June 22, 2004  (STAR) An international exposition is being readied by the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources in preparation for the 6th International Symposium on Tilapia in Aquaculture to be held on Sept. 12 — 16 at the Philippine International Convention Center, Metro Manila, Philippines.

Dubbed ISTA VI, the event is sponsored by the American Tilapia Association and the DA-BFAR and co-sponsored by the Schering-Plough Aquaculture and FYD International in collaboration the Central Luzon State University, the Philippine Council for Aquatic Marine Research and Development, Aquaculture Collaborative Research Support Program, Philippine Tilapia Inc., and Philippine Fisheries Association.

The symposium will be the sixth in a series of symposia that have brought together tilapia biologists and technologists to review the latest discoveries in tilapia, improvements in production systems and other fields.

This will be the first time the symposium will be held in the country after earlier meetings in Israel, Thailand, Cote D’ Ivoire, USA and Brazil.

BFAR Director Malcolm I. Sarmiento, Jr. said some 800 participants are expected to attend, 200 of them coming from different countries based on the attendance of earlier symposia.

The Philippine symposium will have special emphasis on the rapid advances in genetic development of improved tilapia breeds, development of international markets and opening new markets for Philippine — produced tilapia products, Sarmiento said.

ISTA 6 will highlight three events — symposium proper, international trade show and special events to include technical tours and tilapia gastronomic circuit.

To date, a total of 53 technical papers have been received from various countries. Sarmiento said local researchers and scientists have until June 30 to submit technical papers and posters. The theme of this year’s symposium is "New Dimensions in Tilapia Farming."

The trade show being organized will be participated by international and local tilapia industry suppliers, seafood marketers and the media to meet directly with researchers and producers.

Both the foreign and local participants may participate in a post-conference technical tour of the country’s world-class tilapia germplasm bank of BFAR-National Freshwater Fisheries Technology Center in the Science City of Muñoz. Also included in the itinerary are the different tilapia facilities at the GIFT Foundation International Incorporated, the Freshwater Aquaculture Center of CLSU and the Philippine Rice Research Center (PhilRice).

Registration fee for foreign delegates is $400 and P3,000 for local participants to cover conference kit and admission to all sessions and the trade show.

The World Aquaculture Society, the World Fish Center, Asian Institute of Technology, Tilapia International Foundation, CIRAD and Global Aquaculture Alliance, support the convention.

For further information, call Dr. Melchor M. Tayamen at (044) 456 — 0241 / (044) 456 — 0670 or at nfftc@mozcom.com or Ms. Melannie R. Guerra (02) 372 — 6714 or at mguerra@bfar.da.gov.ph.

Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi

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