On 18 August 2019, SEAFDEC organized the side event “SEAFDEC Experiences on Sharks” during the CoP18 of CITES in Geneva to disseminate the experiences of SEAFDEC and the lessons learnt on the conservation and management of sharks in the Southeast Asian region. Focusing on capacity building, the programs of activities spearheaded by SEAFDEC in collaboration with international and national organizations as well as the SEAFDEC Member Countries include improvement of data collection on sharks, technical support on the implementation of NPOA-Sharks, and assistance for the development of Non-detrimental Findings on sharks.
The speaker from SEAFDEC Secretariat, the Policy and Program Coordinator, Dr. Worawit Wanchana was supported by the Senior Fisheries Officer and Head of the Marine Resource Management Office, CITES and Conservation of Endangered Species Unit of the Department of Fisheries Sabah in Malaysia, Mr. Lawrance Kissol, Jr. in sharing the experiences of the Southeast Asian countries on the conservation and management of sharks.
It was very noticeable during the Side Event that strong support was expressed by the audience of CoP18 Parties including the observers, on the initiatives of the Southeast Asian countries in promoting the conservation and management of sharks. The more than 70 participants attending the Side Event congratulated SEAFDEC for carrying out a number of activities over a decade with technical support from FAO Rome Headquarters and Malaysia-based SEAFDEC Marine Fishery Resources Development and Management Department. For its part, SEAFDEC is very thankful to the donors for providing financial support that enabled SEAFDEC to implement the shark programs, including the Japanese Trust Fund for SEAFDEC through the Fisheries Agency of the Government of Japan and the EU-CITES sharks program, among others. The expert from FAO Rome Headquarters who attended the Side Event congratulated SEAFDEC for fully utilizing the existing expertise on sharks and for developing effective manual and training packages in its capacity building activities for the benefit of the ASEAN Member States