Considering that SEAFDEC has been collaborating with the Member Countries for the conduct of several projects that address issues on the listing of commercially-exploited aquatic species into the CITES Appendices, the initial results from the eel project in 2018 were conveyed to CITES during the relevant events, namely: the CITES International Technical Workshop on Eels (Anguilla spp.) (18-20 April 2018, London, UK); and the Animal Committee Meeting of CITES (16-21 July 2018, Geneva, Switzerland). It is expected that the information and data presented during these events would support the development of common/coordinated positions among the ASEAN-SEAFDEC Member Countries for the forthcoming Conference of the Parties to CITES scheduled in May 2019.
• Coral Triangle Initiative on Coral Reefs, Fisheries and Food Security (CTI-CFF)
Under the framework of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for cooperation between SEAFDEC and the Coral Triangle Initiative on Coral Reefs, Fisheries and Food Security (CTI-CFF), which was signed in 2015, SEAFDEC continued to cooperate with the CTI- CFF in 2018 particularly by providing technical inputs to the events organized by the CTI-CFF that include: the CTI-CFF Public-Private Partnership (PPP) Preparation: Expert consultation Meeting on PPP Design and Arrangement (4-5 April 2018, Jakarta, Indonesia); the 2nd Threatened Species Technical Working Group (TWG) of CTI-CFF (24-26 April 2018, Quezon City, Philippines); Learning Exchange for Coral Triangle Member Countries to the USAID Oceans Partnership’s Learning Site (Bitung, Indonesia) on the Application of CDT System for Fisheries and Seafood Products (25-28 June 2018 Manado-Bitung, Indonesia); Regional Convergence Meeting: Towards Establishing Transboundary Coordination Mechanisms for the Sulu-Sulawesi Seascape (2-6 July 2018, Philippines); and the 14th Senior Officials’
Meeting (SOM-14) and 7th Ministerial Meetings of CTI-CFF, 12-16 November in Manila, Philippines.
• China-ASEAN Center for Joint Research & Promotion of Marine Aquaculture Technology
On 1 June 2018, a Memorandum of Understanding (MOUs) was signed between SEAFDEC Aquaculture Department (AQD) and China-ASEAN Center for Joint Research and Promotion of Marine Aquaculture Technology. The purpose of this MOU is to establish a framework for the effective and mutually beneficial crustaceans and fishes cooperation. This MOU shall remain in effect for an initial period of two (2) years.
• Ocean University of China (OUC)
On 1 June 2018, Memorandum of Understanding (MOUs) were signed to establish AQD’s international link with two institutions under the Ocean University of China. The first MOU was with Shangdong International Science and Technology Demonstration Cooperation Base for Marine Aquaculture and Fishery College of Marine Life Sciences, with the purpose of establishing a framework for the effective and mutually beneficial marine aquaculture and fishery cooperation; while the second MOU was with Seaweed Base for International Science and Technology Cooperation for the establishment of a framework for the effective and mutually beneficial seaweed cooperation. Both MOUs shall remain in effect for the period of five (5) years.
• Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO)
SEAFDEC continued to be involved in regional and international events organized by FAO in 2018, namely: the FIRMS- Global Record of Stocks and Fisheries (GRSF) Technical Working Group Meeting (7-9 February 2018, Rome, Italy); FAO Panel on Catch Documentation Scheme during the “2018 Seafood Expo North America” (11-13 March 2018, Boston, USA);
Regional Technical Seminar on Joining Forces in the Fisheries Sector: Promoting Safety, Decent Work and the Fight against IUU Fishing (21-22 March 2018, Manila, Philippines);
the 34th FAO Regional Conference for Asia and the Pacific (9-13 April 2018, Nadi, Fiji); the 7th APFIC Regional Consultative Forum Meeting (RCFM): Sustainable Development for Resilient Blue Growth of Fisheries and Aquaculture (7-9 May 2018, Cebu, Philippines); the 35th Session of Asia-Pacific Fishery Commission (APFIC) (11-13 May 2018, Cebu, Philippines);
2018 Aquatic Sciences and Fisheries Abstract (ASFA) Advisory Board Meeting (11-15 June 2018, Oostende, Belgium); PSMA Part 6 Working Group on Requirements of Developing States (5-6 July 2018, Rome, Italy); the 7th Meeting of Regional Fishery Body Secretariats Network (RSN) (7 and 13 July 2018 Rome, Italy); the 33rd Session of the Committee on Fisheries (COFI) (9-13 July 2018, Rome, Italy); Global Conference on Tenure and User Rights 2018: Achieving Sustainable Development Goals by 2030 (User Rights 2018) (10-14 September 2018, Yeosu, Republic of Korea); 2018 Asia and the Pacific Regional Overview of Food Security and Nutrition: Accelerating Progress Towards the SDGs (2 November 2018, Bangkok, Thailand); and the Inception Workshop of the Regional Technical Cooperation Project: Support Countries to Address Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) Fishing (TCPRAS/3621) (13-15 November 2018, Bangkok, Thailand).
