Over 50 participants gathered in Heritage Hotel, Manila from 14 to 18 November 2011 for the 34th Meeting of the Program Committee of SEAFDEC and the 14th Meeting of the Fisheries Consultative Group / ASEAN-SEAFDEC Strategic Partnership (FCG-ASSP).
The participants comprised delegates from SEAFDEC’s 11 member-countries and representatives from the FAO Regional Office for Asia and Pacific, Association of the Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Secretariat, SEAFDEC Departments and Secretariat. SEAFDEC/AQD and the Department of Agriculture’s Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (DA-BFAR) were hosts.
The meeting, chaired by SEAFDEC Secretary-General Dr. Chumnarn Pongsri, commended and congratulated AQD for the well-implemented programs in 2011 and endorsed the thematic programs that will be conducted beginning in 2012. The latter is based on the recently-concluded 2011 ASEAN-SEAFDEC Conference on sustainable fisheries for food security towards 2020.
The meeting also suggested that AQD put further emphasis on the emerging needs of the aquaculture sector in Southeast Asia; and, depending on available resources, the following specific tasks were suggested:
ON RESEARCH AND TECHNOLOGY TRANSFER
- continue R&D on important freshwater aquaculture species
- provide technical assistance to Myanmar to help develop the country’s rural aquaculture
- continue R&D to reduce the use of fish meal in aquafeeds; develop feeds for soft-shelled crabs; give priority to studies on sources of phyto-proteins with considerations on applicability, protein efficiency, protein digestibility, and availability
- develop appropriate technology for climate change adaptation especially in the context of pond designs, species selection as well as feed and health management
COLLABORATION AND IMPACT ASSESSMENT
- collaborate with NACA on promotion of on-farm feed formulations for small-scale aquaculture; and collaborate with DA-BFAR on organic aquaculture research to address the increasing demands on organically produced aquaculture products
- provide more emphasis on dissemination of relevant aquaculture technologies for small-scale aquaculture; and disseminate pertinent manuals and other publications through accessible media
- conduct post-evaluation of completed AQD training programs to assess the effectiveness and impacts
Another matter discussed during the meeting was the establishment of a new SEAFDEC Department – the Regional Center for Inland Fisheries Development — in Palembang, Indonesia as proposed by the Indonesian government during the ministerial session of the 2011 ASEAN-SEAFDEC conference. The proposed mandate of the new department is to promote and develop sustainable inland fisheries in Southeast Asia. — Story and photos by B. Acosta