TWENTY students of the Regional Science High School (RSHS) have successfully completed last on a five-day on-the-job training at the Department of Agriculture (DA)-Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (Bfar) Brackish Water Demonstration Fish Farm (BWDFF) in Mampang village, in Zamboanga City.

The DA-Bfar said in a statement that during the immersion program, the students received guidance and instructions from MBDFF personnel and gained valuable knowledge about various aspects of aquaculture.

They were trained in tasks such as proper pond preparation, sex identification of adult tilapia for broodstock, conditioning broodstock tilapia for breeding, collecting fry tilapia for nursery, and planting mangrove seedlings.

To ensure the students' safety, they also were introduced to the aquaculture facilities and the rules and regulations of the Mampang Station and observed the different species cultured at the fish farm, according to DA-Bfar.

The hands-on training featured the following activities: using agricultural lime to correct the soil acidity in the ponds; evenly spreading the lime across the pond, showcasing their learned skills and understanding of the task; receiving in-depth lectures on proper pond preparation, pond operation and management, and routine pond maintenance; preparing of organic fertilizer in the form of chicken manure, using precise ratios to stimulate and maintain the growth of natural food in Rearing Pond 1; participating in feeding bangus with a small quantity of commercial feed; planting of mangrove propagules along the sidewalk of Transitional Pond 2; calculating the Daily Feeding Ration (DFR) for all life stages of tilapia; cleaning of one of the rectangular tanks; identifying the sexes of tilapia; individual weighing of fish, and selecting breeder tilapia of good quality and ideal size for breeding, following a ratio of two females to one male.

Yanina Sulaiman, one of the students, expressed gratitude on behalf of his classmates for the valuable knowledge they gained during the training.

"The workflow in the Bfar Mampang was filled with excellent experiences and chances that will not only benefit one's lives but also be a method to help change and enhance the environment via aquaculture,” Sulaiman said.

“This knowledge will undoubtedly be useful in our future endeavors," Sulaiman added.

The DA-Bfar BWDFF provided RSHS students with a comprehensive educational experience, exposing them to real-world job settings in the fisheries industry where the training may serve as a stepping stone for young individuals in preparation for their future careers. (SunStar Zamboanga)