelor of Science in Education, major in zoology (BSE, 1931) and his Master of Science in Zoology (MS, 1937) from the University of the Philippines.

From 1939-1941, Dean Villaluz was a government student in Japan and a scholar of the U.S. State Department in the University of Washington in 1946-1947.

He wanted to become a physician, but for some reasons, he failed to pursue his medical career. Instead he went into fisheries.

He worked as Fishpond Supervisor at the Rehabilitation Finance Corporation. He also worked as a fish culturist at the Bureau of Fisheries.

It was at this time when he conducted researches and wrote both scientific and popular articles in fisheries.

In one of his articles, Dean Villaluz suggested that: " In the Philippines our need for a definite policy relative to the development of a certain fishery should received top consideration. The immediate problem is how to produce more fish to feed our ever increasing population. The point to consider in this connection are: Shall we develop our offshore fisheries or our inland fisheries including the fishponds? Developing offshore fisheries would mean fishing in international waters, following migration of pelagic fishes of commercial importance to their feeding, breeding, and spawning grounds which may happen to be in waters belonging to other countries. In other words, offshore fishing for the Philippines would be mostly international in scope as it is in other countries. Are we ready to engage in this kind of fishing which will require technical know-how and millions of pesos as capital?"

Here are his publications relative to Philippine fisheries:

Arriola, F. J. and D. K. Villaluz. 1939. Snail fishing and duck raising in Laguna de bay. Phil. J. Sci 69:173-190
Blanco, G. J., D. K. Villaluz and H. R. Montalban. 1951. The cultivation and biology of oysters of Bacoor Bay, Luzon. Phil. J. Fish 1(1):35-54
Mane, A. M. and D. K. Villaluz. 1939. The pukot fisheries of Laguna de Bay. Phil. J. Sci 69: 394-413.
Rabanal, H. R., H. R. Montalban and D. K. Villaluz. 1951. The preparation and management of the bangos fishpond nursery in the Philippines. Phil. J. Fish 1(1): 3-34
Villadolid, D. K. and D. K. Villaluz. Animals destructive to oysters in Bacoor Bay, Luzon. Phil. J. Sci 67 (1938):393-397
Villadolid, D. K. and D. K. Villaluz.. 1950. A preliminary study on bangos cultivation and its relation to algae culture in the Philippines. Dept. Agri. Nat. Res. Pop. Bull No. 30.
Villadolid, D. K. and D. K. Villaluz.. 1951. The cultivation of Sugpo, Penaeus monodon Fabricus in the Philippines. Phil. J. Fish 1(1):55-66
Villaluz, D. K. 1950. Management of some Philippine fisheries. Bull Fish. Sco. Phil :1: 31-37.
Villaluz, D. K. 1939. Vertical distribution of oyster spats in Bacoor Bay. Phil. J. Sci 70(4):375-385 Villaluz, D. K. 1939. Viability of commercial oyster spats in Bacoor Bay. Phil J. Sci 70(4):375-385 Villaluz, D. K. 1953. Fish farming in the Philippines. Bookman, Manila, 1953. 336p.
Villaluz, D. K. and F. J. Arriola. 1938. Five other known species of the Genus Penaeus in the Philippines. Phil. J. Sci 66:35-41.
Villaluz, D. K. Oyster farming. Phil. Journ. Sci. 65(1938):304-311.

He served as the Philippine Alternate Delegate to the Indo-Pacific Fisheries Council in Cronulla, N.S.W, Australia, April 17-28, 1950, where he presented a paper together with D. V. Villadolid on the cultivation of sugpo in the Philippines.

In 1963, he was appointed dean of the College of Fisheries, Mindanao State University—Marawi, 1963 until 1973 when he was appointed as the first Chief of SEAFDEC-AQD, 1973-1979.

For his distinguished contributions to fisheries, he received some awards.

