Collaboration with International/Regional Organizations, Non-member Governments and Donors
• Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)
Cooperation between SEAFDEC and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) has been sustained since 1998 with the establishment of the Fisheries Consultative Group (FCG) Mechanism. The cooperation was formalized in 2007 with the signing of the Letter of Understanding on the ASEAN-SEAFDEC Strategic Partnership (ASSP), where SEAFDEC serves as technical arm to implement fisheries programs/projects for the benefit of the ASEAN Member States (AMSs). In 2017, twenty-three (23) projects were implemented by SEAFDEC under the FCG/ASSP Mechanism. The progress and achievements in the implementation of these projects were reported to the 20th Meeting of the FCG/ASSP organized on 30 November to 1 December 2017 in Bangkok, Thailand.
With funding support from the Japan-ASEAN Integration Fund (JAIF), SEAFDEC implemented the project “Enhancing Sustainable Utilization and Management Scheme of Tropical Angullid Eel Resources in Southeast Asia.” Proposals for the implementation of the project
“Strengthening the Effective Management Scheme with GIS (Geographic Information System) and RS (Remote Sensing) Technology for Inland Fisheries and Aquaculture at AMSs”
and for the conduct of the “ASEAN Regional Technical Consultation on Aquatic Emergency Preparedness and Response Systems for Effective Management of Transboundary Disease Outbreaks in Southeast Asia,” are undergoing negotiation with the JAIF for possible funding.
SEAFDEC also continued to support the AMSs in the implementation of activities in line with the “Resolution and Plan of Action on Sustainable Fisheries for Food Security for the ASEAN Region Towards 2020” adopted in 2011, and the “Joint Declaration on Regional Cooperation for Combating IUU Fishing and Enhancing the Competitiveness of ASEAN Fish and Fishery Products” adopted in 2016. In addition, activities were implemented to support the AMSs in the implementation of regional guidelines and policy recommendations developed by SEAFDEC and endorsed by the ASEAN. In 2017, the ASEAN Sectoral Working Group on Fisheries (ASWGFi) at its 25th Meeting on 17-19 May 2017 in Singapore adopted the ASEAN Catch Documentation Scheme for Marine Capture Fisheries Concept (ACDS Concept) which was subsequently adopted by the SSOM-38th AMAF and the 39th AMAF Meeting.
SEAFDEC also participated in the events organized under the ASEAN framework, namely:
the 9th Meeting of the ASEAN Fisheries Consultative Forum (AFCF) on 15-16 May 2017 in Singapore; the 25th Meeting of the ASEAN Sectoral Working Group on Fisheries (ASWGFi) on 17-19 May 2017 in Singapore; and the 4th ASEAN-EU High Level Dialogue on Maritime Security on 5-6 October 2017 in Manila, Philippines.
• Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR)
SEAFDEC signed the Letter of Agreement with the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR) on 14 May 2015, for the implementation of the activity
“Application of fish passage design principles to enhance sustainability of inland fishery resources in the Southeast Asian region.” Through such arrangement, SEAFDEC received a grant for a 16-month R&D activity starting from May 2015 until September 2016. Aimed to: (i) develop a regional collaborative approach on fish passage through the conduct of an expert workshop; (ii) design and construct experimental fishway facilities in Thailand; and (iii) provide a pathway for further research to improve knowledge on appropriate designs that could facilitate upstream migration of indigenous fishes, the activity was first extended for completion in March 2017, and extended again umtil December 2017.
• Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO)
SEAFDEC continued to be involved in regional and international events organized by FAO in 2017, namely: the 1st Meeting of the Parties to the 2009 FAO Agreement on Port State Measures (29-31 May 2017, Oslo, Norway); Coordinating Working Party on Fishery Statistics (CWP) Intersessional Meeting Aquaculture and Fisheries Subject Group (19-21 June 2017, Copenhagen, Denmark); Expert Workshop: Towards a review of the ‘Hidden Harvest’ (27- 29 June 2017, Rome, Italy); Regional Advocacy Event for Monitoring the SDGs related to Food and Agriculture Sector (4-6 September2017, Bangkok, Thailand); 16th Session of the FAO Sub-Committee on Fish Trade (4-8 September 2017, Busan, Republic of Korea); Expert Workshop on Securing Sustainable Small-Scale Fisheries: Towards monitoring the progress of applying the SSF Guidelines (5-7 September 2017, Bellagio, Italy); and the APFIC/FAO Regional Consultation “Building Climate Resilient Fisheries and Aquaculture in the Asia- Pacific Region” (14-16 November 2017, Bangkok, Thailand).
