During the 21st Meeting of the ASEAN Sectoral Working Group on Fisheries (ASWGFi) convened by the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in Vientiane, Lao PDR on 24-26 July 2013, SEAFDEC was represented by its Secretary-General Dr. Chumnarn Pongsri, and Deputy-Secretary-General Mr. Hajime Kawamura.
In the Meeting, SEAFDEC reported on the progress of various projects implemented under the Fisheries Consultative Group (FCG) of the ASEAN-SEAFDEC Strategic Partnership (ASSP) in 2012, comprising 25 projects, 9 of which were completed in 2012 and the other 16 to be continued in 2013. Subsequently, the Meeting endorsed 6 new projects to be implemented starting in 2013, identified the respective ASEAN Lead Countries, and requested SEAFDEC to provide necessary assistance to concerned Lead Countries. The progress of the project on Promotion of Sustainable Aquaculture and Resource Enhancement in Southeast Asia, which is supported by Japanese Trust Fund to SEAFDEC, was also reported under the ASEAN Plus Three Cooperation.
During the Meeting, initiatives undertaken by SEAFDEC that require policy consideration and support from the ASEAN Member States were also put forward, namely: Regional Fishing Vessels Record (RFVR) as a tool to combat IUU fishing in the Southeast Asian region; Development of ASEAN Catch Documentation System; and results of the CITES-CoP16 on Listing of Commercially-exploited Aquatic Species to the CITES Appendices. On the RFVR database which is now being developed by SEAFDEC, the Meeting was informed that upon endorsement through the ASEAN process, SEAFDEC will conduct a technical consultation to promote the RFVR database to Member Countries and undertake activities to enhance the capacity of some Member Countries in providing inputs to the database system. Meanwhile, in order that the proposed Catch Documentation System would be applicable in ASEAN fisheries which are primarily small-scale, such System should be simple enough for implementation by stakeholders. Moreover, major importing countries should be engaged in the consultation processes for the development of the said Documentation System.