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The Fifty-first Meeting of the Council Southeast Asian Fisheries Development Center (SEAFDEC)

At the kind invitation of the Government of the Republic of Indonesia, the Fifty-first Meeting of the SEAFDEC Council was convened in Surabaya, East Java, Indonesia, from 18 to 22 March 2019, hosted by the Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries (MMAF) of Indonesia.

In attendance at the Meeting were the Council Directors and delegations from the SEAFDEC Member Countries, namely: Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Japan, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Viet Nam, as well as officials of the SEAFDEC Secretariat and Departments, and collaborating organizations. The Inaugural Ceremony of the Fifty-first Meeting of the SEAFDEC Council was held on 18 March and presided over by the Minister of Marine Affairs and Fisheries (MMAF) of Indonesia, Ms. Susi Pudjiastuti who was represented by the Vice Governor of East Java Province, Indonesia, Dr. Emil Elestianto Dardak. The Meeting unanimously elected the Alternate Council Director for Indonesia, Prof. Sjarief Widjaja on behalf Mr. Nilanto Perbowo as the Chairperson of the SEAFDEC Council for the Year 2019-2020, succeeding, H.E. Eng Cheasan, SEAFDEC Council Director for Cambodia who served as the Chairperson of the SEAFDEC Council for the year 2018-2019.

While taking note of the progress and achievements of SEAFDEC in 2018, the Council approved the proposed program of activities to be undertaken in 2019. The Council then discussed the region’s priority issues related to combating IUU fishing that include the progress of implementation of the “ASEAN Guidelines for Preventing the Entry of Fish and Fishery Products from IUU Fishing Activities into the Supply Chain,” the use of “Regional Fishing Vessels Record for Vessels 24 meters in Length and Over,” as well as the progress on the promotion of the electronic “ASEAN Catch Documentation Scheme” for marine capture fisheries. The Council also provided recommendations toward the implementation of the “Regional Cooperation for Supporting the Implementation of Port State Measures in the ASEAN Region,” and the “Regional Plan of Action for the Management of Fishing Capacity.”

On the issues related to regional cooperation to promote sustainable fisheries and aquaculture in the Southeast Asian region, the Council provided directives for SEAFDEC toward the implementation of the “Regional Plan of Action on Sustainable Utilization of Neritic Tunas in the ASEAN Region” and noted the the extensive works undertaken by SEAFDEC on stock assessment and risk assessment of neritic tuna species with a view to serve as basis for sustainable utilization of neritic tuna resources. The Council also adopted the “Policy Guidelines for Regional Conservation and Management of Tropical Anguillid Eel Resources in Southeast Asia.”

Furthermore, the Council noted the progress made by SEAFDEC in development of the “Regional Technical Guidelines and Mechanism for Early Warning System for Aquatic Diseases”; and also adopted the “Regional Guidelines on Cold Chain Management for Seafood” for further submission and endorsement to the ASEAN mechanism. On CITES-related issues, the Council endorsed the “Positions of the ASEAN-SEAFDEC Member Countries on the Proposed Listing of Commercially-exploited Aquatic Species into the CITES Appendices at the CITES-CoP18.”

The Council also approved the “SEAFDEC Gender Strategy” for implementation by the SEAFDEC Secretariat and Departments.

The Council recognized the close cooperation between SEAFDEC and international/regional organizations/agencies in undertaking activities that address the priorities of Member Countries towards the sustainable development of fisheries and aquaculture in Southeast Asia.

At the closing of the Fifty-first Meeting of the SEAFDEC Council, the Council extended the appreciation to the Government of the Republic of Indonesia for the excellent hosting of the SEAFDEC Council Meeting and the warm hospitality accorded to the Council throughout the event. The Council then announced that the Fifty-second Meeting of the SEAFDEC Council in 2020 would be hosted by the Government of Japan.

For further information, please contact:
Ms. Nualanong Tongdee, Information Program Coordinator, SEAFDEC Secretariat, Thailand (nual@seafdec.org)
Ms. Lilly Aprilya Pregiwati, SEAFDEC National Coordinator for Indonesia (lapregiwati@gmail.com)