The College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences of the University of the Philippines Visayas is at the forefront of fisheries education in the country. Over the years, the College has instituted degree programs that address the need for sustainable development of the country’s fisheries resources and respond to the call for highly trained manpower in the field. Its curricular offerings, both in the graduate and undergraduate levels, aim to impart to their students theoretical knowledge and practical skills, as well as develop analytical capabilities as tools toward innovative approaches and solutions to fisheries and related problems.
A world class institution in the fields of fisheries and aquatic sciences.
- provide quality education in the field of fisheries and aquatic sciences;
- conduct cutting edge and relevant researches in the fields of fisheries and aquatic sciences;
- lead in the formulation and implementation of effective extension programs; and
- advocate for policy directions in the utilization and management of fisheries and aquatic resources.
The following outlines the significant and major events in the history of the College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences in the University of the Philippines Visayas:
- The transfer of the Philippine Institute of Fisheries Technology (PIFT) from the Bureau of Fisheries, Department of Agriculture and Natural Resources to the University of the Philippines in January, 1957. On recommendation of the Reorganization Commission (by authority under Republic Act 997 or Reorganization Act) and upon approval of then President Ramon Magsaysay, the transfer of the PIFT to the University was implemented. The PIFT remained housed in Port Area, Manila until 1962. The General Education courses at the PIFT were taught by the Fisheries faculty and Arts and Sciences faculty of Diliman at the Port Area.
- The PIFT was reorganized into the College of Fisheries on April 10, 1958, by the Board of Regents on recommendation of President Vicente G. Sinco. The College of Fisheries also started offering major courses in the Bachelor of Science in Fisheries in addition to the already existing Certificate in Fisheries curricular programs. This event marked the recognition by the University of the College of Fisheries as one of its academic degree granting units and of fisheries as a professional field worth of attention and development. There were three academic departments established in the College: Marine Fisheries, Inland Fisheries, fisheries Processing Technology (later renamed in 1978 as Fish Processing Technology).
- To augment the meager facilities of the College in the training of students in commercial fishing and in marine fisheries research, a new research and training vessel, the M/V Pampano, was acquired from Japan thru the Philippine Reparations Commission. The vessel was delivered to the College of Fisheries on February 9, 1962. The M/V Pampano was equipped with tuna longline and other trawl fishing gears and oceanographic equipment. It was 113 gross tons, 30.7 m long, 5.75 m wide and had a cruising speed of 9 knots. The vessel was with radar and various electronic equipment on board such as the fish finder (echo sounder), signal buoys, radio direction finder and others. The M/V Pampano had been utilized for training and research in different waters of the Philippines such as Celebes Sea, Sulu Sea, Visayas Waters, Palawan Waters and the Waters of Luzon.
- In the latter part of 1962, the College of Fisheries was transferred to the Diliman Campus from Port Area, Manila to its new home at Albert Hall. The College of Fisheries building was named in honor of one time Acting President and Chairman of the Board of Regents Alejandro Albert, who had keen interest in the development of the fishery industry.
- On June 19, 1965, republic Act 4514 was signed into law by President Diosdado Macapagal which authorized the creation and establishment of the Institute of Fisheries Development and Research (IFDR) within the College of Fisheries. In 1966, the IFDR finally received its appropriation and its first director was appointed. The IFDR developed as the College of Fisheries research and extension arm in marine fisheries, inland fisheries and fish processing technology.
- In 1966, the first dean of the College of Fisheries was appointed. From its transfer to the UP, the head of the College of Fisheries had been given the title of Director until the change in 1966.
- From 1957 to the present, additions and replacement to the faculty and staff were hired from the graduates of the College and related disciplines, and from other fisheries agencies. For 15 years, staff development for advanced degrees and for training locally and abroad was very slow. Opportunities came in the 1970’s to the present which significantly hastened the faculty and staff development. Inputs from the NSDB, USAID, GTZ, Monbusho Scholarship, Colombo Plan, World Bank and others became available. Better manpower development planning became necessary to implement a more balanced expertise pool in the College.
- On March 18, 1971, the UP and NSDB (Philippine counterpart funding) signed a Memorandum of Agreement together with the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA), Iloilo Province, Department of Agriculture and Natural Resources (DANR), National Food and Agricultural Council (NFAC), Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR),Leganes Municipality and Central Luzon State University (CLSU) as participating and cooperating agencies with assistance from the USAID to implement the Inland Fisheries Project. Two institutions in aquaculture research were built through this project: the Brackishwater Fish Culture Research Station in Leganes, Iloilo and the Freshwater Fish Culture Station in CLSU, Muñoz, Nueva Ecija. The Inland Fisheries Project was managed and supervised by the College of Fisheries thru the IFDR from March 18, 1971 to June 20, 1977. Effective July 1, 1977, the CLSU took over the management of the Freshwater Fish Culture Research Station (now named the Freshwater Aquaculture Center) and the UP College of Fisheries retained the Brackishwater Fish Culture Research Station in Leganes, Iloilo.
- Thru the Inland Fisheries Project, the facilities in aquaculture research became adequately available to the College in Leganes, Iloilo, and research manpower in aquaculture greatly improved. In January 1, 1978, the Brackishwater Aquaculture Center (BAC) (formerly the Brackishwater Fish Culture Research Center in Leganes, Iloilo) became a new research unit pf the College of Fisheries. The BAC now boasts of the following facilities in a 50-hectare area: 49 units of 500 sq m ponds, 21 units of 1,000 sq m ponds, 4 units of 4,000 sq m ponds, 1 unit of 6,000 sq m pond and 6 units of 10,000 sq m ponds outside of laboratories, classrooms, offices, canteen, dormitory, power generating buildings, service/workshop, feeds buildings, two staff houses and equipment for aquaculture.
