The Southeast Asian Fisheries Development Center (SEAFDEC) commemorated its 50th Anniversary on 15 November 2017 in Bangkok, Thailand with the Government of Thailand as the most gracious host. The Golden Jubilee celebration depicted the feat and achievements of SEAFDEC during the past fifty years and its desires for the years beyond, in revolutionizing the sustainable fisheries development of Southeast Asia.
The Golden Anniversary Celebration of SEAFDEC was officiated by His Excellency Air Chief Marshall Prajin Juntong, Deputy Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Thailand, on behalf of the Prime Minister His Excellency Prayuth Chan-Ocha. In attendance were the Ministers and representatives from Ministries responsible for fisheries of the 11 SEAFDEC Member Countries; the SEAFDEC Council of Directors and delegations led by the current Chairperson of the SEAFDEC Council Mr. Abdul Halidi bin Mohd Salleh; representatives from Embassies of the SEAFDEC Member Countries in Thailand; representatives from national, regional and international organizations working on fisheries and donor agencies; as well as guests and distinguished personalities who made significant contributions to SEAFDEC. The SEAFDEC Secretary-General Dr. Kom Silapajarn, Deputy Secretary-General Dr. Kaoru Ishii, the Chiefs and senior officials of the SEAFDEC Secretariat and Departments also attended the Celebration.
The celebration of the Golden Jubilee of SEAFDEC started with the Special Meeting of the SEAFDEC Council in the morning of 15 November 2017 which adopted the “Resolution on the Future of SEAFDEC,” including the “Vision, Mission, and Strategies Towards 2030.” The said Resolution spells out the necessary actions that SEAFDEC would undertake beyond its Fiftieth Anniversary, for the sustainability of the Southeast Asian fisheries.
The Anniversary Program that followed in the evening, started with a parade of flags of the SEAFDEC Member Countries elucidating the slogan “United to be One,” while displaying in brief the history of the establishment of SEAFDEC. This was followed by the showing of a video on the development of SEAFDEC and its persistent efforts towards the sustainable development of Southeast Asian fisheries throughout the past 50 years. Providing more elaboration of the information in the video presentation was the third Secretary-General of SEAFDEC Dr. Deb Menasveta, who in his Keynote Address not only expounded the development of SEAFDEC throughout the past 50 years but also suggested the best ingredients towards the sustainability of SEAFDEC in the future. After the formal Opening Ceremonies and amidst good music and beautiful performances, tokens of appreciation were given to the Governments hosting the SEAFDEC Departments, significant collaborating partners and personalities who made significant contributions to SEAFDEC’s achievements. The Anniversary Book “A Half-century Journey of SEAFDEC: Significantly Revolutionizing Southeast Asian Fisheries Towards Sustainability” was then launched, the copies of which were distributed to all the guests.
SEAFDEC was established on 28 December 1967, with Japan, Singapore and Thailand as the original Members, and currently comprises 11 Members. These are Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Japan, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Viet Nam. The 50th Anniversary of SEAFDEC therefore displays not only the past achievements, but also the future unwavering commitment of SEAFDEC and all Members in working together to ensure that the fisheries sector would continue to provide sustainable contribution to food security and well-being of the peoples in the Southeast Asian region.