SEAFDEC PROGRAMS OF ACTIVITIES IN 2017
THRUST 5. ADDRESSING INTERNATIONAL FISHERIES-RELATED ISSUES FROM A REGIONAL PERSPECTIVE
6. SPECIAL PROJECTS
6.1 Fisheries and Habitat Management, Climate Change and Social Well- being in Southeast Asia
SEAFDEC has been implementing the project “Fisheries and Habitat Management, Climate Change and Social Well-being in Southeast Asia” with support from the Government of Sweden, the original project period of which was five years from January 2013 to December 2017. In 2016, the SEAFDEC-Sweden Project period was extended for two years until 31 December 2019. While the overall aim of this project is to achieve sustainable use of aquatic resources and reduce vulnerability of coastal/rural (fishing) communities in the ASEAN region, activities are being implemented to build-up the capacity of AMSs in achieving the specific output objectives, such as the following:
Output objective 1 Capacity built for integration of habitat & fisheries management, and adaptation to climate change
Output objective 2 Capacity built and systems improved for the management of fishing capacity (monitoring; record and control)
Output objective 3 Capacity built and policy development processes improved for drafting and implementing regional & sub-regional agreements
In 2017, the SEAFDEC-Sweden Project facilitated the conduct of consultations among the AMSs on ASEAN priority issues at the regional, sub-regional and sub-sub-regional levels.
Progress has been made on the main thematic areas and cross-cutting issues, namely:
sustainable utilization of neritic tunas; management of fishing capacity; gender and labor, and working conditions in fishing; and small-scale fisheries. Activities were also pursued through contract engagements for local capacity building, including the updates on the relevant activities in the four target sub-regions, namely: Gulf of Thailand, Andaman Sea, Mekong River Basin, and Sulu-Sulawesi Seas.
Output objective 1: Capacity built for integration of habitat & fisheries management, and adaptation to climate change
• Sustainability of transboundary species through the implementation of the Regional Plan of Action on Sustainable Utilization of Neritic Tunas in the ASEAN Region (RPOA- Neritic Tunas)
Since the adoption of the Regional Plan of Action on Sustainable Utilization of Neritic Tunas in the ASEAN Region (RPOA-Neritic Tunas) in 2015 and the establishment the Scientific Working Group (SWG) on Neritic Tunas Stock Assessment, the SWG has been playing the important role of providing scientific information to be used as basis for the development of management plans, and improved assessments on the availability, distribution and migration of neritic tuna to increase understanding on stock status and migration paths for neritic tunas in the Southeast Asian waters. In 2017, the SEAFDEC-Sweden Project supported the conduct of several activities under the framework of the RPOA-Neritic Tunas. These include the following:
- Population Study of Thunnus tonggol in the Southeast Asian Region (1 October 2017-30 September 2018)
- Training/Workshop on Risk Assessments and Fisheries Management Framework/
Measures of Longtail Tuna and Kawakawa in Southeast Asia (6-10 August 2017 in Kuala Terengganu, Malaysia)
- 4th Scientific Working Group on Neritic Tunas and Advanced Training Course on Risk Assessment of Longtail Tuna and Kawakawa in the Southeast Asian Waters (7-9 November 2017 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia)
The progress, including results and recommendations from the implementation of the RPOA-Neritic Tunas was reported to the SEAFDEC Council at its 49th Meeting, the results and recommendations of which were also noted by the 25th ASWGFi Meeting and subsequently by the SOM-39th AMAF in 2017.
• Improving awareness and enhancing capacity on Ecosystem Approach to Fisheries Management
The SEAFDEC-Sweden Project supported the conduct of a number of on-site training courses in 2017 to promote the Ecosystem Approach to Fisheries Management (EAFM), namely:
- Training Course on Essential EAFM for Thailand (6-11 November 2017, Ranong Province, Thailand)
- Training Course on Essential EAFM for Lao PDR (4-8 December 2017, Bo Keo, Lao PDR) - Training Course on Essential EAFM for Cambodia (18-22 December 2017, Kampot,
The overarching objectives of these training courses were to provide knowledge and understanding of the basic concept of EAFM and to strengthen the capacity of national staff for local management of habitats and fisheries. More than 300 people from targeted sub-regions (Gulf of Thailand, Andaman Sea and Mekong River Basin) have availed of these training courses.
• Management of transboundary resources/stocks through sub-regional approaches For the Gulf of Thailand Sub-region, the dialogues among Cambodia, Malaysia, Thailand, and Viet Nam, and bilateral dialogues between these countries, came up with the agreement to develop the management plan for important transboundary resources/stocks, namely:
anchovies; Indo-Pacific mackerels, and blue swimming crab or AIB species around the Gulf of Thailand. A series of capacity building activities were conducted in 2015-2016 to support the data collection of these species; and the “Experts Group Meeting on Stock Status and Geographical Distribution of AIB Species in the Gulf of Thailand” organized in September 2016 agreed to adopt the Standard Operation Procedures (SOPs) for Data Collection and Analysis in order to harmonize the data collected and compiled on these species.
