SEAFDEC Supports Regional Collaboration for Fisheries OECMs

The Secretary-General of SEAFDEC, Dr. Suttinee Limthammahisorn, and the Program and Policy Coordinator of the SEAFDEC Secretariat, Dr. Worawit Wanchana, joined the “Workshop on Other Effective Area-based Conservation Measures in Areas under the Competence of Regional Fisheries Bodies” organized by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) in Rome, Italy on 22–24 January 2024. The Workshop was also attended by representatives from relevant regional fisheries management organizations (RFMOs), regional seas organizations (RSOs), relevant regional organizations, and non-government organizations, among others. The aim of the Workshop was to support the relevant stakeholders in understanding and applying the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) criteria to identify other effective area-based conservation measures (OECMs) in fisheries.

During the Workshop, the publication “A Handbook for Identifying, Evaluating and Reporting Other Effective Area-Based Conservation Measures in Marine Fisheries” was introduced which specified OECMs as established, spatially defined management and/or conservation measures other than protected areas that produce positive, long-term, and in situ biodiversity outcomes, in addition to the intended fishery outcomes. In this regard, lessons learned from countries’ experience in applying the CBD criteria were synthesized at the Workshop. Furthermore, SEAFDEC presented its potential role in supporting its Member Countries in exploring and establishing fisheries OECMs which signified a crucial step towards fostering regional partnerships.