Brief History and Mandate
The establishment of MSL was conceptualized on 10 April 2012. This was subsequently confirmed by the University Board of Regents on 16 May 2012 per BOR Resolution No. 21, series of 2012 and on 14 November 2012, the unit was placed under the office of the Vice President for Research and Extension through Office Order No. 422, series of 2012.
The MSL serves as a research facility and/or arm of the university and the coordinating base for marine researches. Its basic concerns are the marine resources, environment, and the end-users. It works with other units of the university, particularly with the College of Sciences. It likewise provides laboratory facilities for students, faculty-researchers and associates from national and international research institutions.
Summary of Accomplishments
At present, there are three externally funded Research and Development Programs being implemented by the MSL. These include the: (1) DOST-funded Seaweeds R&D, (2) DA-BFAR-funded Philippine National Aquasilviculture and (3) CHED-funded R&D Program for Marine Biodiversity along Sulu and Bohol Seas. These programs with counterfunding from the university had led to the establishment of indoor seaweeds culture laboratory; seaweeds land-based nursery; marine multi-species hatchery and the acquisition of state-of-the-art research equipment.
These further established linkages with reputable research institutions such as the Silliman University-Angelo King Center for Research and Environmental Management (SUAKCREM) and University of Projects and Activities the Philippines- Institute of Biology-Genetics Academic Group and the UPD- Marine Science Institute and with nearly 30 seasoned researchers and renowned scientists.
In terms of extension services, at least 13 units of aquasilvifarms and 4 lying-in hatcheries had been awarded to local communities of southern Palawan through the MSL initiatives.
Upcoming Projects and Activities
The MSL is currently pursuing its upgrading into a research complex to include facilities on genetics, molecular, analytical, diagnostics, and biotechnological researches. The newly completed master development plan for this shall be integrated to MSL on-going proposals for possible funding from national research agencies. Continuing activities in line with the DOST-PSU Seaweeds Project include field testing, technology dispersal, establishment of seaweeds demo farms and production sites across municipalities of Palawan are getting into the MSL research pipeline through the proposal submitted to the Department of Budget and Management (DBM). Other future concerns of the unit include the: (1) promotion of local and international exchanges of scientists and students in marine sciences, (2) assistance to public and private agencies engaged in marine development activities such as coastal management training; resource and ecological assessment; marine parks; aquaculture and pollution studies, (3) providing linkages between marine sciences and humanities, and (d) serving as an environmental steward in Palawan.