As a follow-up of the activities in 2016, the SEAFDEC-Sweden Project conducted the
“Planning Meeting on Development of Stock Study for AIB-Species in the Gulf of Thailand”
on 7-8 February 2017 in Bangkok, Thailand, to develop the plan for the stock study on the AIB species and to explore the possibility of developing a joint management plan for AIB species in the Gulf of Thailand based on available information. However, the Meeting viewed that the study conducted by Thailand to collect information on the stock structure of Indo-Pacific mackerel has insufficient number of samples, and suggested that SEAFDEC should facilitate the completion of the needed information.
In response, the SEAFDEC-Sweden Project organized an “Inception Meeting for DNA Study on Stock Structure of Indo-Pacific Mackerel in the Gulf of Thailand” on 13-14 December 2017 in Rayong Province, Thailand to discuss and finalize the activity plan as well as the use of Standard Operation Procedures (SOPs) for sample collection and tissue sampling in region. Attended by the national focal points from the four countries in the Gulf of Thailand together with staff from SEAFDEC/TD and the Secretariat, the Meeting agreed that tissue samplings would be conducted in their respective countries in 2018.
For the Andaman Sea sub-region, the AIB initiative was introduced during the Northern and Southern Andaman Sea Consultative Meetings on 16-17 November and 21-22 November 2017, respectively. The Meetings supported the sub-regional cooperation for management of transboundary resources on target species such as anchovies, mackerels (R. Brachysoma and R. kanagurta, and neritic tunas (kawakawa and longtail). During these Meetings, the countries also agreed on the key actions for 2018, i.e. to review the available information on these target species to be used as basis in the development of the management plans.
Output Objective 2: Capacity built and systems improved for the management of fishing capacity (monitoring; record and control)
• Combating IUU fishing and management of fishing capacity
In 2017, the SEAFDEC-Sweden Project continued the initiatives in collaborating with partners to combat IUU fishing, particularly through monitoring and control of fishing efforts. Issues concerning the progress on the management of fishing capacity had been addressed through bilateral dialogues and sub-regional consultations among the concerned countries.
For the Gulf of Thailand Sub-region, discussions were continued during the 6th Meeting of Gulf of Thailand Sub-region (28 February-2 March 2017, Bangkok, Thailand), the 2nd
Inception Meeting for DNA Study on Stock Structure of Indo-Pacific Mackerel in the Gulf of Thailand on 13-14 December 2017, Rayong Province
6th Meeting of Gulf of Thailand Sub-region
Sub-regional Technical Meeting on Effective Fisheries Management between Malaysia and Thailand (25-26 July 2017, Bangkok, Thailand), and the Technical Meeting of the Joint Working Team for Fisheries Management between Cambodia and Viet Nam (17-18 October 2017, Phnom Penh, Cambodia). The issues discussed specifically focused on monitoring of catches and landings, and raising awareness on the procedures and systems for enhancing traceability of fish and fishery products. In addition, discussions were also made on sharing of information on the latest laws and legislations related to managing fishing capacity and reduction of IUU fishing, such as licensing system, procedures in catch landing, and inspection of foreign vessels landing across the borders.
The SEAFDEC-Sweden Project also conducted the “Sub-regional Consultation on MCS in the Gulf of Thailand Sub-region” on 31 October-2 November 2017 in Chonburi, Thailand with the aim of sharing information on the national frameworks for monitoring, control and surveillance among countries in the Gulf of Thailand sub-region. During the Consultation, representatives from participating countries agreed to collaborate with responsible agencies to secure the mandate and approach to establish the sub-regional MCS network that links among existing national networks, which should be operational by mid 2018.
2nd Sub-regional Technical Meeting on Effective Fisheries Management between Malaysia and Thailand
For the Andaman Sea sub-region, issues on monitoring and control of fishing efforts, and the legal status of fishing operations and catches being landed were discussed and addressed between Thailand and Myanmar; and among Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia, respectively, during the Third Sub-regional
Consultative Workshop of the Northern Andaman Sea/Myeik Archipelago (16-17 November 2017, Bangkok, Thailand), and the Sub-regional Consultative Meeting on the Joint Fisheries Management around the Southern Andaman Sea (21-22 November 2017, Bangkok, Thailand). From these events, the countries expressed the desire to establish the sub-regional MCS network which should be linked with the existing national networks for the Northern Andaman Sea and Southern Andaman Sea sub-regions.
