Concerned with the emerging disease EMS or early mortality syndrome in shrimp, the SEAFDEC Council during its 46th meeting 1-4 April 2014 in Singapore tasked SEAFDEC/AQD to undergo studies on EMS prevention & control and on certifying disease-free stocks. The Council also suggested intensifying activities on transboundary diseases and closer coordination with NACA (Network of Aquaculture Centres in Asia-Pacific) and the ASEAN Network of Aquatic Animal Health Centres.
Moreover, the Council requested technical assistance on stock enhancement of freshwater prawn and also breeding and grow-out culture for Cambodia, Vietnam and Lao PDR; and support for Myanmar which was named as lead country for aquaculture feed development under ASEAN Cooperation in Fisheries (2011-2015) program.
Overall, the Council commended AQD and its sister departments for their significant accomplishments in 2013 and approved their work plans for 2014, albeit requests were made to improve operations. The latter included (1) the conduct of cost-benefit analyses of programs and projects and (2) advance information on new or proposed collaborations to be circulated for review of the Council prior to agreement signing.
There was good news. The Government of Japan has increased its contribution to Departments beginning 2015 by at least 30% in Japanese currency and that the newly established SEAFDEC/ IFRDMD in Indonesia (Inland Fishery Resources Development & Management Department) will start operations in 2015. The appointment of AQD’s new Deputy Chief, Dr. Takuro Shibuno, to a 2-year term was also made.
SEAFDEC Council is the policy-making body composed of representatives from the 11 member countries (Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Japan, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam). All were in attendance as were officials of the SEAFDEC Secretariat and Departments, and international & regional organizations (FAO-RAP, USAID Mission for Asia; and INFOFISH). Council Director for Singapore Mr. Lee Kwong Weng, elected Council chair for 2014-2015, presided over the meeting. AQD was represented by its Chief Dr. Felix G. Ayson; Deputy Chief Dr. Shibuno; and special departmental coordinator Ms. Belen Acosta.