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Inauguration Session


ANNEX 2 Inauguration Session



Proceedings: Volume I



INTRODUCTORY REMARKS by Mr. Panu Tavarutmaneegul


Southeast Asian Fisheries Development Center

Your Excellencies, Distinguished Delegates, Participants, Ladies and Gentlemen

May I, first, express my gratitude to H.E. Chucheep Hansawasdi, the Minister of Agricultrue and Co-operatives, Thailand for his presence as the Chairman at the inauguration of the ASEAN-SEAFDEC Conference on Sustainable Fisheries for Food Security in the New Millennium: “Fish for the People” this morning.

Ladies and Gentlemen, it is my privilege and pleasure to extend my warmest welcome to honorable guests, distinguished delegates and participants from ASEAN and SEAFDEC Member Countries and various organizations to witness this very important event for fisheries development in the region of this Millennium.

We are all fully aware of the importance and substantial roles of ASEAN fisheries played in the region and worldwide. The recent globalization and new initiatives related to fisheries have given significant impacts on fisheries development and management, especially in ensuring the continuation of fish production. This has called for a need to open a forum where by all ASEAN and SEAFDEC Member Countries could jointly discuss and develop ways and means to ensuring sustainable fisheries in the region. Based on the above-mentioned need, the ASEAN and SEAFDEC in collaboration with FAO and hosted by the Department of Fisheries, Thailand jointly organize this Conference, which is considered as the milestone of collaborative efforts to ensure sustainable fisheries for food security in the ASEAN region. I should like to take this opportunity to express our sincere thanks to co-organizers and sponsors of the Conference to enable the Conference started off today.

Over the past two years of preparation for the Conference, a series of preparatory activities have been promoted by all concerned parties with great deal of collaboration from ASEAN and SEAFDEC Member Countries. To name a few, there are a number of regional technical consultations as well as national seminars organized by each of ASEAN Member Countries to discuss issues of common interests and concerns on fisheries in the region. In addition, awareness building exercises through drawing contest entitled “Fish and the ASEAN Culture”

have been promoted at national level.

The Conference, which is structured into the Technical Session to be held from 19 to 23 November and the Ministerial Session to be held on 24 November, is envisaged to come up with technical ground to be used as the basis to develop the Conference Resolution and Plan of Action considered as the guiding regional policy and actions to be undertaken to promote sustainable fisheries for food security in the generations to come.

ASEAN-SEAFDEC Conference: “Fish for the People”


SEAFDEC as being one of the key organizers of this Conference has committed ourselves to further promote the outcome of the Conference by making available of a 5-year follow-up program on contribution of fisheries to food security in the ASEAN region.

Lastly, I wish to express my sincere appreciation and heart-felt thanks to the ASEAN Foundation for providing financial support to the Conference, Furthermore, I am also grateful to all those who in one way or another have made this Conference possible.

Thank you very much.

Proceedings: Volume I



Director, Bureau of Functional Cooperation, ASEAN Secretariat

ASEAN cooperation in agriculture, which includes the fisheries sector, started as early as June 1968 with the convening of the meeting of the Ad-hoc Committee on Food Production on 20-24 June that year in Jakarta. Since then, ASEAN Cooperation in Food, Agriculture and Forestry progresses under the guidelines set by the ASEAN Summits and the ASEAN Ministers on Agriculture and Forestry (AMAF). The latest of these are the ASEAN Vision 2020 Statement on agriculture and forestry and the Hanoi Plan of Action (HPA) to Implement the ASEAN Vision 2020 on Food, Agriculture and Forestry for the period 1999-2004. The basis of the Hanoi Plan of Action on Food, Agriculture and Forestry are the Ministerial Understanding on ASEAN Cooperation in Food, Agriculture and Forestry, which was signed by the AMAF in October 1993, and the Strategic Plan of Action on ASEAN Cooperation in Food, Agriculture and Forestry, which was adopted by the AMAF in October 1999. Action plans on cooperation in fisheries features significantly in the Hanoi Plan of Action.

