Aquaculture Training Program For Aceh Delegation, Indonesia

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Dr. Qismullah, the advisor of Human Resource Department of Aceh, Indonesia had visited Institute of Aquaculture Tropical (AKUATROP) on June 2011. During the visit, he made a specific request to University Malaysia Terengganu for arranging training programmes by the university’s experts. These experts could help in restoring aquaculture activities which were completely affected badly by devastating tsunami in 2004. As AKUATROP is aiming to get a position as the high center of excellence and reference organization in aquaculture field, an assurance was given to accept the challenge.  It has been proposed to engage 30 representatives from all over Aceh to help in completing carefully a structured program as done by University Malaysia Terengganu.

AKUATROP is well known for its performance in aquaculture research and a reference center in Malaysia. Experts and researchers from distinguished field gathered in AKUATROP to fulfill the needs in aquaculture research such as fish breeding, health management, fish nutrition, live food culture, biotechnology, water quality management, aquaculture engineering and other related subjects. Hence, such offer to impart a training course to Aceh delegations in assisting their resurgence from the shattered aquaculture activities was viewed as a great honor and recognition for AKUATROP.

A committee was formed under the leadership of Assoc. Prof. Dr. Muhd Ikhwanuddin @ Polity Abdullah to ensure that the proposed program could run as planned. Through the initiative, A program was organized from 3rd until 24th of July 2011 involving 30 delegates after obtaining approval from Dr. Qismullah.

The main objective of this program was to train and expose the participants towards theoretical and practical aspects of aquaculture breeding and seedling technologies of certain selected species as it was requested by the Aceh government. Through this program, technologies and techniques developed by Malaysian researchers were transferred which acted as a perfect method to further strengthen ties between these two countries for mutual benefit.

Under a theme “Fish Breeding Technology”, participants were exposed to different aspects of breeding and seedling technologies through six important modules on crab, Mahseer, Grouper, Oyster, Sea Shrimp and Freshwater eco-system.  A part of these modules was carried out outside the boundaries of UMT in order to widen the view of research in term of facilities, experts and surroundings. Coincidentally, it is also an opportunity to strengthen the ties with other involving organization. For modules such as Crab, Shrimp, Oyster, and Freshwater prawn, AKUATROP was used as the learning facility which was assisted by senior researchers. The Crab Module was organized by Dr. Mhd Ikhwanuddin @ Polity Abdullah, the Freshwater prawn by Assoc. Prof. Aizam Zainal Abidin, and Mr. Tuan Haji Omar for the Oyster.  For Mahseer module, AKUATROP took the help from Perlok Aquaculture Development System Center, Pahang for onsite training. For the Grouper Module, Fisheries Research Center (FRI), Tanjung Demong, Besut, asserted its cooperation. This particular program provided the delegation with field trips around Terengganu, Selangor and Penang to see personally the aquaculture farms.

The three weeks course has left along wonders on its trail as the Aceh delegation and AKUATROP workers bonded strongly amid the language and culture boundary while exchanging views, opinions, experiences regarding aquaculture and even personal accounts of life stories, which symbolized sincerity of friendship. It was hoped that more benefit would come forward itself in the near future such as attracting the delegation for their study further at UMT with the bond grown stronger by that time.

At the end of the program, Aceh delegations had showered AKUATROP with good feedbacks and comments regarding organizing the program. The delegations had gained considerable experience and beneficial knowledge. The delegation appreciated the warm hospitality shown by AKUATROP’s staff and the participating organizations. At the end of the day, this course scored the objectives of this program with flying colors.

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AKUATROP ORGANIZED CAT FISH BREEDING WORKSHOP

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University Malaysia Terengganu, while strongly emphasizes academic excellence achieved by the students, still prioritizes findings benefitting Malaysian citizens. It gives an increase in activities to bring considerably high impact researches involving community like common people and students. AKUATROP, as a research center priming in aquaculture researches with tropical climate background, is adequately competent in achieving such aim. One of the activities completed by AKUATROP was on Catfish Breeding Workshop under Science Encouraging Program which was attended by secondary school students.

The workshop was held during 15-16 of June’ 2011. In this workshop student were exposed to various scientific activities related to aquaculture. The students were also informed about various disciplines of aquaculture such as aquatic organism health, water quality management, aquaculture biotechnology, aquaculture engineering, fish nutrition and breeding technology. Participants were exposed to induced breeding techniques related to catfish. This technology was demonstrated with a prime aim to maintain mass production of fingerling to satisfy food demands. The same technique is also applicable effectively to those fishes which are at the verge of extinction.

The Terengganu State Education Department permitted 37 participants from 6 different schools of Terengganu to participate in this workshop. These school were namely; Sekolah Menengah Sains Kuala Terengganu, Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Saujana, Sekolah Menengah Berasrama Penuh Integrasi Batu Rakit, Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Sultan Sulaiman, Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Ibrahim Fikri and Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Kompleks Gong Badak. Such activities are felt important for knowledge-sharing and awareness of new findings generated through dedicated researchers to community by AKUATROP. The workshop helped in nurturing interests among fresh minds of school students with a hope that more advanced and beneficial discoveries would be introduced in the future.

Majority of participants had shown keen interest in such types of workshop and strongly commented that  workshop like this could be a fool-proof method in exposing UMT to the society where AKUATROP could pave the way for major reformation method for Malaysia’s aquaculture sector.

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