By Development Communication Section/B Acosta
Participants representing the Council Directors and their delegations from 11 SEAFDEC Member Countries (Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Japan, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Viet Nam), officials of the SEAFDEC Secretariat and Departments, and international and regional organizations gathered for the 49th Meeting of the SEAFDEC Council. The meeting was held in Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei Darussalam from 3 to 7 April 2017; which was hosted by the Department of Fisheries of the Ministry of Primary Resources and Tourism, Brunei Darussalam.
In attendance at the meeting from AQD were Dr. Chihaya Nakayasu, Acting Chief; Dr. Evelyn Grace Ayson, Research Division Head; Ms. Jiji Rillo, OIC of Administration and Finance Division, and Ms. Anna Maria Ortiz, Administrative Assistant.
The Council noted the progress and achievements made by SEAFDEC in 2016 and approved the program of activities for 2017. The Council also discussed the updates on priority and emerging issues on fisheries and aquaculture for policy considerations, the management and future operations of SEAFDEC, financial matters and collaborative arrangements between SEAFDEC and its partner organizations.
The other important aspects discussed were the issues and follow-up actions related to combating IUU fishing for sustainable development of fisheries in the region and those that pertain to Regional Common Position on CITES-related matters. On the issue of Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 14 (conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development), SEAFDEC and Member Countries were asked to enhance their contributions to SDG 14 by linking various scopes of work and reporting the research results in the context of SDGs and their targets and indicators.
With regard to regional cooperation to promote sustainable fisheries and aquaculture in the region, the Council supported and approved for implementation the proposals of AQD on the: (i) establishment of the Regional Database of Alternative Feed Ingredients in Aquaculture and (ii) ASEAN Regional Technical Consultation on Aquatic Emergency Preparedness and Response System for Effective Management of Transboundary Disease Outbreaks in Southeast Asia. These proposals were developed in response to recommendations that emerged during the regional technical consultations on aquafeeds and EMS (early mortality syndrome), organized previously by AQD and its partner organizations. The proposals were presented to the Council by AQD’s Research Division Head, Dr. Evelyn Grace Ayson.
Concerning the regional initiative on eel, the Council supported the activities carried out by SEAFDEC on anguillid eels, specifically the relevant surveys aimed at establishing the catch statistics on anguillid eels including eel seeds for aquaculture in each SEAFDEC Member Country. AQD has actively participated in this regional initiative, with IFRDMD as the lead Department.
The Council also approved the publication of the 2017 Southeast Asian State of Fisheries and Aquaculture and supported the planned activities for the 50th Anniversary of SEAFDEC. The special event is scheduled to be held in Bangkok in November 2017.
The 50th Meeting of the SEAFDEC Council in 2018 will be hosted by the Government of Cambodia.