FAO also continued to support several activities of SEAFDEC in 2017, particularly the activity “Energy Audit for Trawlers in the Gulf of Thailand.” Moreover, FAO signed the Letter of Agreement (LoA) with SEAFDEC on 13 January 2017 for the execution of the project
“Strategy for trawl fisheries bycatch management” or REBYC-II CTI. This LoA aims to enable SEAFDEC to carry out the remaining activities under the REBYC-II project, particularly the:
1) training on methods of energy audits and increasing fuel efficiency in fishing vessel operations; 2) EAFM training for provisional officers in Trat Province, Thailand; and 3) maintenance of the REBYC-II CTI website until the end of 2018.
FAO also signed another LoA with SEAFDEC/IFRDMD on 21 December 2017, to provide technical services for the “Regional Awareness Raising on Prospective Species Proposals to CITES COP18 and Preparation of Fisheries Related Information to Support Review of Species Proposals Against CITES Listing Criteria.” Under this LoA and upon decision on the most likely candidate species proposed for listing in the CITES Appendices during the CITES- CoP18, IFRDMD will organize a workshop in 2018, where FAO would provide information on the implications of such proposals on the sustainability of the fisheries in the region. Such workshop would also require the countries to prepare and provide 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.
• 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.
• International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) SEAFDEC signed a Letter of Agreement (LoA) with the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) on 19 June 2017 to enable SEAFDEC to undertake the Regional Gender Study with the objective of pooling together information on the roles of men and women, as well as gender inequalities in coastal resource management and fisheries sector, local employment opportunities, and women’s engagement in environment decision making. Effective from the date of signing until 31 December 2017, the LoA allowed the SEAFDEC-Sweden Project and IUCN/Mangrove for the Future (MFF) Project to jointly support the said Regional Gender Study, undertaken by the Stock Environmental Institute (SEI).
• INVE Asia Limited, China
SEAFDEC/AQD signed the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with INVE Asia Limited on 24 January 2017 for AQD to carry out the activity on determining the effects of the application of probiotics and disinfectants to prevent and control infectious diseases, especially AHPND and luminescent vibriosis in Penaeus vannamei. Under this MOA, INVE Asia Limited would provide funds for the project, while AQD would provide the human resource expertise, technical assistance and qualified staff to carry out the said activity.
• Islamic Development Bank (IDB)
Under the Technical Assistance (TA) Agreement by IDB and SEAFDEC in 2016, SEAFDEC 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. Implemented by SEAFDEC/MFRDMD, the project was originally scheduled to be completed in 2017, however, MFRDMD has been communicating with IDB to extend this project for another 6 months (until June 2018) to complete the implementation of the remaining activities that had been postponed due to technical problems.
• Japan-ASEAN Integration Fund (JAIF)
In July 2017, SEAFDEC received approval from the Japan-ASEAN Integration Fund (JAIF) for financial assistance to support the implementation of the two-year project “Enhancing Sustainable Utilization and Management Scheme of Tropical Anguillid Eel Resources in Southeast Asia” from August 2017 to July 2019. Aimed to strengthen the statistics data collection system and clarify the basic resource condition of tropical anguillid eels, the project also intends to improve the survival rate of juvenile eels cultured in the AMSs by improving the eel culture technologies.
• 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 the vessel’s decade of services, JICA and SEAFDEC discussed in 2015 the possibility of restoring the functions of the M.V.
SEAFDEC 2. Thus, SEAFDEC and JICA agreed in 2016 on the scope of work and schedule for restoration of the M.V. SEAFDEC 2, and the actual restoration was undertaken during the 2nd and 3rd quarters of 2017.
• Japan International Research Center for Agricultural Sciences (JIRCAS)
Under the Memorandum of Agreement between SEAFDEC/AQD and Japan International Research Center for Agricultural Sciences (JIRCAS) for 2016 until 2021, two projects are being undertaken by SEAFDEC/AQD. One is the Integrated Multi-trophic Aquaculture (IMTA) in Milkfish Mariculture, which specifically aims to improve the livelihood of the people as well as assessing the feasibility and environmental impact of the IMTA approach. The other project looks at the alternatives to fishmeal as a protein source in fish feed formulations.