• Monitoring of fishing efforts through enhanced traceability of fish and fishery products
An important aspect in the traceability systems for fish and fishery products is to be able to verify where the fish have been caught and strengthen the monitoring of fishing efforts. In order to enhance the traceability system for fish and fishery products in the Southeast Asian region, SEAFDEC developed the ASEAN Catch Documentation Scheme (ACDS) which was endorsed during the 48th Meeting of the SEAFDEC Council in 2016 including the proposal to pilot test the ACDS in Brunei Darussalam. The pilot testing of ACDS was subsequently launched at the 49th Meeting of SEAFDEC Council in April 2017 in Brunei Darussalam in collaboration with SEAFDEC-Sweden Project, which also supported the development of an electronic system of the ACDS or eACDS. The Project also supported the conduct of
“Stakeholders Meeting on Enhancing the Traceability of Blue Swimming Crab Fisheries in Trat Province through the Implementation of Simplified eACDS” on 7-9 December 2017 in Trat Province, Thailand.
Third Sub-regional Consultative Workshop of the Northern Andaman Sea/Myeik Archipelago
Sub-regional Consultative Meeting on the Joint Fisheries Management around the Southern
• Awareness raising on the national laws and regulations
Compilation of the information on fisheries laws and regulations of Cambodia, Lao PDR and Viet Nam, and implementation of the respective comparative studies, which was supported by the SEAFDEC-Sweden Project, was completed in December 2016. Findings of the studies were shared during the “Joint Workshop on Transboundary Fisheries Management on the Mekong and Sekong Rivers in Cambodia and Lao PDR,” which was hosted by Mekong River Commission (MRC) under the Mekong Integrated Water Resources Management Project (M-IWRMP) on 24 August 2017 in Pakse, Champasak, Lao PDR, as well as during the
“Second Technical Meeting of the Joint Working Team for Fisheries Management between Cambodia and Viet Nam,” organized on 16-17 October 2017 in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.
The participants recognized the importance of the document as basis to define common approaches to improve fisheries management, and to create a better understanding of the laws and regulations applicable in the each of the two countries to protect endangered species and reduce illegal fishing practices.
Output Objective 3: Capacity built and policy development processes improved for the drafting and implementation of regional & sub-regional agreements
• Promotion of sustainable small-scale fisheries and FAO-SSF Guidelines
Since the adoption of the “FAO Voluntary Guidelines for Securing Sustainable Small-Scale Fisheries in the Context of Food Security and Poverty Eradication (SSF Guidelines)” in 2014, several countries, regional organizations and civil societies organizations have been supporting the steps toward the implementation of the SSF Guidelines. The basic concepts of the SSF Guidelines emphasize on securing sustainable resource use and access rights to tenure and fishery resources, while building upon a human rights-based approach and working on gender equity among the fisherfolk.
At the regional context, the SEAFDEC-Sweden Project in cooperation with FAO and other partners continued the process of applying the regional approach through consultations and expert meetings. The “Experts Workshop on Regional Approach for the Implementation
Joint Workshop on Transboundary Fisheries Management on the Mekong and Sekong Rivers
in Cambodia and Lao PDR (24 August 2017 in Pakse, Champasak, Lao PDR)
Technical Meeting of the Joint Working Team for Fisheries Management between Cambodia and
of the FAO Voluntary Guidelines for Securing Sustainable Small-Scale Fisheries: Human Rights-based Approach and Gender-equitability” was organized on 26-28 September 2017 in Bangkok, Thailand, and came up with the Policy Brief that serves as reference to increase understanding and awareness of the principles contained in the SSF Guidelines. The Policy Brief indicated the benefits and implications to the region based on the “human-rights based approach” and “gender equality and equity” in small-scale fisheries.
• Enhancing coordination with AMSs through the Regional Fisheries Policy Network (RFPN) Program
The program on the Regional Fisheries Policy Network (RFPN) has been on-going since 2006 and has supported the secondment of representatives from the AMSs States at the SEAFDEC Secretariat for a period of one year. In 2017, the seven members of the RFPN comprised the fisheries officers from Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Thailand, and Viet Nam, four of whom were supported by the SEAFDEC-Sweden Project, and three by the Japanese Trust Fund (JTF). The RFPN members have been playing active roles in enhancing the coordination and communication between SEAFDEC and their respective countries, while also given
the opportunity to attend and provide technical contributions in various events organized by SEAFDEC. The RFPN members also supported the efforts of SEAFDEC in developing strategies to promote fisheries policy dialogues, promote regional and sub- regional cooperation among the Member Countries, and follow-up the countries’
commitments for the implementation of
Experts Workshop on Regional Approach for the Implementation of FAO Voluntary Guidelines for Securing Sustainable Small-Scale Fisheries: Human Rights-based Approach and Gender-equitability
From left to right: 2017 RFPN Members from Thailand, Lao PDR, Philippines, Myanmar,
Malaysia, Viet Nam, and Indonesia
policies under the ASEAN Framework. With the insights of regional policy development, the RFPN members are more comfortable in proactively supporting the development of regional and international cooperation arrangements. In addition, communications and sharing of information among the Member Countries have been enhanced through the Networking among RFPN Members that has been established for over a decade.