Furthermore under the existing Partnership Agreement between SEAFDEC and the FAO/
Aquatic Sciences and Fisheries Abstracts (ASFA) established since 2013 for SEAFDEC to provide inputs to ASFA, on 7 September 2018, SEAFDEC/AQD signed an a Letter of Understanding (LOA) with FAO for the “Digitisation, Open Access Deposition and the Provision of URL’s to Existing ASFA Records of the Conference Proceedings Published by SEAFDEC Secretariat, Training Department (TD), Marine Fisheries Research Department (MFRD), Marine Fishery Resources Development and Management Department (MFRDMD), and Aquaculture Department (AQD).” Under this LOA, AQD will be producing full-text PDF files of documents published by SEAFDEC for deposition in open-access repository, preparation of ASFA records for inclusion in the ASFA database, and providing links for digitized documents with existing ASFA records.
As part of the collaboration with FAO, SEAFDEC/IFRDMD also organized the “Workshop on Regional Awareness Raising in Asia on Prospective Species Proposals to CITES-CoP18 and Preparation of Fisheries Related Information to Support the Review of Species Proposals Against CITES Listing Criteria” on 24-25 October 2018 in Palembang, Indonesia. During the Workshop, FAO provided information on the implications of such proposals on the sustainability of the fisheries in the region; while the participating countries prepared and provided fisheries information for species assessment by the FAO Expert Advisory Panel, the results of which could be used to support the possible amendments of the said proposals to CITES during the forthcoming Conference of the Parties to CITES in 2019.
• Government of Sweden
The Government of Sweden continued its cooperation with SEAFDEC by providing funding support for the 5-year project “Fisheries and Habitat Management, Climate Change and Social Well-being in Southeast Asia” since 2013, with geographical scope focusing on four sub-regions of Southeast Asia, namely: the Gulf of Thailand, Andaman Sea, Sulu-Sulawesi Seas, and the Lower Mekong River Basin. During the implementation of the project, SEAFDEC cooperates with key partners in the region and sub-regions, NGOs as well as agencies at national levels, in sharing good practices and resources for the implementation of the planned activities. In 2016, the Government of Sweden agreed to extend the duration of this project, originally scheduled to be completed in 2017 for another two years until 2019.
SEAFDEC has been requested by the Member Countries during the past few years to exert efforts to update the synthesis on development of international fish trade, including providing links in SEADEC website to information, e.g. price, international fish trade profile of the Member Countries. Considering that the subject is also under the mandate of INFOFISH, collaboration between SEAFDEC and INFOFISH has therefore been pursued. In 2018, SEAFDEC officials attended in the 15th INFOFISH World Tuna Trade Conference and Exhibition (28-30 May 2018, Bangkok, Thailand); 31st INFOFISH Technical and Advisory Board (TAB) Meeting (17-19 July 2018, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia); and 33rd INFOFISH Governing Council Meeting (17-20 December 2018, Langkawi, Malaysia). The close collaboration between INFOFISH and SEAFDEC is expected to be further strengthened in the future.
• Islamic Development Bank (IDB)
Under the Technical Assistance (TA) Agreement by IDB and SEAFDEC in 2016, SEAFDEC/
MFRDMD received funding support from the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) to undertake the project “Enhancing Coastal Community Resilience for Sustainable Livelihood and Coastal Resources Management” with target beneficiaries that focused on the Muslim communities in the region’s coastal areas in three countries, namely: Brunei Darussalam, Malaysia, and Indonesia. The original period for this project was from 2016 to 2017 however, the project was extended until 2018. The “Terminal Regional Technical Consultation on Enhancing Coastal Community Resilience for Sustainable Livelihood and Coastal Resources Management” was organized on 20-22 March 2018 to conclude the overall activities and report on the achievement of the project.
