SEAFDEC PROGRAMS OF ACTIVITIES IN 2018
4. Strategy IV: Addressing international fisheries related issues from a regional perspective
4.1 Development of regional standards, policies and guidelines to enhance intra-regional and international trade
Guidelines on Cold Chain Management for Seafood
Fish and seafood are important sources of protein for the ASEAN region, and traded in high volumes not only within the region but also exported across continents, especially to the European and North American markets. Fish and seafood are highly perishable commodities and sensitive to temperature changes, with quality that changes starting almost immediately following catch or harvest, and compromises the safety and quality of the seafood produced. Cold chain management is therefore essential in minimizing deterioration, which can occur through microbiological metabolism, oxidative reactions, and enzymatic activity, and accelerated through poor temperature control. Throughout the supply chain, the fisheries industry heavily relies on proper cold chain management practices, such as the application of ice, use of refrigerated seawater, storage in refrigerated facilities, and chilling or freezing, to ensure the quality, safety and commercial viability of its products. However, these low temperature conditions must also be supported by good and hygienic handling practices, to effectively delay spoilage of the fish and seafood. In the tropical climates of the ASEAN region, temperature management is challenging and poor management could lead to breakage in the cold chain and speed up the rate of quality deterioration in this high-value commodity resulting in low value seafood.
Fisheries industry players in the ASEAN face many challenges in the implementation of a cold chain management system, such as limited access to technologies and appropriate facilities, and lack knowledge of cold chain management practices. However, with the advances in technology, these cold chain technologies have now become more accessible to the players in the seafood industry. Thus, maintaining a cold chain throughout the supply chain of seafood is now more feasible than it has ever been before. In an effort to address such challenges, MFRD Programme implemented the project “Cold Chain Management for Seafood” starting in May 2015 with support from the Government of Singapore, with the objectives of: 1) Assisting in upgrading the regional seafood industry in cold chain management and technologies; and 2) Developing generic guidelines on cold chain management for the seafood industry in the region. Since 2015, the MFRD Programme has conducted several seminars and workshops for the government and industry participants from the ten AMSs, where experts from Curtin University and the Sydney Fish Market were invited to provide capacity building and advice on cold chain technologies and practices, and monitoring control in seafood quality assurance.
On 18-19 April 2018, the MFRD Programme organized the “End-of-Project Meeting on Cold Chain Management for Seafood” in Singapore, which was attended by representatives from the respective governments and industry practitioners of the AMSs. Feedback from the national consultations on the draft guidelines on cold chain management which takes reference from international standards and in the context of ASEAN seafood industry, completed by the AMSs participants in 2017, was collated and discussed at this Meeting. At the end of the Meeting, the “Regional Guidelines on Cold Chain Management of Fish and
Fishery Products in ASEAN Region” was finalized and endorsed for submission for approval by the SEAFDEC Council and subsequently to the ASEAN mechanism.
4.2 Development and promotion of traceability system for fish and fishery products in the region
Traceability system is one of the important emerging market requirements due to the pressing needs expressed by the markets to ensure that fish and fishery products are not derived from IUU fishing, and helps facilitate tracking the flow of products through the production processes or supply chain. Under the project “Combating IUU Fishing in the Southeast Asian Region through Application of Catch Certification for Trading of Fish and Fishery Products” implemented by MFRDMD since 2013, the efforts made in 2018 focused in following-up with the ASEAN Member States their respective actions to implement the
“ASEAN Guidelines for Preventing the Entry of Fish and Fishery Products from IUU Fishing Activities into the Supply Chain” which was endorsed by the 37th Meeting of the ASEAN Ministers on Agriculture and Forestry (AMAF) in 2015, and supporting the introduction and implementation of the “ASEAN Catch Documentation Scheme” in pilot countries of the Southeast Asian region. In order to monitor the implementation of the said ASEAN Guidelines, MFRDMD conducted a series of “Consultative Meetings for Promotion of the ASEAN Guidelines for Preventing the Entry of Fish and Fishery Products from IUU Fishing Activities into the Supply Chain” in the AMSs, i.e. in Putrajaya, Malaysia (16-19 July 2018);
