The Ministry of Primary Resources and Tourism through the Department of Fisheries of Brunei Darussalam, Universiti Brunei Darussalam, and SEAFDEC co-organized the Sustaining Marine Biodiversity through Blue Economy Symposium on 6–8 June 2023 at the Universiti Brunei Darussalam. The Symposium brought together leaders and renowned speakers from various agencies including governments, international organizations, non-government organizations, and academia to share their knowledge and experiences in the field of marine biology, ecology, management, and conservation. The Symposium was launched by the Minister of Primary Resources and Tourism of Brunei Darussalam, His Excellency Dato Seri Setia Dr. Hj Abdul Manaf bin Haji Metusin.
At the opening session, the SEAFDEC Secretary-General, Ms. Malinee Smithrithee, delivered the Keynote Speech highlighting the challenges faced by the marine environment and oceans. She deliberated on the concept of the blue economy which is an integrated and sustainable approach that would help to conserve marine resources and ecosystems, ensuring long-term viability while fostering economic activities that benefit communities, industries, and nations. She emphasized the key principles of the blue economy that take into account sustainable management of fisheries and aquaculture; research, innovation, and technology; holistic ecosystem-based approach; and collaboration and network, while the participation of women, indigenous communities, and marginalized groups in decision-making processes is crucial for achieving sustainable and equitable development. She urged partnerships and collaborations which would contribute to the development and implementation of blue economy strategies across the region and beyond, with the ultimate goal of the well-being of present and future generations.
During the session Sustainable Fisheries and Aquaculture: Enhancing Marine Biodiversity and Economic Development, the Head of Research and Development Division of the SEAFDEC Training Department, Mr. Sukchai Arnupapboon, presented the activities of SEAFDEC in combating IUU fishing in Southeast Asia for sustainable utilization of marine resources including the ASEAN Guidelines for Preventing the Entry of Fish and Fishery Products from IUU Fishing Activities into the Supply Chain, Regional Fishing Vessels Record for Vessels 24 Meters in Length and Over (RFVR Database), electronic ASEAN Catch Documentation Scheme (eACDS), and human capacity development to implement the port State measures and port inspection.