• Gender and social development
In 2017, the SEAFDEC-Sweden Project continued to support the activities of SEAFDEC towards building up gender awareness within SEAFDEC and in the region through the following ways and means:
- Conduct of an In-house Intensive Training Workshop on Gender Analysis (24-26 January 2017, Phetchaburi Province, Thailand)
- Conduct of an In-house Training on Gender Sensitivity for SEAFDEC Staff (4-5 April 2017 and 1 May 2017, Samut Prakan, Thailand), and 25 April 2017, Bangkok, Thailand - Conduct of the Workshop on Gender Awareness and Gender in Fisheries (for RFPN
Members), 21 April 2017, Bangkok, Thailand)
- Participation in the Sweden Regional Workshop on Gender for Senior Management Level (23-24 March 2017, Bangkok, Thailand)
- Conduct of Regional Gender Study (10-21 October 2017, Trat Province, Thailand; and 26 November to 1 December 2017, Kep Province, Cambodia), in collaboration with Mangrove for the Future (MFF) and Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI)
- Conduct of the Workshop on Gender Analysis Using Toolkits for Data Collectors (17-23 September 2017, Trat Province, Thailand)
The SEAFDEC-Sweden Project also supported the establishment of the SEAFDEC Gender Team (Task Force) to play the key role in working on gender aspects in a more systematic manner, and promoting integration of gender concept within SEAFDEC. The services of a
“Gender and Social Development Expert” is being availed of, to implement and conduct gender related activities and also to continue mentoring the SEAFDEC Gender Team.
The Project in collaboration with the IUCN/Mangroves for the Future (MFF) and Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI) also commenced in 2017, the 2-year “Regional Gender Study,”
which aims to explore the gender patterns in coastal and marine resources management, and improve understanding of the state of women and men in environmental decision
Data Collection on Gender Analysis
in Kep, Cambodia Data Collection on Gender Analysis in Trat Province, Thailand
making and structural challenges preventing equitable opportunities for men and women in the coastal and marine areas, and the fisheries sector in Southeast and South Asia, as a whole.
• Strengthening the sub-regional cooperation in target sub-regions – the Gulf of Thailand, Andaman Sea, Mekong River Basin, and Sulu-Sulawesi Seas
The SEAFDEC-Sweden Project has been exerting efforts to support the AMSs in strengthening the regional cooperation to address transboundary issues and promote sub- regional cooperation on fisheries and habitat management, including measures to monitor and control fishing effort and landings across boundaries. The progress made under each sub-region in 2017, are summarized as follows:
o Gulf of Thailand
To continue the activities toward strengthening the Gulf of Thailand sub-regional cooperation, a series of bilateral consultations were subsequently conducted for neighboring countries, i.e. Thailand-Malaysia, Cambodia-Viet Nam, immediately after the “Sixth Meeting of the Gulf of Thailand Sub-region” on 28 February-2 March 2017 in Bangkok, Thailand. Through such consultations, the joint approaches for information sharing in support of the management of transboundary fish stocks, management of fishing capacity, monitoring of landings, MCS networks to combat illegal fishing, had been discussed, and the relevant issues addressed.
o Andaman Sea
Advancements had been made in the Andaman Sea sub-regional cooperation with the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding between Thailand and Myanmar to cooperate in several areas of mutual interest, including the management of transboundary stocks and combating IUU fishing. Moreover, through the Scientific Working Group organized under the RPOA-Neritic Tunas framework, information on the stock status and availability of neritic tunas in the Andaman Sea had been compiled. Such information could serve as a basis for the development of the neritic tuna management plan for the Andaman Sea in the future.
o Mekong River Basin
Cooperation with the Mekong River Commission (MRC) had been enhanced to support the relevant activities in the Mekong River Basin Sub-region. This was demonstrated through the endorsement of the MRC Basin-wide Fisheries Management and Development Strategy (BFMS) by the SEAFDEC-Sweden Project. In addition, signing of the Memorandum of Understanding between MRC and SEAFDEC was facilitated, to strengthen cooperation in areas of common interest and in support of a continued regular riparian inter-governmental monitoring of fisheries related matters. Moreover, the Project and MRC jointly hosted two regional events in 2017, namely: the “Regional Consultation on Formulation of Project Based Action Plan under the MRC Environment Management Division” and the “High Level Consultation on the Ecosystem Based Approach to Fisheries Management for Leaders,