The need for a formal training on zooplankton identification and the lack of personnel in government agencies to ‘confidently assess’ zooplankton diversity, abundance and production amid today’s threats of pollution, climate change, and the destruction of bio diverse habitats was the main aim of the International Training Workshop on Marine Zooplankton Ecology and Identification on August 26 – 28, 2013.

The Department of Biological Sciences (DBS), of the College of Science and Mathematics (CSM) in partnership with the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science-Asian Core Programme hosted the event in MSU-IIT.

Japanese experts, Dr. Shuhei Nishida (University of Tokyo), Dr. Susumu Ohtsuka (University of Hiroshima), Dr. Shozo Sawamoto (Tokai University), Dr. Jun Nishikawa (University of Tokyo) and Mitsuyasu Moriya, and four Filipino experts, Dr. Ephrime B. Metillo (MSU-IIT), Dr. Wilfredo L. Campos (University of the Philippines Visayas), Dr. Rey Donne S. Papa (University of Sto. Tomas) and Prof. Cristy S. Acabado (University of the Philippines Visayas).

The lecturers and resource speakers gave overviews of the training, and zooplankton ecology, taxonomy and biodiversity during the training workshop Zooplankton, according to experts, refers to the ‘aggregate of animal and animal-like organisms’ that live in acqueous environments. Some examples are small crustaceans, fish larvae, plankton-eating whale sharks and small cephalopods. Zooplankton is often confused with the term phytoplankton which refers to plants but both are linked to each other. Both are likewise key health indicators of environmental conditions or disturbance.

Organizing Committee Chair, Metillo told OPI that the basics of zooplankton ecology and taxonomy were conducted through lectures and hands on experience on sampling techniques, sorting and identification of zooplankton, specifically on copepods, mysids, euphausids (krill) and gelatinous zooplankton.

It is significant, Metillo said, that the training workshop be conducted because majority of Filipinos depend on the marine environment for food and livelihood. Aside from this, the Philippines may have a high diversity of zooplankton because it belongs to the marine mega-diversity region, the Coral Triangle of the Indo-Pacific rim.

The training-workshop was attended by 28 participants from 14 different institutions all over the country: the Western Philippine University, Cebu Technological University, Pangasinan State University, Xavier University, Holy Name University, University of Eastern Philippines, Misamis University, Visayas State University, Palawan State University, Zamboanga State College of Marine Science and Technology, Leyte Normal University, and Mindanao State University – Main, Naawan, Iligan Institute of Technology (IIT) campus. CGO/OC-OPI

Topics : international training-workshop