In October 1976, he received the Rizal Pro Patria Award given by the President of the Philippines. Two years before this, he received the Gregoria y Zara Scientist Award given by the Philippine Association for the Advancement of Science and the National Science Development Board, and the Outstanding Service Award from the Philippine Federation of Fish Farm Producers. In 1977, he received the UP Alumni Award from the UP Alumni Association.

In 1979, he received the Pantas award given by the Philippine Council for Agriculture, Forestry and Natural Resources Research and Development, DOST "for his pioneering research on prawn culture. The induced prawn spawning and hatchery technology he developed had stabilized prawn fry supply for the country’s fish farmers. He was recognized for his lifelong mission to prove it the Filipino farmer that any little space of land can be made productive from technology adaptation coupled with strong determination."

To honor and perpetuate his contributions to the development of prawn culture in the Philippines, and for his able leadership while serving as SEAFDEC-AQD Chief during its organizational and formative years (1973-1979), the SEAFDEC-AQD management established the annual Dean Domiciano K. Villaluz Memorial Lecture where Filipino fisheries scientists deliver lectures on various topics in fisheries.

Dean Villaluz died in Angono, Rizal on April 28, 1986 at the age of 76 but his legacy as a pioneer researcher in sugpo culture will live on.


Bagarinao, Teodora. Dr. I-Chiu Liao of Taiwan and SEAFDEC/AQD's early history. SEAFDEC Asian Aquaculture, October-December 2002.
SEAFDEC-AQD Annual Report, 1979, p. 35
Villaluz, D. K. 1950. Management of some Philippine Fisheries. Bulletin of the Fisheries Society of the Philippines 1:31-37.
Villaluz, D. K. 1953. Fish farming in the Philippines. Bookman, Manila, 1953. 336p

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Dr. Rafael D. Guerrero III: The Father of Tilapia Sex-Reversal

Melchor F. Cichon
July 18, 2006

Among the Filipino fisheries scientists tilapias have always been linked with Dr. Rafael D. Guerrero III.

Why is this so?

He observed that one of the most prominent problems in tilapia culture is overpopulation. Tilapia matures after two to three months from its fry stage and can produce as much as 5,000 eggs every three months depending on its size.

When he took his doctorate degree in Auburn University in the early 1970s, he focused his dissertation on the the production of monosex tilapia into male using synthetic androgens.

When he returned to the Philippines, he continued his experiment on tilapia sex reversal at the Central Luzon State University in Muñoz, Nueva Ecija where he served as the first dean of its college of fisheries.

And he was successful.

Now, the technology he developed has been adopted not only by Filipino fish farmers but by other fish farmers in other parts of the globe.

This can be seen from the awards he has been receiving here and abroad.

Dr. Guerrero was born in Manila on August 7, 1944. His parents are Rafael Guerrero, Jr. and Rizalina Guerrero.

He took his B.S. (Zoology) at the University of the Philippines in Diliman, Quezon City in 1964 and finished his M.S. (Applied Zoology) from U.P. Los Baños, Laguna in 1970. In 1974, he received his PhD degree in Fisheries Management from Auburn University, USA as a recipient of the NEDA-USAID Postgraduate Scholarship Award.

Two years after that, he became the Dean of the College of Inland Fisheries of Central Luzon State University from 1976 to 1981. Then he worked as Director for Training and Extension of the Southeast Asian Fisheries Development Center's Aquaculture Department in 1983.

The year before that, he and his wife, Luzviminda, co-founded the Aquatic Biosystems, an aquaculture consulting firm in 1982.

At present (2006), Dr. Guerrero is the Executive Director of Philippine Council for Aquatic and Marine Research and Development (PCAMRD).

Dr. Guerrero has published a lot of works related to tilapias.

Here are some of his publications, this writer has captured:

Guerrero, R. D. III. 1973. Cage culture of male and female Tilapia mossambicus with and without supplementary feeding in a fertilized pond. Central Luzon State University Science Journal 9:18-20

Guerrero, R. D. and W. L. Shelton. 1974. An aceto-carmine squash method for sexing juvenile fishes. Prog. Fish-Cult. 36-56.

