SEAFDEC organized the Webinar entitled “Regional Responses to U.S. Marine Mammal Protection Act” on 2–3 November 2021 through the online platform. The participants include representatives from the SEAFDEC Member Countries as well as SEAFDEC officials from the Secretariat, TD, and MFRDMD. The aims of the Webinar were to update the status of the U.S. Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA) regarding “Implementation of Fish and Fish Product Import Provisions of the Marine Mammal Protection Act” as well as exchange information on major issues/concerns of SEAFDEC Member Countries related to U.S. MMPA.
The resource persons from the U.S. NOAA Fisheries Service and INFOFISH presented the overview and highlights on major issues related to exportation of fish and fishery products from Southeast Asian countries to U.S. as well as trade information on fish and fishery products focusing on products exporting from AMSs to U.S., respectively. Moreover, the participants were also updated on the Implementation of Fish and Fish Product Import Provisions of the MMPA and Applicability for Comparability Finding which would be effective on 1 January 2023. During the discussion, the SEAFDEC Member Countries shared their respective issues, actions, and needs related to the U.S. MMPA. To support the countries in implementing the U.S. MMPA, the technical assistance for capacity building would be provided by the U.S., SEAFDEC, and other international/regional relevant agencies. In addition, SEAFDEC/TD also shared the outcomes of the past capacity building programs such as on record of cetacean sightings and development of fishing gear and technology to reduce bycatch of marine mammals.
The Webinar was one of the activities of the Japanese Trust Fund project “Assistance for Capacity Development in the Region to Address International Fisheries-related Issues.”