SEAFDEC information officers and officials from Thailand, Malaysia and the Philippines assessed the activities and results of the center’s information strategies to improve SEAFDEC visibility to the public. The “SEAFDEC information staff program meeting” was held 30 October to 1 November at the Petchaburi province in Thailand.
While most of its information benchmarks (number of publications produced, online and actual visitors, media coverage, among others) in the past eight years have held steady or slightly increased, SEAFDEC officers still felt that “visibility” remains an underachieved goal. “We need to let the public know more of SEAFDEC’s technical results,” said Dr. Chumnarn Pongsri, SEAFDEC Secretary-General. “Information activity is like the face or mouth of a person,” added Mr. Hajime Kawamura, Deputy Sec-Gen. “It (conveys) what SEAFDEC is doing.”
What to do? First, all technical/research results must first be published, better if this is first done in science journals. Second is to “laymanize” the available information so stakeholders can better understand these. Third is to continue increasing awareness through institutional media (eg. websites and newsletters) and the mass media that SEAFDEC has such technical info / data to support science-based policies or to improve productivity. Fourth is continuing with networking to make information widely available; for example, SEAFDEC as a partner institution in the Food & Agriculture Organization’s Aquatic Science & Fisheries Abstracts.