Guerrero, R. D. III. 1974. The use of synthetic androgens for production of monosex male Tilapia aurea (Steindachner). PhD Dissertation, Auburn University, Auburn Alabama. 97p.

Guerrero, R. D. III. 1974. Culture of monosex male Tilapia mossambica and Ophiocephalus striatus in fertilized ponds with supplementary feeding. Philippine Journal of Fisheries 12(1-2):64-74.

Guerrero, R. D. III and L. A. Guerrero. 1975. Monosex culture of male and female Tilapia mossambica in ponds at three stocking rates. Kalikasan, Philipp. J. Biol. 4:129-134.

Guerrero, R. D. III and L. A. Guerrero. 1975. Use of androgens for the production of all-male Tilapia aurea (Steindachner). Trans. Am. Fish. Soc. 104:342-348.

Guerrero, R. D. 1976. Culture of Tilapia nilotica at two densities with fertilization and supplemental feeding. Fish Res. J. Philipp. 1(1):39-43

Guerrero, R. D. and T. A. Abella. 1976. Induced sex-reversal of Tilapia nilotica with methyltestosterone. Fish. Res. J. Philipp. 1(2):46-49.

Guerrero, R. D. 1976. Tilapia mossambica and T. zillii treated with ethynyltestosterone for sex-reversal. Kalikasan, Philipp. J. Biol 5:187-192.

Guerrero, R. D. III. Culture of male Tilapia mossambica produced through artificial sex reversal. Proc. FAO Tech. Conf. On Aquaculture, Kyoto, Japan, FAO:AQ/Conf./76/E.15 3p.

Guerrero, R. D. III and L. A. Guerrero. 1976. Culture of Tilapia nilotica and Macrobrachium species separately and in combination in fertilized freshwater fishponds. Phil J. Fish. 14(2):232-235

Guerrero, R. D. 1977. Production of tilapia fry in floating net enclosures. FAO Aquaculture Bulletin 8(3/4):4

Guerrero, R. D. 1979. Culture of male Tilapia mossambica produced through artificial sex reversal, p. 166-168. In T. V. R. Pillay and W.A. Dill (eds.). Advances in Aquaculture. Fishing News Books Ltd., Farnham, Surrey, England.

Guerrero, R. D. 1979. Cage culture of tilapia in the Philippines. Asian Aquaculture 2(11):6

Guerrero, R. D. 1979. Use of hormonal steroids for artificial sex reversal of tilapia. Proc. Indian Nat. Sci. Acad 45B;512-514.

Guerrero, R. D. and E. P. Villanueva. 1979. Polyculture of Cristaria plicata (leach) at two densities with Tilapia nilotica and Cyprinus carpio in fertilized ponds. Fish. Res. J. Phil 4(2):13-17.

Guerrero, R. D. III. 1980. Studies on the feeding of Tilapia nilotica in floating cages. Aquaculture 20:169-175.

Guerrero, R. D. 1980. How to produce fingerlings of Nile tilapia. Modern Agriculture and Industry—Asia 3(2):4-5

Guerrero, R. D. III, A. G. Cagauan and T. A. Abella. 1980. Pond cultivation of three tilapia hybrids. CLSU Sci. J 1(1):15-18.

Guerrero, R. D. 1981. Bay town cashes in on tilapia bonanza. Asian Farms and Gardens (Feruary):14.

Guerrero, R. D. 1981. Introduction to fish culture in the Philippines. TRC Series. Technology Resources Center, Manila.

Guerrero, R. D. III. 1981. Recent developments in the cage culture of tilapia in the Philippines. Paper presented at the IFS General Assembly Meeting, 12 November 1981, Chiang Mai, Thailand.