• Japan-ASEAN Integration Fund (JAIF)
With funding support from the Japan-ASEAN Integration Fund (JAIF), the SEAFDEC Secretariat in collaboration with IFRDMD and AQD implemented since 2017 the project
“Enhancing Sustainable Utilization and Management Scheme of Tropical Angullid Eel Resources in Southeast Asia,” which was completed in 2018. SEAFDEC/AQD in collaboration with the Department of Fisheries of Thailand also conducted the “ASEAN Regional Technical Consultation on Aquatic Emergency Preparedness and Response Systems for Effective Management of Transboundary Disease Outbreaks in Southeast Asia” on 20-22 August 2018 in Bangkok, Thailand with funding support from JAIF.
In addition, the proposal for the project “Strengthening the Effective Management Scheme with GIS (Geographic Information System) and RS (Remote Sensing) Technology for Inland Fisheries and Aquaculture at AMSs” was approved by JAIF for implementation starting January 2019. Meanwhile, the proposed projects “Development of Stock Assessment Method and Strengthening of Resources Management Measures on Tropical Anguillid Eels in ASEAN Region” and “Second Phase of Enhancing Coastal Community Resilience for Sustainable Livelihood and Coastal Resources Management” are still under discussion and negotiation between SEAFDEC and JAIF.
• Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA)
The Government of Japan has provided SEAFDEC/TD through the Japan’s Grant Aid Scheme for Eligible Countries, the M.V. SEAFDEC 2 in 2004. After a decade of the vessel’s service, discussion was made in 2015 for the possibility of restoring the functions of the M.V. SEAFDEC 2 with funding support from the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). Thus, SEAFDEC and JICA agreed in 2016 on the scope of work and the schedule for restoration of the M.V. SEAFDEC 2.
In 2018, SEAFDEC and JICA pursued the “Follow-up Cooperation for the Project for Construction of a Fisheries Research and Training Vessel” with the aim of restoring the function of the M.V. SEAFDEC 2. The activities included procurement, and restoration and installation works of the necessary equipment, which include items on deck machinery, engine room, Immarsat equipments, and fishing electronics and scientific equipment.
• Mekong River Commission (MRC)
The cooperation between SEAFDEC and the Mekong River Commission (MRC) was strengthened in 2014 with the implementation of SEAFDEC programs related to inland fisheries development, e.g. activities supported by the SEAFDEC-Sweden Project focusing on the Lower Mekong Basin sub-region, and those that relate to the R&D of the newly established SEAFDEC/IFRDMD. In 2018, the staff of MRC also attended the several events organized by SEAFDEC, e.g. the “Training Course on Introduction of Simple Stock Assessment Methods in Inland Fisheries” conducted on 19-20 September 2018 in Samut Prakan, Thailand; and the “Experts Consultation Workshop on Guidance to Monitor and Evaluation of Gender Equity and Social Well-being in Fisheries Communities” on 8-10 August 2018 in Bangkok, Thailand.
• Network of Aquaculture Centres in Asia-Pacific (NACA)
Since 2016, SEAFDEC/AQD has established collaboration with the Network of Aquaculture Centres in Asia-Pacific (NACA) through the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding to facilitate the exchange of information and conduct of collaborative activities between AQD, NACA and other NACA Lead Centres with AQD as NACA’s Regional Lead Centre for the Philippines. While sustaining such collaboration, SEAFDEC also supported NACA in its activities by participating during the 29th Meeting of NACA Governing Council on 26-28 June 2018 in Maldives.
