The Senior Information Officer of the SEAFDEC Secretariat, Ms. Saivason Klinsukhon, attended the “13th Meeting of FIRMS Steering Committee” convened in London, United Kingdom on 26–27 and 30 June 2023. In the same Meeting, the staff from SEAFDEC Training Department, Mr. Sukchai Arnupapboon and Dr. Supapong Pattarapongpan, attended remotely. Hosted by the North-east Atlantic Fisheries Commission (NEAFC), the Meeting was participated in by 18 partners of the Fisheries and Resources Monitoring System (FIRMS) including SEAFDEC and other two organizations as observers. The aim of the Meeting was to discuss the progress of the activities of FIRMS partners in improving the quality of data and information on the global monitoring and management of fisheries marine resources. During the Meeting, Ms. Saivason provided updates on the activities of SEAFDEC related to data collection and stock assessment carried out during 2022–2023, while Dr. Supapong presented the results of the project “Collection of Research and Datasets from Data-poor Countries in Southeast Asia Related to SDG Indicator 14.4.1 and Formulation of a Thesaurus for Aquatic Genetic Resource.” In addition, SEAFDEC and Aquatic Sciences and Fisheries Abstracts (ASFA) will continue to collaborate to evaluate the ASFA-SEAFDEC analysis of grey literature for its potential.
Back-to-back with the 13th FIRMS meeting was the “Intersessional Meetings of Aquaculture and Fisheries Subject Groups” on 27–30 June 2023 which served as the forum for agreeing on the common definitions, classifications, and standards for fishery statistics. The Intersessional Meeting also discussed the progress made by Coordinating Working Party (CWP) partners in relation to its scopes and frameworks as well as the activities and achievements of the Aquaculture and Fisheries Subject Groups after the 27CWP in 2022 i.e. revision of the CWP Handbook and web pages; works by the ad hoc Task Groups on Catch Concepts, Fishing Effort Concepts, Reference Harmonization for Capture Fisheries and Aquaculture Statistics, Geospatial matters, Workflow/Confidentiality, Small-scale Fisheries, and Aquaculture, and proposed to update the Aquatic Sciences and Fisheries Information System (ASFIS) List of Species for Fishery Statistics Purposes as well as International Standard Statistical Classification of Fishing Gears (ISSCFG). During the Intersessional Meeting, Ms. Saivason reported the progress of relevant SEAFDEC activities from the second half of 2022 until the first half of 2023 including the recommendations from the First and Second Regional Technical Consultations on Fishery Statistics and Information in Southeast Asia, especially on the data submitted to SEAFDEC by the ASEAN Member States (AMSs) using the FAO questionnaires; capacity building on methodologies for the collection of statistics from small-scale fisheries, and comprehensive analysis of statistical data. She also reported the plan of SEAFDEC to organize the “Third Regional Technical Consultation on Fishery Statistics and Information of Southeast Asia” on 22–24 August 2023 to discuss with the AMSs the finalization of the revised Regional Framework for Fishery Statistics of Southeast Asia. In this connection, SEAFDEC looks forward to the support of the FAO in streamlining the Regional Framework with standards, definitions, and classifications adopted by the CWP.