Cooperation activities in fisheries among ASEAN Member Countries became more intensified towards the end of 1970s. During that time, the first six ASEAN members, with the support of third-party funding, undertook various efforts to promote greater growth of the fisheries sector in the region through the implementation of cooperative projects. In view of the increasing importance of fisheries to ASEAN’s economy and recognizing the need to further strengthen regional cooperation in the sector, the AMAF decided to provide policy guidelines for the cooperation by adopting a Ministerial Understanding on Fisheries Cooperation on 22 October 1983. Member Countries, then, reached consensus and agreed to take necessary action towards closer cooperation in:

- the management and conservation of fisheries resources of the Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZ) in the ASEAN region;

- the sharing and transfer of technology at all levels to improve the socio-economic status of the fishermen;

- all aspects of aquaculture to increase production and income of fish farmers;

- all aspects of post-harvest technology in support of production and marketing efforts;

- promoting the trade and marketing of fish and fisheries products among the ASEAN countries as well as with other countries;

- identifying common areas for commercial cooperation in fisheries; and

- working towards a common stand and understanding on regional and international matters in fisheries.

Ten years later, the AMAF further reinforced these actions by identifying seven priority areas of cooperation when they adopted the Ministerial Understanding on ASEAN Cooperation in Food, Agriculture and Forestry in October 1993. These are:

- Strengthening Food Security in the Region;

- Facilitation and Promotion of Intra- and Extra-ASEAN Trade in Agriculture and Forestry Products;

ASEAN-SEAFDEC Conference: “Fish for the People”


- Generation and Transfer of Technology to Increase Productivity and Develop Agribusiness and Silvo-business;

- Agricultural Rural Community and Human Resource Development;

- Private Sector Involvement and Investment;

- Management and Conservation of Natural Resources for Sustainable Development;


- Strengthening ASEAN Cooperation and Joint Approaches in Addressing International and Regional Issues, especially those pertaining to trade in agricultural and forestry products.

The growth of ASEAN fisheries sector had been very significant since the establishment of the regional cooperation in fisheries. Fisheries had since become an important sector in ensuring food security and in generating foreign currency earning, as well as in providing employment to a large segment of the region’s society, and will continue to do so in the future.

According to trade values data collected by the ASEAN Secretariat up to September this year, the total export value of fish, crustaceans, molluscs, etc. from the older six Member Countries of ASEAN (i.e. Brunei Darussalam, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand) was approximately $4.16 billion, while the total import value was $1.32 billion.

These export and import values would be much higher when including trade values for processed fisheries products and values from the newer ASEAN members. Among these six older members, the biggest exporter has been Thailand at $1.67 billion for the period January- September 2000 alone; followed by Indonesia at $1.48 billion for the whole of last year.

Assuming that the exports were of those fish production or the catch that was in surplus of regional domestic consumptions, these trade values of the region’s fisheries products confirm the significant contribution of the fisheries sector towards ensuring food security in the region, as well as foreign exchange earnings of ASEAN Member Countries. However, the comparison between the export values of 1994 and 2000, although showing increasing trends for exports from Brunei Darussalam, Indonesia and Malaysia, those from the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand were decreasing during the period. The overall total export value for ASEAN also shows a similar declining trend from $5.08 billion in 1994 to $4.16 billion in 2000, while the import value over the same period was rather erratic.

This declining trend in the overall exports for ASEAN presents several possible causes. It may be that the catch remained the same while domestic consumptions have increased due to population increase, thus leaving less and less for export from year to year; or that the overall total catch have decreased due to the decrease in the region’s fisheries resources itself; or because of other reasons; or a combination of all these possible reasons. Perhaps, a comparison between annual catches data, rather than between exports data, would provide for a more valid assessment. But then, although fisheries is a renewable natural resource and, being a mobile natural resource, fish recognizes no national boundaries such that catches data at any point in time or over a certain period of time do not really reflect the actual situation or potential, we should already be concerned about this declining trend, whatever is the reason.

ASEAN Member Countries would, therefore, need to pursue more concerted cooperation, both through ASEAN’s own projects and activities and through the SEAFDEC’s programmes and activities.

The importance of a strong and sustained collaboration between ASEAN and SEAFDEC has since long been realized by the AMAF. In their Ministerial Understanding on ASEAN

Proceedings: Volume I


Cooperation in Food, Agriculture and Forestry signed in 1993, the AMAF had also identified the mechanism for the implementation of cooperation activities. While harnessing its own cooperation machinery through the involvement of relevant national focal point agencies, ASEAN had also decided to collaborate and utilize the technical expertise of international and inter-governmental organizations and institutions already present in the region. For cooperation in fisheries, ASEAN has confidently identified SEAFDEC as its technical arm.

This has, indeed, been an appropriate move because, in the ASEAN members of SEAFDEC, the same government agencies are involved in both the ASEAN and SEAFDEC cooperation activities, thus facilitating all collaborative efforts and also economizing on resources utilization, while at the same time avoiding duplication of efforts.