• United Nations Environmental Program (UNEP)
Since 2016, SEAFDEC has served as implementation agency for the project “Establishment and Operation of a Regional System of Fisheries Refugia in the South China Sea and Gulf of Thailand” with funding support from the Global Environmental Facilities (GEF) through the United Nations Environmental Program (UNEP). The Project focuses on establishing a regional system of fisheries refugia by expanding the network of fisheries refugia in the South China Sea and Gulf of Thailand for improved management of fisheries and critical marine habitats, with Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand and Viet Nam as participating countries. In 2018, SEAFDEC conducted the “Regional Scientific and Technical Committee Meeting of the SEAFDEC/UNEP/GEF Project on Establishment and Operation of a Regional System of Fisheries Refugia in the South China Sea and Gulf of Thailand” on 11-13 September 2018 in Trat Province, Thailand. In addition, the first Project Steering Committee (PSC) Meeting of the Project was also organized on 4-5 December 2018 in Bangkok, Thailand.
• United States Agency for International Development (USAID)
SEAFDEC has collaborated with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) in 2015 for the implementation of the project “Oceans and Fisheries Partnership”
or USAID Oceans which aims to: 1) demonstrate a sustainable Catch Documentation and Traceability System (CDTS) and Fisheries Information System (FIS); 2) expand the use of CDTS/FIS to priority biodiversity areas; 3) strengthen the capacity of regional and national organizations to conserve biodiversity using an Ecosystem Approach to Fisheries Management (EAFM) and CDT; and 4) engage the private sector to ensure sustainability, while advancing regional fisheries governance. The project has two learning sites: one in General Santos City, Philippines and another in Bitung, Indonesia; and two expansion sites in Thailand and Malaysia.
TD with support from the USAID and in collaboration with the US Department of the Interior (DOI) and the Mekong River Commission (MRC) also organized the “Fish Passage Engineering Design, Construction, Ecology, and Monitoring Workshop” on 13-16 November 2018 Samut Prakan, Thailand. The Workshop provided technical engineering concepts needed for selection of appropriate fish passage designs for specific sites, designing of fish passes to maximize fish passage success, and construction of cost-effective structures with long life span. Information was also provided on developing the fish passage criteria, identifying the target species, understanding river hydrology, evaluating fish swimming abilities, and designing of the monitoring programs.
• United States Department of Interior (US-DOI)
In 2017, SEAFDEC signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the United States Department of Interior (US-DOI) for the conduct of the activity “Advancing the Development and Implementation of a Fisheries Catch Documentation and Traceability System in Southeast Asia” to supplement those carried out by the USAID Oceans.
On 31 July 2018, the collaborative activity between SEAFDEC and US-DOI was expanded with the signing of the new Annex to the MOU on “Implementing the Lower Mekong Fish Passage Initiative in Cambodia, Thailand, and Vietnam.” This particular Annex aims to build
the capacity within SEAFDEC and Lower Mekong nations to construct and maintain low head fish passes to restore fisheries connectivity at irrigation facilities, weirs, and road prisms. The specific objectives of this Annex are to: 1) Coordinate field fish passage barrier inventories in Cambodia, Thailand, and Vietnam; 2) Design and construct one demonstration fish pass in Cambodia, one demonstration fish pass in Thailand, and one demonstration fish pass in Viet Nam; and 3) Sustain Project administration and coordination. The implementation of this Annex would run from the date of signing until 30 September 2019.
• United States National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
The 2018, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) extended support to several activities undertaken by SEAFDEC, particularly in the capacity building of AMSs on Port State Measures and updating the training modules for the Ecosystem Approach to Fisheries Management (EAFM).
On PSM, an expert from NOAA served as the resource person during the “Regional Training on Port State Measures Implementation in Southeast Asia” organized by TD on 20-23 February 2018 in Bangkok, Thailand.” On EAFM training modules, TD in collaboration with NOAA Fisheries and the National Ocean Service also organized the “Workshop on Revision of the E-EAFM Toolkit and Development of the EAFM Application and Implementation Training Package” on 14-16 November 2018 where the need to update the training materials on Essential EAFM which had been developed since 2012, was discussed.
Collaboration with National Agencies of SEAFDEC Member Countries
• Department of Fisheries, Thailand – Aquatic Animal Health Research and Development Division (DOF-AAHRDD)
In August 2018, AQD signed a Letter of Agreement (LOA) with the Department of Fisheries, Thailand – Aquatic Animal Health Research and Development Division (AAHRDD) to collaborate in the efforts of conducing the “ASEAN Regional Technical Consultation on Aquatic Emergency Preparedness and Response Systems for Effective Management of Transboundary Disease Outbreaks in Southeast Asia” with funding support from the Japan-ASEAN Integration Fund (JAIF). Under this LOA, both organizations will share the responsibility for fund management, reporting and implementation.
