More than 50 participants gathered in Penang, Malaysia last 25-29 November 2013 for the 36th Meeting of the Program Committee of SEAFDEC and the 16th Meeting of the Fisheries Consultative Group/ASEAN-SEAFDEC Strategic Partnership (FCG-ASSP). The participants comprised delegates from 11 Member Countries of SEAFDEC (Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Japan, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam); senior officials from SEAFDEC Departments and Secretariat; and representatives from the collaborating partners (regional and international organizations) of SEAFDEC. This year’s meetings were hosted by the SEAFDEC Marine Fishery Resources Development and Management Department (MFRDMD).The Program Committee meeting focused on the review of implementation of SEAFDEC activities under various Program Thrusts, the proposed new Programs, and the status of Japanese Trust Fund for 2014 and onwards. The Committee also discussed the country inputs on the regional priorities for future program formulation. The results of the review process as well as the recommendations of the Program Committee will be submitted for endorsement to the higher authorities of the ASEAN through the Fisheries Consultative Group of the ASEAN-SEAFDEC Strategic Partnership (FCG/ASSP) and to the forthcoming 46th Meeting of SEAFDEC Council for consideration and approval.
Meanwhile, discussions during the 16th FCG-ASSP Meeting focused on the follow-up actions to the directives given at the 45th Meeting of the SEAFDEC Council and other meetings of SEAFDEC and ASEAN bodies related to fisheries. The status of programs and activities implemented by SEAFDEC in 2013 and proposed for 2014 under the FCG-ASSP endorsed by the 36th Meeting of the Program Committee of SEAFDEC, the progress of the proposals under the ASSP Framework, and issues of importance to the fisheries sector of the ASEAN-SEAFDEC Member Countries, were also discussed. The results and recommendations of the 16th FCG-ASSP Meeting would be submitted to the ASEAN Sectoral Working Group on Fisheries (ASWGFi) for endorsement to the subsequent meetings of the ASEAN on fisheries.