Guerrero, R. D. 1982. Control of Tilapia reproduction. , pp. 309-316. In R.S.V. Pullin and R. H. Lowe-McConnell (eds). The biology and culture of tilapias. ICLARM Conference Proceedings 7. International Center for Living Aquatic Resources Management, Manila, Philippines.

Guerrero, R. D. 1982. An overview of tilapia culture in the country. Philippine Farmer’s Journal 24(3):28-29,331,35.

Guerrero, R. D. III., R. C. Sevilleja and A. M. Tolentino. 1982. Studies on the cage culture of Tilapia nilotica in Aya Reservoir and Laguna de Bay, Philippines. Paper presented at the Regional Workshop on Limnology and Water Management in Developing Countires of Asia and the Pacific, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Guerrero, R. D. and A. M. Garcia. 1983. Studies on the fry production of Sarotherodon niloticus in a lake-based hatchery, p. 388-393. In L. Fishelson and Z. Yaron (comps) Proceedings of the International Symposium on Tilapia in Aquaculture. Tel Aviv University, Tell Aviv, Israel.

Guerrero, R. D. III. 1983. A comparative study on the cage culture of Tilapia nilotica and male T. nilotica x female T. aurea hybrid in Laguna de Bay. Paper presented at the 5th Annual Meeting of the Nations Science Technical Authority, Bicutan, Metro Manila. 6p.

Pond culture of the Nile tilapia . Modern Fish Farming (Philippines) 1:20-22.

Guerrero, R. D. III and L.A. Guerrero. 1985. Effect of breeder size on fry production of Nile tilapia in concrete pools. Trans. Nat. Acad. Sci. Tech. (Phils.) 7:63-66.

Guerrero, R. D. III and L.A. Guerrero. 1985. Further observations on the fry production of Oreochromis niloticus in concrete tanks. Aquaculture 47:257-261.

Guerrero, R. D. III and L.A. Guerrero. 1985. Outdoor treatment of Nile tilapia fry for artificial sex reversal. Paper presented at the Asian Symposium on Freshwater Fish Culture, Beijing, China, 10-15 October 1985. 6p.

Guerrero, R. D. III. 1985. Tilapia farming in the Philippines: practices, problems and prospects, p. 3-13. In I.R. Smith, E, B. Torres and E. O. Tan (eds.). Philippine tilapia economics. ICLARM Conference Proceedings 12, 261p. Philippine Council for Agriculture and Resources Research and Development, Los Baños, Laguna and ICLARM, Manila Philippines.

Guerrero, R, D. 1986. Commercial production of tilapia in freshwater ponds and cages in the Philippines. Paper presented at the First National Symposium and Workshop on Tilapia Farming, PCARRD,Los Baños, Laguna, Philippines, 24-26 November 1986. 12p.

Guerrero, R. D. III. 1987. Tilapia farming in the Philippines. Technology and Livelihood Resource Center and National Book Store, Manila, Philippines. 84p.

Guerrero, R. D. III and L.A. Guerrero. 1988. Feasibility of commercial production of sex-reversed Bile tilapia fingerlings in the Philippines, p. 183-186. In R.S. V. Pullin , T. Bhukaswan, K. Tonguthai and J. L. Maclean (eds.) The Second International Symposium on Tilapia in Aquaculture. ICLARM Conference Proceedings 15, 623. Department of Fisheries, Bangkok, Thailand, and ICLARM, Manila, Philippines.

Guerrero, R. D. III. 1999. Seaweed farming in Batangas. Agriculture 111(10):18-19.

Dr. Guerrero has been a consultant for aquaculture of various government and private corporations such as the Technology and Livelihood Resource Center, San Miguel Corporation and the Meralco Foundation, Inc.

He also served as president of the Fisheries Research Society of the Philippines; Team Leader for Aquaculture Research of the Philippine Council for Agriculture and Resource Research, and served as Director of the Fisheries Research Department, Philippine Council for Aquaculture and Resources Research and Development. He was a Visiting Professor of Aquaculture Management of the CDFM, UPLB and Scientific Adviser for aquaculture of the International Foundation for Science.

