By Development Communication Section / B Acosta
Nearly 70 participants are gathering in Dusit Thani Hotel, Makati City for the on-going 38th Meeting of the Program Committee (PCM) of SEAFDEC and 18th Meeting of the Fisheries Consultative Group of the ASEAN-SEAFDEC Strategic Partnership (FCG/ASSP). The participants comprise delegates from SEAFDEC 11 Member Countries (Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Japan, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam), representatives from United States Agency for International Development’s Regional Development Mission for Asia, the United States Agency for International Oceans & Fisheries, and senior officials and staff from five SEAFDEC Departments (AQD, IFRDMD, MFRD, MFRDMD, & TD) and Secretariat. SEAFDEC/AQD, in collaboration with the Department of Agriculture’s Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources, is the host of this year’s PCM and FCG/ASSP meeting.
SEAFDEC Program Committee is the subsidiary body of SEAFDEC Council, established with the responsibility of scrutinizing matters related to SEAFDEC programs. This year’s PCM aims to review the results of SEAFDEC program implementation for the year 2015 and endorse the proposed programs for the year 2016. At the Opening Ceremonies of the 38th PCM held last 23 November, Dr. Felix G. Ayson, Chief of SEAFDEC/AQD and co-Chair of this year’s meeting welcomed the participants and highlighted the relevance of this year’s gathering particularly in terms of strengthening the cooperation between SEAFDEC and Member Countries on programs that will ensure the overall health of the region’s natural fishery resources and the long-term sustainability of aquaculture operations to ensure food security in Southeast Asia. In the same meeting, SEAFDEC/AQD’s Deputy Chief, Dr. Takuro Shibuno; Research Division Head, Dr. Evelyn Grace de Jesus-Ayson; and Training and Information Division Head, Dr. Junemie Lebata-Ramos briefed the participants on the accomplishments of AQD’s Regional Programs and Departmental Programs in 2015 and plans for 2016. The Committee expressed appreciation to AQD for its accomplishments and contributions for development of sustainable aquaculture in the region.
Concerning the 18th FCG-ASSP Meeting which is scheduled to be held on 26-27 November, the participants will discuss the follow-up actions to the directives given at the last meetings of the SEAFDEC Council and ASEAN bodies related to fisheries, the progress and plans of the Programs under the FCG/ASSP and the international fisheries-related issues.