The participation of ASEAN Member Countries in regional fisheries projects under the ASEAN cooperative sphere as well as under the ASEAN-SEAFDEC collaborative mechanism had enabled Member Countries to establish strong institutional linkages within the Southeast Asia region. These linkages had facilitated exchanges of knowledge and experience as well as development of expertise and technologies in areas involving production, harvesting and post-harvest technologies, as well as sustainable management of fisheries resources in the region, both in marine and inland fisheries. The close collaboration has also enabled ASEAN and SEAFDEC Member Countries to collectively address issues of common interest, including those relating to trade in the region’s fisheries products.

The joint organization of this Conference is a testimony of this encouraging collaboration between ASEAN and SEAFDEC. This joint activity really presents ASEAN and SEAFDEC as one. The chosen themes and sub-themes, on which the Conference will deliberate, together target at strategizing future plans for sustaining fisheries resources in the Southeast Asia region. This is expected to culminate, at the end of this Conference, in the adoption of ministerial resolution towards sustainable management of fisheries resources for food security in this region.

In closing this short remarks, the ASEAN Secretariat congratulates ASEAN and SEAFDEC for having been able to eventually make this Conference a reality, after almost two years of earnest preparatory works. To all the donors and those, which have, in one way or another, made this forum possible, especially the ASEAN Foundation and the Government of the Kingdom of Thailand, ASEAN expresses its sincere gratitude and thanks. And, to all paper presenters and discussants who will be contributing their valuable ideas and thoughts towards developing a proper plan of action on sustainable fisheries in the ASEAN region in the future, ASEAN extends a hearty thanks, upfront, to all of you.

Thank you.

ASEAN-SEAFDEC Conference: “Fish for the People”


WELCOMING REMARKS by Mr. Dhammarong Prakobboon,


Department of Fisheries, Thailand

Exellency, Distinguished Delegates, Ladies and Gentlemen;

On behalf of the Administrative Sub-Committee of the ASEAN SEAFDEC Conference on Sustainable Fisheries for Food Security in the New Millennium: “Fish for the People”, I would like to express my sincere gratitude to Your Excellency in accepting our invitation to preside a the opening of the Conference.

The Conference is organized according to the decision made by the SEAFDEC Council Directors at its thirty-second session in Kuala Lumpur in March 2000. The Meeting has unanimously agreed that it is timely for member countries of SEAFDEC and ASEAN as well as the international and regional organization to identify fisheries problems and issues of specific concern to ASEAN region and to help formulate harmonized regional fisheries policies with a view to achieving sustainable fisheries and increasing supplies of fish and fishery products.


I am especially pleased to learn that in organizing this Conference, the Conference Secretariat has obtained support and input, not only from member countries of SEAFDEC and ASEAN but also from various international and regional organzations as well as the technical e4xperts from within and outside the region who have conducted a series of technical preparatory tasks leading up to this Conference. Moreover, this Conference would not be possible without the financial support from the Government of Japan and ASEAN Foundation. I, therefore, wish to take this opportunity express my appreciation and admiration for all supports obtained.

The Conference is divided into two main sessions: the Technical Session consisting of Plenary Sessions and four simultaneous Technical Panels and the Ministerial Session. The conclusions and series of technical recommendations of the Technical Panel Sessions will be compiled and submit for the consideration and adoption of the Ministerial Session.

It is expected that the outcome of the Technical Sessions will be the foundation for an improvement in national and regional policies toward the achievement of sustainable fisheries and stable supply of fish and fishery products.


The auspicious time has now arrived, may I request Your Excellency to declare the Technical Sessions of the Conference open. Thank you.

Proceedings: Volume I


OPENING ADDRESS by H.E. Mr. Shucheep Hansaward Minister of Agriculture and Cooperatives, Thailand

Mr. Chairman, Distinguished Delegates, Ladies and Gentlemen;

It is great pleasure for me, on behalf of the Thai government and the Thai people to preside a the opening of this ASEAN-SEAFDEC Conference on the Sustainable Fisheries for Food Security in the New Millennium: “Fish for the People” and to extend greetings and warmest welcome to all distinguished delegates. I also would like to take this opportunity to express my sincere appreciation for the decision made by the SEAFDEC Council Directors at its thirty-second session in Kuala Lumpur in March 2000 to organize this Conference as the forum for ASEAN and SEAFDEC Member Countries, international and regional organizations to discuss and analyze various issues critical to the achievement of sustainable fisheries in the region, since the decline of fish stocks and the state of aquatic environment is of grave concern not only to the ASEAN region but for the sustainability of fisheries at the global level.