For his distinguished career as a researcher, consultant and administrator, Dr. Guerrero received several awards both here and abroad. Among these are the following:

1978--Ten Outstanding Young Men (TOYM) Award for Aquaculture and Fisheries conferred by the Philippine Jaycees.

1980--Ten Outstanding Young Scientists (TOYS) Award given by the National Science and Development Board (NSDB)

1987--IBM Science and Technology Award

1992--Elected Academician by the National Academy of Science and Technology in recognition of his scientific and technological contribution to the development of sex reversal and hatchery technique that led to the commercial production of high yielding market-size tilapia in the Philippines and other countries.

2005-- Mgr. Dr. Jan D.F. Heine Memorial Award by the International "Je Dois Faire" Assembly "in recognition of his outstanding efforts to stimulate sustained improvement of world wide human living standards." And for his pioneering work on tilapia sex reversal technology that contributed significantly to world aquaculture. The award was conferred to Dr. Guerrero by Heine and World Aquaculture Society president Keven Fitzsimmons during the 6th International Symposium on Tilapia in Aquaculture in Manila.

The Mgr. Dr. Jan D.F. Heine Memorial Award is conferred to internationally recognized individual who has worked for the advancement of tilapia science and has also made an impact on the lives of people in developing countries dependent on fish as a major source of animal protein.

Tilapia was once considered as a fishpond culture pest. Today this is called the chicken of the pond. And its production in 2001 was 106.7 metric tons amounting to PhP12,999,000, second only to milkfish (bangus).

And Dr. Guerrero III has been a part of this development.

Jose S. Domantay: An Internationally Acclaimed Natural Scientist


Melchor F. Cichon
Otolith, April-June 1997, p. 11

Mr. Jose Sison Domantay was considered by his contemporaries as the only living Filipino and among the very few living ochinodormists of the world. His article which he co-authored with P. B. Sivickis, "The morphology of a holothurian, Stichopus chloronotus Brandt" , published in Philippine Journal of Science, 37(1928):299-332, was the first written article exclusively on Philippine holothurians or trepang. He followed this with 10 articles on holothurians published mostly in the Philippine Journal of Science and the U.P. Natural and Applied Science Bulletin between 1931-1961. Three of these are, "Autotomy in holothurian," (1931); "Littoral holothurioidea of Port Galera Bay and adjacent waters, " (1933); and "Four additional species of littoral holothurioidea of Puerto Galera Bay and adjacent waters", (1934).

His deep interest on Philippine echinoderms was inspired by the works done by Captain Ziesenhenne of the Allan Hancock Foundation on the many echinoderms caught during the survey of Manila Bay after World War II. Ziesenhenne classified those echinoderms but the result was not published.

Domantay was born on November 5, 1897 in Malasiqui, Pangasinan. He finished his elementary education in his hometown while he had his secondary schooling at the then National Academy High School (NAHS), now the National University, Manila in 1917.

From NAHS, he proceeded to the University of the Philippines (UP) where he obtained four undergraduate degrees: Associate in Arts (AA, 1921); Bachelor of Philosophy (PhB, 1923); Bachelor of Science (BS in Zoology, 1925); and Master of Science (MS zoology, 1928). After the war, he enrolled at the Graduate School of the University of Southern California, Los Angeles, California, USA, as a Fulbright Scholar for his Doctor of Philosophy degree. Unfortunately, he was not able to finish the degree because his superior at the Bureau of Fisheries did not approve the extension of his official stay at the U.S.A.