- A much bigger research and training vessel, the M/V Albacore, was acquired from Japan thru the Philippine Reparations Commission in December, 1972. The vessel is 194 gross tons and is better than the M/V pompano. More advanced electronic equipment for fish location and navigation is installed and the vessel can also operate for purse seining. The M/V Pampano was leased to the Agro-industrial Foundation Colleges of the Philippines (Davao) and was eventually sold to the said institution on March 2, 1979. On the other hand, the M/V Albacore was used extensively for the training of students in oceanography, fish stock assessment and others in the Visayas Sea, Samar Sea, San Miguel Bay, Ragay Gulf, Ticao Pass and North of Samar Island.
- In the AY 1975-76, the College of Fisheries and the U.P. College of Iloilo implemented the B.S. in Fisheries major in Inland Fisheries curricular program in Iloilo utilizing the staff and facilities of BAC. In the second semester of the same academic year, the MS in Fisheries program in Aquaculture was implemented. These academic programs and the BAC became the nucleus of the College of Fisheries Program in Iloilo on approval by the Board of Regents on June 8, 1979. On September 3, 1981, the Master of Aquaculture program (without thesis) was approved by the Board of Regents for the College of Fisheries Program in Iloilo.
- The GTZ or the German Technical Cooperation Agency on April 13, 1978 thru a bilateral agreement between the Philippines and the Federal Republic of Germany assisted the Department of Marine Fisheries and Fish Processing Technology with experts, equipment and scholarships. Over the years, the facilities and manpower development of the two academic departments improved and staff members are now abroad obtaining their graduate degrees. Research projects were implemented with funding assistance from outside (NSDB) under the program on Fisheries Management and Utilization.
- The Board of Regents in its 914th Meeting (May 31, 1979) approved the establishment of the University of the Philippines in the Visayas as an autonomous member of the UP System with the College of Fisheries under it. The new campus of the UP in the Visayas is Miagao, Iloilo.
- The Fisheries Education Loan Project was approved by the World Bank on February 1, 1980. This project included the loan for the College of Fisheries development in Miagao, Iloilo as part of the UPV. Components of the loan included infrastructures for instruction, research, extension, student and staff housing, and others; faculty and staff development; and instructional and research equipment.
- From GTZ inputs and assistance of the NSDB, capabilities for graduate program in the two fields of fisheries became possible. On May 29, 1980, the Board of Regents approved the MS in Fisheries Biology in the Department of Marine Fisheries. This academic program was started in the Ay 1980-81. In 1981, the MS Fisheries program in Fish Processing Technology was approved and implemented.
- In October 1, 1980, President Ferdinand E. Marcos signed Executive Order No. 628 creating UPV as an autonomous unit of the Up System. The Executive Order provides among others, that the UPV shall consist of a College of Fisheries, Institute of Fisheries Development and Research, Brackishwater Aquaculture Center, College of Arts and Sciences, School of Development Management and other units that may be approved and funded pursuant to the Central Appropriations Act.
- On March 28, 1981, a new training and research vessel, the R/V Sardinella, arrived in the Philippines as a donation of the Japanese Government to the College of Fisheries thru JICA. This vessel is 411 tons, 40 m long and has a cruising speed of 11.5 knots. It is adequately equipped for deep-sea trawling, purse seining, and for research in marine sciences and oceanography. The R/V Sardinella was worth PhP 21 M on acquisition. Capabilities for research and training were greatly enhanced with the addition of this new vessel to the M/V Albacore.
- The construction of the College of Fisheries buildings and infrastructure in Miagao campus was started in October 1981. Funds from the World Bank Fisheries Education Loan Project and from the Philippine Government are earmarked to put up the academic/research buildings, offices, infirmary, student union, library and museum, dormitories, staff housing, roads, and other units.
- In May, 1988, the College of Fisheries was transferred to the UP Visayas, Miagao, Iloilo campus. The College then was reorganized, i.e., departments became institutes. At present, the College has four institutes: Institute of Aquaculture (IA); Institute of Fish Processing Technology (IFPT); Institute of Marine Fisheries and Oceanology (IMFO); and Institute of Fisheries Policy and Development Studies (IFPDS).
- The Diwata ng Dagat was created by Napoleon V. Abueva, father of modern Philippine sculpture and national artist for sculpture (1976). The Diwata ng Dagat was 16-foot masterpiece of the National Artist Professor Napoleon V. Abueva – a landmark of the University of the Philippines Visayas in the seaside town of Miagao in the province of Iloilo in Panay Island. It is a strong and determined woman standing on fish and pulling a fishnet which symbolizes the philosophy and aspirations of the University though its College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences (CFOS) as it continues to fulfill its mandate as the national center of excellence for fisheries and aquatic sciences. The Diwata symbolizes the indomitable spirit of the faculty, researchers and students of CFOS and reflects consciousness for sustainable stewardship of God-given resources, creativity, innovativeness, and cultural relevance in the planning and implementation of programs in the fields of aquaculture, capture and post harvest fisheries, fisheries policy formulation and allied disciplines. The Diwata ng Dagat was formally unveiled on July 25, 2001, during UPV’s 55th Foundation Day
- In August 2001, the proposal to rename the College of Fisheries (CF) to College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences (CFOS) was approved during the 1144th meeting of the Board of Regents.
- Still in 2001, the UPV-CFOS qualified as one of the Centers of Excellence (COE) in Fisheries Education to serve as the COE for agriculture education, training and research, and extension.
- In 2009, the UPV-CFOS was declared as National University and College for Fisheries0 (NUCF) by the Commission on Higher Education (CHED).