With funding support from the SEAFDEC-SWEDEN Project, SEAFDEC organized the “2nd Meeting of the Scientific Working Group (SWG) on Neritic Tuna Stock Assessment in Southeast Asian Waters” from 15 to 17 June 2015 at the Research Institute for Marine Fisheries (RIMF) in Hai Phong, Viet Nam. Co-organized by Directorate of Fisheries of Viet Nam (D-Fish), the Meeting was attended by the SWG-Neritic Tuna Members from Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Thailand, and Viet Nam together with the countries’ respective experts/resource persons on Stock Assessment. A Resource Person from the National Fisheries Research Institute of Far Seas Fisheries (NRIFSF) of Japan also participated in the Meeting. Other participants included the Senior Officers and Staff of SEAFDEC Secretariat, SEAFDEC Training Department and MFRDMD, government officers from D-Fish and officers of RIMF.
With the overall objective of enhancing regional cooperation in managing neritic tuna resources within the ASEAN Member States (AMSs), the 2nd Meeting of the SWG reviewed the work plan for catch and effort collection as well as the necessary indicators/parameters, finalized the budgetary requirements for genetic study and stock assessment, and identified the capacity building priorities to support AMSs in implementing the RPOA-Neritic Tunas. The Meeting agreed to carry out two main activities, namely: Genetic Study for Neritic Tunas to be conducted in 24 sampling sites covering the South China Sea, Gulf of Thailand and Andaman Sea; and Stock Assessment for Long Tail Tuna and Eastern Little Tuna/Kawakawa using a production model. Further, the meeting also agreed on the final Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for Genetic Study and Data Collection of Neritic Tunas.