From 1935 to 1940, Domantay along with other Filipino fisheries scientists like D. Villadolid, G. Blanco, A. Umali and others, was trained by Dr. Albert Herre on marine resources of Philippine seas. It was during this period that a worldwide economic depression took place. This resulted to the drastic cut of the bureau and the salaries of the staff reduced. Despite this situation, Domantay stayed with the bureau. For this reason, he was called by Jose Velasco and Luz Baens-Arcega as one of the Preservers of the Bureau of Science.
At 21, he worked as a senior clerk at the Municipal Treasurer’s Office in Malasiqui, Pangsinan while pursuing his college degree at U.P. In 1923, just after he obtained his PhB degree, he was appointed as Assistant Instructor in zoology at the U.P. College of Liberal Arts. Three years after that, he was promoted as instructor. During this time, he was simultaneously teaching zoology classes at UP and at the Ateneo de Manila University. In June 1937, he accepted the position of a Fisheries Technologists at the Division of Fisheries of the Bureau of Science. After 25 years (May 5, 1961), he was appointed as assistant director of the Bureau of Fisheries. But in 1954, while working at the Bureau of Science, he was granted permission by the Secretary of Agriculture and Natural Resources to teach at the Graduate School, University of Santo Tomas (UST). Since then, he had been connected with UST as a Professional Lecturer.

Like other Filipino scientists who worked in the Philippine government office, Domantay was privileged to conduct researches on Philippine fisheries. Some of his other studies other than that on trepang were on turtle fisheries at the Turtle Islands; marine vegetation and the fauna of the Hundred Islands in Lingayen Gulf; and on the taxonomy of the holothurioides collection of the Allan Hancock foundation, University of Southern California.
Before he retired on November 5, 1962, he had published more than 60 papers on various aspects of Philippine fishes and fisheries.

It was also during this time that Domantay was able to collect valuable rare specimens of Philippine fishes and fisheries. It was said that these specimens were left at the Philippine Institute of Fisheries Technology (PIFT), the forerunner of the UPV College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences. He was once a faculty member of PIFT when the institute was still under the Bureau of Fisheries. He also had another set of biological collection in Zamboanga City where he was once assigned. However, all these valuable specimens were lost during the war. But he continued his mission of collecting Philippine biological specimens after the war. Upon retirement, he donated the gathered specimens to the Bureau of Fisheries.

Due to his accomplishments as a scholar and as a scientist, he became a member of honor societies and scientific organizations like Sigma XI, Phi Sigma, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the National Research Council of the Philippines, and the Philippine Association for the Advancement of Science.
After his retirement from government service, Domantay continued to teach at the Graduate School, UST, Manila. He was, in fact, the thesis adviser of the former dean of the UPV College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences—Prof. Prudencia V.Conlu when she took her MA degree in Zoology at UST.
Prof. Conlu rose to become one of the most prominent Philippine ichthyologists of her time.


Anon. 1962. (Nov-Dec). "Assistant director Domantay Retires." Fisheries Gazette, p. 1
Blanco, Guillermo J. and A. R. Montalban. 1051. "Bibliography of Philippine Fishes and Fisheries." Philippine Journal of Fisheries 1(2):115-138.
Francisco, Isidro M. (Nov-Dec), "A Man of Science Retires". Fisheries Gazette, pp. 56-57, 64.
Velasco, Jose R. and Luz Baens-Arcega. 1984. National Institute of Science and Technology 1901-1982: A Facet of Science Development in the Philippines. Manila: NIST. 196p.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Dr. Albert Herre: A Pioneer in Philippine Fisheries Science


Melchor F. Cichon
Otolith, October-December 1986, pp. 11-12

When I asked some UPV College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences undergraduate students about Albert Herre, they thought he was a freshman student of the College or of the College of arts and Sciences. One student even ventured to ask me whether Herre is staying at the UPV Dormitory.

From their responses, I deduced that Dr. Albert Herre is a stranger to present fisheries students. This led me to look for some information about him. I was glad that Prof. Prudencia Conlu was still around. She is one of our renowned ichthyologists who had the opportunity to talk personally with Herre. It was from her that I learned much about the man.