Fisheries is the major concern to the region and to the world communities, so I am confident that with your diverse backgrounds and experiences, various fisheries issues and problems would be identified and this Conference would provide a conceptual framework with principles and guidelines, which will contribute to the formulation of regional fisheries policies and help identify activities to be undertaken by ASEAN Member Countries.

Distinguished Delegates;

The subject matter to be discussed, particularly on the sustainable contribution of fisheries to the food security is one which regard as a very important issue to our people to be assured of their quality of life, free from hunger and have adequate food for consumption. ASEAN region has been recognized as one of the potential areas in fisheries development for various reasons, and is also recognized as a leading region which has produced large amount of fish and fishery products to serve both domestic and international consumption. It is estimated that in 1996 this region could produce almost 14 million tons of fishery products (including aquaculture products) at the value of US$ 11,500 million or about 11% of the total world production. However, the growing of population in ASEAN Countries as well as the increasing of fish in the diet will undoubtedly create a potential gap between the demand and supply of fish in the future. It is, therefore, an urgent need for ASEAN member countries to promote collaboration to focus on the national and regional policy issues that contribute to the achievement of sustainable fisheries and sustainable use of fisheries resource.

Looking to the future, the road to the year 2020 and beyond will paved with challenges and difficulties but also afford us an excellent opportunity to bring about prosperity in the region.

I, therefore, strongly urge ASEAN seeks greater cooperation not only to secure sustainable food supplies for food security and the livelihoods and well-being of our people, but also combine the enormous efforts to play more active role in the competitive world of trade for fishery products and prepare ourselves appropriately to cope with what lies ahead.

Distinguished Delegates;

ASEAN-SEAFDEC Conference: “Fish for the People”


I understand that the Conference Secretariat has put a lot of efforts in preparing for the Conference. I, therefore, wish to express my thanks to the Conference Secretariat and all concerned for the excellent organization of the Conference.

It is now a great pleasure and honour for me to officially declare the opening of the Technical Sessions of the ASEAN-SEAFDEC Conference on Sustainable Fisheries for Food Security in the New Millennium: ‘Fish for the People” and wish the Conference every success. I also hope that during your four days of deliberations, you will come up with innovative ideas and new approaches in dealing with the challenges in the year 2020 and beyond.

Thank you.

Proceedings: Volume I


KEYNOTE SPEECH by Mr. Ichiro Nomura

Assistant Director-General, Fisheries Department Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations

Mr. Minister, Mr. Secretary General of SEAFDEC, Mr. Director General of the Department of Fisheries, Thailand, Mr. Executive Director of ASEAN Foundation, Delegates, ladies and gentlemen,

Let me say at the outset that I am very happy to be here. I would like you also to know that I travel seldom. So the fact that I have been instructed by Mr. Jacques Diouf, the Director General of FAO, to be with you today is a sign of the importance that he and FAO attaches to this conference. Personally I consider it a great honour to address you on behalf of the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations.

I will start my address to you by discussing management and development of fisheries. I will focus on the evolving nature of tasks required to ensure sustainable fisheries. I will briefly review the implications of these for government, industry and science. Finally, I will look at the possible areas for continued and strengthened collaboration between FAO and ASEAN- SEAFDEC in fisheries.

I would like to stress that with very few exceptions what I will now say has global relevance.

By this I mean that if this conference had been held somewhere in Latin America – instead of here in Bangkok - I would have conveyed essentially the same message. But, I do realise that the world is not homogeneous. So I suspect that some of you will be thinking that parts of what I say is not applicable to the region. I accept that. But, I would not be making this address unless I thought that most of it does apply also in Asia.

So a few words about management and development of fisheries. As you will soon hear in plenary the management and development of capture fisheries is being placed under increasing strain as a result of growing demand for fish. This affects the importance that the fishing industry and governments assign to the various objectives they see as for the sector.

The consequence is that the relative importance of objectives is evolving. One example of this is the area of technology and economics. The conventional objectives of maximising growth in fishery production or maximising revenues are being replaced by others emerging successively, such as new technologies for selective fishing, safety at sea and maximising efficiency.

Biological and ecological objectives are evolving from maximising catches to protecting the spawning biomass, to minimising waste, to protecting biodiversity, to safeguarding habitats and ecosystem health. Likewise social and cultural objectives have been evolving from maximising employment, through social peace and equity, food security and safety, institutional development, empowerment, long-term social welfare, and cultural identity, to ethical requirements. I conclude that these general but evolving objectives provide all organisations – including ours - that are active in support of fisheries management and development with a common framework for action.