Interview with a Seaweed Aquaculturist

Fish Think Pink

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Interview with a Seaweed Aquaculturist​


Taras V Pleskun interviews Philip John Foronda of the Philippines Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources, and finds out why seaweed aquaculture is such an important industry.

Please Introduce yourself and how you first got into the aquaculture industry.​

Hi! My name is Philip John Foronda. I am 28 yrs old from Brgy Cabaruan, Santo Tomas La Union Philippines. I have been a registered Fisheries Technologist since 2016. I am currently working at the Bureau of Fire Protection as a Fireman. I worked in aquaculture from 2016 to 2019. I was employed at Grobest Feeds Philippines Inc., a mass producer of high-quality aquafeeds. I spent seven months with the company before leaving to invest in my own fish farm.

Using my fish ponds, I cultivated rabbitfish, milkfish, and grouper but was unable to make an effective profit. That is why I applied to the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR). In March 2016, I was assigned to the BFAR Alaminos Aquaculture Laboratory as a technician in the seaweed laboratory. This laboratory focuses on preserving, maintaining, and developing production techniques for high-value seaweed species including Kappaphycus, Eucheuma, Gracilaria, and Caulerpa.

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People eating caulerpa (sea grape variety)... kind of surprised me. I've enjoyed growing out different seaweeds as treats for my tangs. Now that I've added my different types of foxfaces (rabbitfish), they also are herbivores benefiting from fresh macroalgae.