Dr. Albert William Christian Theodore Herre came to the Philippines in 1920 and became the first Chief of the Department of Fisheries, Bureau of Science, Philippine Islands, from 1920 to 1928. After this, he returned to the United States of America for one year. But in 1931, he came back to the Philippines to survey the fisheries resources of the country and returned to the United States again. In 1933, he was again back as part of the expeditions in Pelews, Philippines, China and Malay Peninsula.

While in the Philippines, he extensively toured the archipelago. In his preface to his book, Stories of PhilippineFfishes, he said, "For many years it has been my privilege and delight to travel in all parts of the Philippines, to wander over all the large islands and to visit most of the inhabited islands and many, many on which no one lives. Many long and often difficult trips were taken in order to learn something of the fishes, coral reefs and mountain lakes, of the great rivers of Luzon and Mindanao, and of the bays, channels and seas that surround the thousands of lovely islands that lie between Formosa and Borneo. In the esteros about Malabon and Lake Buhi, may be found the smallest fishes in the world, while in the sea not far from Sibutu, I have seen the whale shark, the largest fish in the world swimming about the surface of the water. To learn more about fishes, I have watched them day after day, drifting in a banca, and have examined thousands, living and dead. They were obtained from baklad and bobo; fishing from pantalans, taken from tide pools and the open sea; and from rice paddies, rivers, and lakes all over the islands."

Out of these expeditions and travels, he produced various scientific papers and books on Philippine fishes. The "Bibliography of Fishes and Fisheries" compiled by Guillermo J. Blanco and Heraclio R. Montalban (Philippine Journal of Fisheries, vol. 1, no. 2, July-December 1951, pp. 115-138) lists 102 of Herre’s original articles on Philippine fisheries. The earliest article he wrote about the Philippine fisheries is entitled "Aquatic Resource of the Philippines". It was published in the American Chamber of Commerce Journal, Manila 1(1921):11-12.

In 1925 in Malabon, Rizal, Herre also described and published the discovery of the smallest fish in the world—the Pandaca pygmea which measures 7.5 to 11 mm in length when fully mature. At that time he was working with Filipino scientists like Inocencio Ronquillo, Agustin Umali, Guillermo Montalban, Claro Martin, Hilario Roxas, etc. It was Ronquillo who gave him the Pandaca pygmea specimen.

Other significant contributions of Herre to the study of Philippine fishes is his book, Checklist of Philippine Fishes (Washington, U.S. Government Printing Office, 1953. 976p.). This book is not the first checklist of Philippine fishes because in 1910, David Starr Jordan and R. E. Richardson prepared a list which included 830 species. But this book by Herre is considered as the most comprehensive list of Philippine fishes until today.

This book is still being used by our fisheries researchers as a preliminary reference. It includes approximately 2, 145 species of fishes known to inhabit the waters of the Philippines in 1948.

The other technical books by Herre include: Gobies of the Philippines and the China Sea (Manila Bureau of Printing, 1927. 352p.), and English and Local Common Names of Philippine Fishes (Washington, U.S. Government Printing Office, 1948. 128p.). The first book describes the sizes, color and inhabitants of hundreds of Philippine gobies. The Pandaca pygmea is described in this book.

He did not only write technical books and articles. Two of his works are Stories of Philippine Fishes (Manila, D. P. Perez Co., 1938) and Philippine Fish Tales (Rizal, Oriental Commercial Co., 1935) which showcase his literary skills. Some of his poems are found in the first book.

Herre was born on September 16, 1868 in Toledo, Ohio, U.S.A. He earned his undergraduate (A.B., 1904), graduate (A.M., 1905), and Ph.D. (1909) degree in Stanford University, California.

After graduation, he served as principal of a high school in California (1910-1912), then as director of the School of Hygiene in the same institution from 191901920. After this, he went to the Philippines and began his long career in fisheries. He was a member of four expeditions from 1928 to 1937. He was also a member of scientific associations like California Academy and California Botany Society.

