SEAFDEC Deputy Secretary-General Dr. Kaoru Ishii, accompanied by the Policy and Program Coordinator Dr. Somboon Siriraksophon, attended the Sixteenth Session of the Sub-Committee on Fish Trade held in Busan, Republic of Korea from 4-8 September 2017. The Session deliberated issues relevant to fish trade, such as the Voluntary Guidelines for Catch Documentation Schemes (CDS); reduction of fish food loss and waste; food quality, safety and market access; CITES related activities; impacts of the Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) on livelihoods, trade, food fish supply and consumption; impacts of climate change on future fish supply, trade and consumption, etc. In addition, update on fish trade-related activities of FAO and monitoring the implementation of the post-harvest practices and trade of the Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries (CCRF) were also introduced for further consideration by the Sub-Committee.
The Sub-Committee underlined the key roles played by the fisheries and aquaculture sectors in global food security, as a source of food and as a contributor to economic growth and development, livelihoods and income. In addition, the crucial role of developing countries in production and trade of fish and fishery products was highlighted, and the special characteristics and needs of the small-scale fisheries sector were also noted. The Sub-Committee expressed concern on the growing number of measures that have possible impacts on trade in fish and fishery products, in particular, from developing countries. Therefore, the Sub-Committee underlined the need for more harmonized standards in international trade, and called upon FAO to continue its harmonization efforts.
CITES-related activities were ones of the important issues for long deliberation due to a complexity of implementing CITES requirements; and the Sub-Committee suggested FAO to continue its work in building the necessary capacity, especially in developing countries, for strengthening fisheries management for implementation of the CITES provisions. In this connection, SEAFDEC informed the Sub-Committee on support extended by SEAFDEC in the Southeast Asian region, in particular, in increasing awareness and capacity building as well as research works on sharks and anguillid eels. SEAFDEC also informed the progress on development of the ASEAN Catch Documentation Schemes and its electronic system (eACDS) as a tool to prevent the entry of fish and fishery product from IUU fishing activities into the supply chain in the ASEAN region, as well as to enhance the effectiveness of fisheries management and the intra-regional and international trade.