• 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 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. On 21 June 2017, SEAFDEC signed the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Mekong River Commission (MRC) for “the Promotion of Sustainable Development of Fisheries and Aquaculture in Lower Mekong Basin and Southeast Asia.” This general MOU takes into consideration the relevant functions of MRC and SEAFDEC, and focuses in strengthening cooperation in the aspects of: 1) monitoring, research & development; 2) human resource development; 3) consultancy; and 4) information management and networking. Under this MOU, MRC and SEAFDEC would work together on activities that are of mutual interest and beneficial to both Parties. Either Party shall therefore initiate proposals for activities related to key strategic priority areas or actions set out in the Basin-wide Fisheries Management and Development Strategy (BFMS), and set forth specific details for such activities through Letters of Agreement which shall become integral part of this MOU.
Under the framework of this MOU, the Letter of Agreement was subsequently signed on 7 December 2017 for MRC and SEAFDEC to co-host the Regional Consultation on Formulation of the First Draft Action Plan of the BFMS on 19 December 2017, back to back with the Regional Workshop on Ecosystem Approach to Fisheries Management (EAFM) for senior fisheries managers of the Member Countries on 20 December 2017.
• 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 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 through its participation in the 28th Meeting of NACA Governing Council on 24-28 April 2017 in Dhaka, Bangladesh.
• United Nations Environmental Program (UNEP)
Since 2016, SEAFDEC has served as implementing 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.
On 29 December 2017, SEAFDEC and UNEP signed a Small Scale Funding Agreement (SSFA) for SEAFDEC to serve as executing partner of UNEP in developing a concept note on Fisheries Trawl with a view to submitting it to the Green Climate Fund (GCF) for potential funding and the development of a communications strategy and social media platform for the Implementation of the Strategic Action Programme for the South China Sea.
• 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 the “USAID Oceans” for short. Aimed to: 1) demonstrate a sustainable Catch Documentation and Traceability System (CDTS) and Fisheries Information System (FIS); 2) expand 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 USAID Oceans has established in 2017 two learning sites in General Santos City, Philippines and Bitung, Indonesia.
• United States Department of Interior (US-DOI)
On 31 March 2017, SEAFDEC signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the United States Department of Interior (US-DOI) for “Advancing the Development and Implementation of a Fisheries Catch Documentation and Traceability System in Southeast Asia.” Mainly aimed to supplement the “Oceans and Fisheries Partnership,” the MOU has the specific objectives of: 1) developing a catch documentation and traceability (CDT) system and build capacity for its implementation; 2) implementing the Ecosystem Approach to Fisheries Management (EAFM); 3) integrating fair labor and gender equity considerations; 4) providing technical and capacity building support to expansion sites of the “Oceans and Fisheries Partnership”; and 5) providing administrative and coordination support for the technical objectives 1-4 above.
Collaboration with National Agencies of SEAFDEC Member Countries
• Fisheries Research and Education Agency (FRA), Japan
The Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for Scientific & 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: 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 2017, FRA dispatched experts to SEAFDEC, namely: Dr. Kenji Taki to serve as Deputy Chief of MFRDMD starting from April 2017; and Dr. Takuro Shibuno to serve as Deputy Chief of IFRDMD starting 15 January 2018.
• 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 would facilitate sending of trainees from the Southeast Asian region to the Gifu Prefecture Inland Fisheries Training Center in Japan. In 2017, under the framework of this MOU, Gifu Prefecture supported the participation of fishery officers from Indonesia (from IFRDMD), Malaysia, Philippines and Thailand to attend the “Inland Fisheries Training Program” on 29 August - 7 September 2017. This training had enhanced the knowledge and capacity of the fisheries officers from SEAFDEC Member Countries on the techniques in fishing and breeding of the sweetfish “ayu” (Plecoglossus altivelis).
• National Fisheries University (NFU), Japan
SEAFDEC had established collaboration with the National Fisheries University (NFU) through the Arrangement for Academic and Educational Cooperation for the conduct of research and training cruise using the NFU training vessel “Koyo Maru” in the waters of SEAFDEC Member Countries. In 2017, the NFU proposed to carry out a joint research and training cruise using the Koyo Maru in waters under national jurisdiction of Viet Nam with port of
call at TD. However, the proposed research and training cruise in 2017 was cancelled, and rescheduled for 2018.
