SEAFDEC PROGRAMS OF ACTIVITIES IN 2017
THRUST 4. PROVIDING POLICY AND ADVISORY SERVICES FOR PLANNING AND EXECUTING MANAGEMENT OF FISHERIES
4.2 Regional Cooperation for Tuna Fisheries Management
Recognizing that the management of oceanic tunas is already covered by relevant RFMOs, the activities of SEAFDEC to support regional cooperation for management of tunas in the Southeast Asian region therefore focused specifically on neritic tunas. The Regional Plan of Action on Sustainable Utilization of Neritic Tunas in the ASEAN Region (RPOA-Neritic Tunas) which was developed by SEAFDEC in collaboration with the Member Countries and endorsed by the SEAFDEC Council and the ASWGFi Meetings in 2015 continued to serve as the framework for implementation of activities with respect to neritic tunas, particularly in coming up with better data and information on the status of neritic tuna resources for their sustainable utilization in the future.
Following up on the activities in 2016 focusing on the stock and risk assessment of longtail tuna (Thunnus tonggol) and kawakawa (Euthynnus affinis) in the Southeast Asian sub- regions, SEAFDEC conducted the “Working Group Meeting to Follow-up the Activities of the Joint Program on Tuna Research in Sulu and Sulawesi Seas” on 30-31 March 2017 in Bangkok, Thailand. Representatives from participating countries, namely: Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines, as well as researchers from SEAFDEC and a resource person from Japan, attended the Meeting which came up with the updated progress of the tuna research works, direction and solutions to the difficulties on data analysis to support the tuna research in Sulu and Sulawesi Seas, and direction of future activities during 2017- 2019.
To promote better understanding of the tuna stocks and of the sustainable utilization of neritic tunas in the region, a series of capacity building activities were conducted in 2017.
These included the “Training-Workshop on Risk Assessment and Fisheries Management Framework-Measures of Longtail Tuna and Kawakawa in Southeast Asia” at the MFRDMD premises in Kuala Terengganu, Malaysia on 6-10 August 2017. The Training-Workshop was attended by representatives from Brunei Darussalam, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand, and Viet Nam, as well as concerned staff from SEAFDEC. Carried out during the Training was the practical use of software for analyzing the stock assessments of longtail
Working Group Meeting to Follow-up the Activities of the Joint Program on Tuna Research in Sulu and Sulawesi Seas
tuna and kawakawa including CPUE standardization, stock assessment and management procedures based on the stock assessment results. Furthermore, the participants also reported on the status of development of national management frameworks for sustainable tuna fisheries in their respective countries, based on the RPOA-Neritic Tunas.
The participants were then encouraged to transfer the methods learned from the Workshop to national scientists in their respective countries.
Training/Workshop on Risk Assessment and Fisheries Management Framework/Measures of Longtail Tuna and Kawakawa in Southeast Asia
Moreover, TD also organized the “Training Workshop on the Standard Methodology for Skipjack Otolith Collection” on 5-6 October 2017 at the Training Department in Samut Pakan, Thailand, with support from a lecturer
from the National Research Institute of Far Seas Fisheries (NRIFSF) and the Fisheries Research Agency (FRA) of Japan. Attended by nine (9) researchers from Indonesia and TD, the training imparted to the participants the standard methodology and techniques to collect otolith from skipjack samples, and developed the framework for the study on skipjack growth analysis based on the examination of the intervals between daily rings in the otolith samples collected.
The results and recommendations from the stock and risk assessments of longtail tuna and kawakawa in the Pacific Ocean and Indian Ocean were reported to the SEAFDEC Council during its 49th Meeting where the study results were noted while recommendations were made for the management of fishing capacity targeting these two species. The Meeting also recommended that further activities should be undertaken, e.g. establishing the number of fishing vessels from each AMS that target these species, and demonstration on whether neritic tunas in Indian Ocean as well as those in Pacific Ocean are of the same stock, as this would support the development of appropriate management measures for the species.
The results and recommendations were also noted during the 25th ASWGFi Meeting and subsequently submitted to the SOM-39th AMAF for notification.
Training Workshop on the Standard Methodology for Skipjack Otolith Collection
In line with the aforementioned recommendations of the SEAFDEC Council, MFRDMD conducted in 2017 another study on the population structure of longtail tuna and kawakawa.
The information on population structure of the species is considered essential for resources management of the species, and in determining to what extent, if any, the population of the species from this area is connected to the population elsewhere in the world. Thus, DNA specimens of longtail tuna and kawakawa would be collected at 12 landing sites of eight AMSs, namely: Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Thailand, and Viet Nam, and the level of genetic diversity and population structure of the species would be identified using mitochondrial DNA displacement loop (D-loop) marker.
As of 2017, a total of 350 samples of longtail tuna and 400 samples of kawakawa were collected. For Malaysia, the DNA samples were collected from Kuantan, Kuala Perlis and Kota Kinabalu, while samples were also collected from Sihanoukville (Cambodia), Ranong and Trat Provinces (Thailand), and Vung Tau (Viet Nam) and sent to MFRDMD for DNA analysis. For Indonesia, sampling and DNA analysis would be conducted by the Research Institute of Marine Fisheries (RIMF) in Bogor, Indonesia. A meeting was convened in Jakarta, Indonesia on 17 January 2017 between MFRDMD and Indonesian researchers at RIMF to
Participants during the meeting between MFRDMD and Indonesian researchers at Research Institute of Marine Fisheries in Jakarta, Indonesia
Sampling of longtail tuna DNA by a student with supervision from research officer discuss the project implementation. For
other countries, collection of samples is still under way.
A total of 189 samples of longtail tuna collected from four locations, namely: Kuala Perlis (43 samples), Kuantan (43 samples), Sihanoukville (50 samples), and Vung Tau (49 samples) were analyzed using mtDNA D-loop gene. The preliminary results, which were presented during the “Fourth Meeting of the Scientific Working Group (SWG)
on Neritic Tunas Stock Assessment” on 7-9 November 2017 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, indicated that longtail tuna in the South China Sea and Andaman Sea were homogenous with no significant genetic differentiation and the same genetic structure. However, more samples from the other sampling sites would be needed to confirm the initial findings.