After his duty in the Philippines, Herre went back to America. He wanted to visit the Philippines again sometime in 1962 or 1963 but a certain illness prevented him from doing so.

This greatly disappointed the Filipino scientists who wanted to see again the man who contributed much to the advancement of fisheries science in the Philippines. However, the great legacy left by Herre comforted and inspired them to work toward the development of Philippine fisheries.

Agustin F. Umali: A Distinguished Filipino Ichthyologist


Melchor F. Cichon
First Published in Otolith
January-March 1997, p. 16

Mr. Agustin F. Umali is the author of one of the most significant books on Philippine fishes, Edible Fishes of Manila (Manila, Bureau of Printing, 1936). This is the first book on Philippine fishes that provides the local and scientific names, distinctive features, colors, sizes, supply and marketing conditions, eating qualities, and illustrations of Philippine fishes that were sold in the different markets in Manila before World War II. In 1938, he co-authored English and Local Names of Philippine Fishes with Dr. Albert W. Herre. He also authored the classical book on the different fishing gears used in the Philippines, Guide to the Classification of Fishing Gears in the Philippines in 1950.

All these books are still being used by Filipino fisheries and marine researchers and students. Aside from these, Umali published more than 20 scientific articles on Philippine fishes and fisheries mostly in the Philippine Journal of Science.

This is the reason why the University of the Philippines in the Visayas named the Faculty Center of the College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences as Agustin Umali Hall. This is a fitting tribute to a distinguished man who rendered so much of his time and talent for the development of fisheries in the Philippines.

Umali was born in Odiongan, Romblon on January 15, 1906. His parents were Mariano Umali and Leoncia Fallaria. He finished his Associate in the Arts at the University of the Philippines, where he also earned his Bachelor of Science degree in 1928.

After graduation, Umali taught at the Zambales Provincial High School from 1928 to 1929. He then transferred to the Bureau of Science in 1929 where he stayed until 1936 as an Assistant Ichthyologist. From the Bureau of Science, he worked as District Fisheries Officer in Naga, Camarines Sur from 1936 to 1938. In 1939 until the start of World War II, Umali worked as Assistant Ichthyologist at the Division of Fisheries, Department of Agriculture and Commerce.

His service in the government continued even during the war. In 1942-43, he worked as an Aquatic Biologist at the bureau of Forestry and Fishery. He transferred to the Office of the President as Supervisor (Fisheries) Food Administration from 1943 to 1944.

His love for education led him to the Philippine School of Fisheries from 1944-1945, and from 1946-1948, as its Superintendent. From the Philippine School of Fisheries, he transferred to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Rehabilitation Office, Manila from 1948 to 1950. He became Chief of the Geology Paleontology Division, National Museum from 1950 until 1960.

In between these jobs, Umali was sent to various trainings here and abroad. In 1938-1939, he was sent by the Philippine government on deep-sea fishing. In the Philippines, he attended a special training on cooperative at the Department of Agriculture and Commerce at the Institute of Public Administration (now the College of Public Administration, University of the Philippines in 1953-54.

It was during his stay in these various government organizations tha he was able to produce a lot of scientific papers, pamphlets and books on Philippine fishes and fisheries. He was also able to attend scientific meetings like the Indo-Pacific Fisheries, 4th Meeting where he served as adviser in 1952. In the following year, he was able to attend the 8th Pacific Science Congress and in 1962, he participated in the UNESCO Marine Science Institutions in East and Southeast Asia meeting in Manila.

Umali was a member of learned societies and organizations like the National research Council of the Philippines and the American Society of Ichthyology and Herpetology. He was the founding fellow of the Philippine Association for the Advancement of Science.

Because of his significant contributions in the field of fisheries, he was awarded the Distinguished Service Plague by the Philippine Association for the Advancement of Science in 1961.
All these speak of a man worthy to be honored and remembered by his colleagues in the field of fisheries and even by future generations.