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NMC Staff to Represent CNMI in Global Aquaculture Conference (October 15, 2009)

In recognition of his efforts to promote and expand the commercialization of aquacultural activities in the CNMI, Northern Marianas College Cooperative Research Extension and Education Services’s (CREES) aquaculture consultant Michael Ogo was recently selected by the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC), the Pacific region’s leading scientific authority, to attend an aquaculture study tour in Thailand and represent the CNMI at a global conference in Malaysia sponsored by the World Aquaculture Society.

The Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) is an international organization that offers technical assistance, policy advice, training, and research to the CNMI and other island countries and territories in the Pacific in the areas of health, human development, agriculture, forestry, and fisheries (aquaculture). The World Aquaculture Society is a non-profit global organization whose focus is to strengthen research and communications worldwide in the study of aquaculture.

“I am deeply honored to have been given this opportunity to meet with fellow aquatic studies experts,” said Ogo.

Ogo, who has been the lead on all of NMC’s aquaculture endeavors since its introduction in 2005, will be joining representatives from other Pacific island members of the SPC at the two venues. In Thailand, Ogo will visit aquatic feed and equipment manufacturing sites, as well as a research institute specializing in aquatic studies. At the conference in Malaysia, which is annually attended by aquaculture experts, aquatic equipment suppliers, and potential investors, Ogo will promote a potential aquatic industry in the CNMI.

“By meeting with feed and equipment suppliers, I will be able to identify and procure more nutritious feed for the specimens in our tanks, as well as affordable cutting-edge technology used in aquatic laboratories around the world,” he added.

In accordance with a public law which mandates NMC-CREES be the lead in all new research developments, Ogo has headed various projects including the advancement of the College’s aquatic lab’s biosecurity efforts, the implementation of the recirculating aquaculture systems in the lab’s tanks, and the research of many new varieties of aquatic life.

“We are extremely proud of the recognition and prestige that Michael brings to the College,” said NMC President Dr. Carmen Fernandez. “I am sure that the knowledge and experience he brings back from the international workshops and conference will prove instrumental in furthering NMC’s efforts to diversify and stimulate economic activity in aquaculture.”

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