• Research Institute for Humanity and Nature (RIHN), Japan
SEAFDEC/TD continued to collaborate with the Research Institute for Humanity and Nature (RIHN) of Japan under the MOU which was signed in 2013 for the implementation of activities under the project “Coastal Area Capability Enhancement in Southeast Asia”
from 1 April 2012 to 31 March 2017. Aimed to create new development concept on “Area Capability” that can demonstrate how the ecosystem health could be harmonized with people’s welfare, the project had a component that was conducted in Rayong Province, Thailand in collaboration with TD.
• San Joaquin School of Fisheries (SJSF), Philippines
SEAFDEC/AQD signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with the San Joaquin School of Fisheries (SJSF) on 15 December 2017 to formalize a Work Immersion Program that will last until April 2018. Under the MOA, 12 students of the school were assigned at AQD’s FishWorld for their on-the-job training program in 2017.
• Aklan State University (ASU), Philippines
SEAFDEC/AQD signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with Aklan State University (ASU) on 19 April 2017 for On-the-Job Training of BS Fisheries students of ASU. Under the MOA, fifteen students had their on-the-job-training at AQD’s Marine Fish Hatchery in 2017.
• Central Philippine University (CPU), Philippines
SEAFDEC/AQD signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with Central Philippine University (CPU) on 3 April 2017 for the on-the-job training of nineteen BS Chemistry and BS Biology students of CPU through their participation in the implementation of relevant activities conducted by AQD.
• West Visayas State University (WVSU), Philippines
SEAFDEC/AQD signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with West Visayas State University (WVSU) for AQD to organize on-the-job training to students from WVSU as well as post-training evaluation. Under the MOA’s two-year effectivity (November 2017-February 2019), five BS Biology students from WVSU took part in the AQD on-the-job training program in 2017.
• Aquascapes, Philippines
SEAFDEC/AQD signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) on 26 August 2017 with Lolita Uy Proprietor of Aquascapes, a private company involved in soft-shell crab production in the Philippines. Under the MOA on the commercialization of soft-shell crab production, which would last until 27 August 2018, AQD would provide technical assistance for the nursery
and grow-out operations of hatchery-reared mangrove crabs for soft-shell production, while Aquascapes would provide the skilled manpower, facilities and equipment for the operations.
• Province of Southern Leyte, Philippines
SEAFDEC/AQD signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with the Province of Southern Leyte in July 2017 to initiate internship training of its technical staff for the establishment of a high-value marine fish hatchery with emphasis on grouper and sea bass seed production.
Under the MOA, the Province of Southern Leyte would defray the expenses for the conduct of the internship training for their selected technical staff. Two government staff from Province of Southern Leyte have so far attended AQD’s training course on marine fish hatchery in 2017.
• John B. Lacson Foundation Maritime University (JBLFMU), Philippines
SEAFDEC/AQD signed a 5-year Agreement with John B. Lacson Foundation Maritime University (JBLFMU) on 1 February 2017. Under this Agreement, the JBLFMU would review and fund project proposals while AQD will supervise and assist in the conduct of researches by JBLFMU faculty, staff and students.
• Protected Area Management Board for the Sagay Marine Reserve (PAMB-SMR), Philippines
Under the Agreement between SEAFDEC/AQD and the Protected Area Management Board for the Sagay Marine Reserve (PAMB-SMR) which was signed in March 2015, the promotion of community-based production and resource enhancement was continued in Sagay City.
Conducted by AQD researchers with active participation of local fisherfolks, the research studies focused on 4 identified threatened species, such as abalone, sandfish and seahorse, and the giant clam which had already been completed. The agreement will be in force until 9 March 2020.
• Western Philippines University (WPU), Philippines
Under the Agreement between SEAFDEC/AQD and the Western Philippines University (WPU) which was signed in January 2016, AQD would provide on-the-job training to students of the WPU as well as conduct an evaluation after their completion of the training.
For 2017, five (5) students from WPU availed of the program.
• Cosmic Technologies, Inc. (CTI), Brgy. Council of Pipindan (BCP), and Samahan ng mga Mag-uulang sa Pipindan (SMP), Philippines
Under the Agreement signed between SEAFDEC/AQD and Cosmic Technologies, Inc. (CTI), Brgy. Council of Pipindan (BCP), and Samahan ng mga Mag-uulang sa Pipindan (SMP) on 18 November 2016, which aimed to jumpstart freshwater prawn farming in the community neighboring AQD’s Binangonan Freshwater Station, hatchery facilities have been built beside the community hall of Brgy. Pipindan with funding support from CTI and some