• Fisheries Research and Education Agency (FRA), Japan
The Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for Scientific and Technical Cooperation between SEAFDEC and Fisheries Research Agency (FRA) which was renewed in 2014 and valid for the period of five years, has provided the framework for cooperation between SEAFDEC and FRA on the development of scientific and technical cooperation in various fields of mutual interest; exchange of information and expertise; and conduct of detailed discussions between SEAFDEC and FRA on matters practical to both organizations. In addition to Dr.
Kenji Taki who has served as Deputy Chief of MFRDMD since April 2017; FRA also dispatched Dr. Takuro Shibuno to serve as Deputy Chief of IFRDMD starting in January 2018, and Dr.
Kohichiro Mori as Deputy Chief of AQD starting April 2018. FRA also extended the services of its experts to SEAFDEC to support the conduct of its activities, e.g. Dr. Tsutomu (Tom) Nishida on stock assessment of neritic tunas and other species in Southeast Asia.
• Gifu Prefecture, Japan
SEAFDEC and the Gifu Prefecture of Japan established a 5-year Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) in 2016 with the aim of promoting educational and technical cooperation for the sustainable development of inland fisheries in the Southeast Asian region. Specifically, the MOU facilitates the dispatch of trainees from the Southeast Asian region to the Gifu Prefecture Inland Fisheries Training Center in Japan. Under the framework of this MOU, Gifu Prefecture supported in 2018 the participation of eight officials, comprising one each from the Southeast Asian countries, namely: Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines and Thailand; and one staff from SEAFDEC/IFRDMD to participate in the Gifu Prefectural Inland Fisheries Training Program from 28 August to 6 September 2018 at Gifu Prefectural Research Institute for Fisheries and Aquatic Environments and Inland Fisheries Training Center in Gifu, Japan.
• Hokkaido University, Japan
In 2018, Hokkaido University of Japan continued to extend support to SEAFDEC and the Member Countries with particular focus on fish stock assessment. Specifically, experts from Hokkaido University also supported MFRDMD in 2018 during the conduct of two surveys and data collection, and analysis of the species composition of catch at the purse seine fisheries landing centers along the east coast of Peninsular Malaysia.
• Tokyo University of Marine Science and Technology (TUMSAT), Japan
Under the 5-year Arrangement for Academic and Educational Cooperation between the Tokyo University of Marine Science and Technology (TUMSAT) and SEAFDEC which was signed in 2015, collaboration between TUMSAT and SEAFDEC was pursued in 2018. A fishery oceanographer from TD joined the “21st Kaiyodai Antarctic Research Expedition (KARE21)” conducted by the Tokyo University of Marine Science and Technology (TUMSAT) of Japan, onboard its training vessel the “Umetaka-Maru.” The Expedition departed from Fremantle (WA, Australia) on 31 December 2017 to the Southern Ocean, and back to Hobart (TAS, Australia) on 22 January 2018. In 2018, SEAFDEC was invited to participate in the International Collaborative Symposium on Marine Science and Technology (26 November 2018, Bali, Indonesia) organized by TUMSAT. Furthermore, TUMSAT also extended the services of its Researcher Dr. Toshihide Kitakado as lecturer during the “Training Course on Introduction of Simple Stock Assessment Methods in Inland Fisheries” organized by TD on 19-20 September 2018 at the TD premises in Samut Prakan, Thailand, and intended for the staff of SEAFDEC and the AMSs working on stock assessment.
• Post-Harvest Technology Centre (PHTC), Singapore
The Post-harvest Technology Center (PHTC) of the Agri-Food & Veterinary Authority (AVA), Singapore serves as Collaborating Centre of SEAFDEC to undertake the activities of MFRD under the SEAFDEC Regional Programmes, as approved by the SEAFDEC Council during its 39th Meeting in 2007. In 2018, the PHTC supported MFRD in enhancing the development of fisheries post-harvest technology in the Southeast Asian region through two on-going regional projects, namely: (i) Chemical and Drug Residues in Fish and Fish Products in Southeast Asia - Biotoxin (ASP, AZA and BTX) and Harmful Algal Blooms (HABs) in the