in Jakarta, Indonesia (23-26 July 2018); in Manila, Philippines (6-9 August 2018); in Phnom Penh, Cambodia (13-16 August 2018); in Nay Pyi Taw, Myanmar (1-4 October 2018); in Vientiane, Lao PDR (15-18 October 2018); in Hanoi, Viet Nam (29 October - 1 November
End of project meeting participants (top) and visit to Singapore’s fishery port and fish processing plant (above)
2018); and in Bangkok, Thailand (12-15 November 2018). Through the Consultative Meetings, the adoption of the ASEAN Guidelines was promoted while the current status made by the AMSs in the implementation of the Guidelines was assessed through the conduct a self-evaluation on the status in the implementation of the ASEAN Guidelines in their respective countries. Results of the self-evaluation indicated the percentage accomplishment of the countries, i.e. 92.4% for Malaysia, 96.4% for Indonesia, 96.4% for the Philippines, 84.8% for Cambodia, 94% for Myanmar, 60% for Lao PDR, 92.4% for Viet Nam, and 98% for Thailand. Although the results might not be conclusive as these did not imply that countries with higher scores have fully implemented the Guidelines, these information helped indicate the areas where particular countries need further assistance in the implementation of the Guidelines. The results from the self-evaluation was presented to the SEAFDEC Program Committee during its 41st Meeting in 2018, and an interim report of the feedback and self-evaluation of the implementation of the ASEAN Guidelines compiled through country visits, would be finalized for publication during the 1st quarter of 2019.
Also under the same Project, the development of the “ASEAN Catch Documentation Scheme” or ACDS was initiated by MFRDMD in collaboration with TD. In 2017, the electronic system of the ACDS (eACDS) was pilot-tested in Brunei Darussalam in 2017. Since then, series of consultations and on-site training sessions on the use of eACDS for relevant stakeholders were conducted in Brunei Darussalam through its Department of Fisheries, and the eACDS system was on its testing process afterwards. On 2-5 April 2018, the “Third On-site Training and Kick-off Pilot Testing for eACDS” was organized in Brunei Darussalam to discuss with relevant national stakeholders and government officials, and identify problems including issues, on the application design. Initial results of the evaluation of the (From top-bottom; left-right) Consultative visit to Cambodia, Indonesia, Myanmar, and Philippines to
assess the current status made by the countries in the implementation of the ASEAN Guidelines for Preventing the Entry of Fish and Fishery Products from IUU Fishing Activities into the Supply Chain
eACDS implementation in Brunei Darussalam and the issues identified were presented at the 41st Meeting of SEAFDEC Program Committee in 2018.
In addition to Brunei Darussalam, the other AMSs also expressed their interest in exploring the possibility of applying the system in their respective countries, e.g. Viet Nam, Myanmar, and Malaysia. Thus, introduction of the eACDS system was first conducted for relevant stakeholders and Directorate of Fisheries (D-Fish) of Viet Nam in December 2017, and subsequently, further discussion was made on 12-13 September 2018, particularly regarding the preparation of Key Data Elements for eACDS database development, and selection of pilot site in the country. For Myanmar, introduction of the eACDS system was conducted for stakeholders and the Department of Fisheries of Myanmar during the
“Consultation Visit to Myanmar for Introduction of the eACDS to Relevant Stakeholders and Observing the Port Control and Fishing Licensing System” on 11-14 June 2018. During the Consultation Visit, introduction and demonstrations of overall eACDS system including issuance of catch declaration, movement documentation, catch certification, processing statement, and re-export certification were made. Discussion on the preparation of Key Data Elements for eACDS database development and selection of pilot site in Myanmar was convened on 25-28 September 2018. In Malaysia, the introductory workshop on the eACDS was conducted in 2018, in response to the request of Malaysia to be included as one of the pilot sites for the eACDS, during the 41st Meeting of SEAFDEC Program Committee in 2018.
During the Consultation Meeting on Introduction of the eACDS and Consultation Visit on Port State
Third On-site Training and Kick-off Pilot Testing for eACDS in Brunei Darussalam
Discussion on preparation of Key Data Element for eACDS database development and selection of
pilot site in Myanmar
Visit for introduction of the eACDS in Viet Nam
5. Strategy V: Addressing cross-cutting issues, such as labor, gender and