Ms. Pattaratjit Kaewnuratchadasorn, SEAFDEC Senior Policy Officer and SEAFDEC-Sweden Project Manager joined the West Pacific East Asia-Sustainable Management of Highly Migratory Fish stocks in the West Pacific and East Asian Seas (WPEA-SM Project) Consultative Forum, which was hosted by the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC) and the Philippine Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR)in Aklan, Philippines on 28-30 January 2019. The Forum was attended by country representatives from Indonesia, Philippines, and Viet Nam and representatives from United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Partnerships in Environmental Management for the Seas of East Asia (PEMSEA), SEAFDEC as well as WCPFC officers. The Forum was aimed at reviewing the situation and cases of illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing practices in this sub-region; identifying key components for cooperation and collaboration in tuna fisheries at sub-regional level as well as addressing IUU fishing activities in the East Asian Seas oceanic tuna fisheries. During the Forum, SEAFDEC shared information on regional initiatives in addressing IUU Fishing in Southeast Asia (ASEAN Guidelines for Preventing the Entry of IUU Fish and Fishery Products into the Supply Chain, Regional Fishing Vessels Record, Electronic ASEAN Catch Documentation Scheme (eACDS), and Regional Cooperation to Support the Implementation of Port State Measures). In addition, Ms. Pattaratjit highlighted the ongoing initiatives, which are being supported by the SEAFDEC-Sweden collaborative project such as strengthening monitoring, control and surveillance (MCS) networks, promotion of bilateral dialogues, sub-regional technical meetings for effective fisheries management for the Gulf of Thailand and Andaman Sea Sub-region, and sustainability of transboundary species in Southeast Asia waters (e.g. neritic tunas, mackerels).
At the end, the Forum was able to deliver the common gaps/elements in addressing IUU fishing in oceanic tuna fisheries in East Asian seas. The participants also proposed the mechanism on the establishment of the sub-regional fishery monitoring of IUU fishing among WPEA countries.