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Thematic Foci

Transboundary Species Management Integrating with Habitat Management

Transboundary Species Management Integrating with Habitat Management

Linking fisheries and habitat management is increasingly becoming recognized as an important element in the plans to promote sub-regional cooperation by looking at shared eco-systems/habitats, shared (groups) of species and related fishing activities. The SEAFDEC-Sweden project has been successful in raising awareness of the need to view fisheries as an integrated part of broader natural resources and environmental management. Furthermore, the focus on social concerns, including working/labour conditions, has led to an increased awareness of the need to address social aspects as fundamental, both in terms of natural resources utilization and in the management of fishing capacity and in combating illegal (IUU) and destructive fishing.

The Andaman Sea and Gulf of Thailand countries are now supportive of the establishment of larger fisheries resources conservation areas, building upon existing management areas (MPA’s, heritage sites, etc) and under the SEAFDEC-Sweden project, the establishment of larger fisheries resources conservation areas with the aim of strengthening existing management efforts has been introduced to the Andaman Sea countries, based on experiences from the Gulf of Thailand. Supporting this, documentation was provided on trans-boundary and migratory species, such as Ancohvy, Indo-Pacific Mackerel and Indian Mackerel (Rastrelliger spp.), Hilsa and related species. Whilst highlighting the nature of multi-species fisheries, the examples of trans-boundary movements indicated areas for potential sub regional cooperation.

Local knowledge is recognised as a factor to be recognized in developing adaptive capacity, specifically on monitoring and control aspects. The Project has highlighted success stories of community involvement in fisheries management using traditional practices, throughout its work.

Monitoring, Record and Control of Large-scale & Small-scale Fishing

Monitoring, Record and Control of Large-scale & Small-scale Fishing

A common problem faced by all participating countries is the encroachment of larger vessels into coastal waters and destructive fishing in critical habitats of importance. To reverse the trend there is a need for countries to come together and agree on joint management approaches. In promoting efforts to address the management of fishing capacity, the SEAFDEC-Sweden project has been able to emphasize important management areas through a sequence of sub-regional and regional meetings. These events have aimed to facilitate regional and sub-regional cooperation and to promote increased efforts with respect to MCS vessel records and inventory and Port monitoring, in order to monitor, assess and record the status of fisheries in the Gulf of Thailand, the Andaman Sea and the Region as a whole.

Policy Development Processes for the Drafting and Implementation of Regional & Sub-regional Agreements

Policy Development Processes for the Drafting and Implementation of Regional & Sub-regional Agreements

Progress in the promotion of sub-regional cooperation has been pursued under the SEAFDEC-Sweden. In 2014-2015, a series of bilateral meetings and workshops between neighboring countries were conducted for each sub-region in order to facilitate discussion and explore effective ways and means of improving fisheries management for sustainability of fisheries resources and fisheries/habitat management in the respective sub-regions:

  • Gulf of Thailand sub-region: In following-up to the 4th Meeting of the Gulf of Thailand sub-region (held in 2013), bilateral dialogues were arranged for countries bordering the Gulf of Thailand, namely: Thailand-Malaysia (5-7 March 2014, in Penang, Malaysia), and Cambodia-Viet Nam (5-7 March 2014 in Phu Quoc, Viet Nam and 6-7 October 2014 in Bangkok, Thailand, respectively) and Cambodia-Thailand (January 2015) and 5th Meeting of the Gulf of Thailand sub-region (28-29 September 2015).
  • Andaman Sea sub-region: Sub-regional consultative meeting was organized on 27-28 May 2014 in Phuket, Thailand to facilitate Thailand-Myanmar sub-regional cooperation for fisheries management around the North Andaman Sea/Myeik Archipelago. The cooperation in this sub-region was built upon the working model for a collaborative management structure as initiated by the CORIN-Asia (through the support of the BOBLME project), as well as the progress of actions being implemented by BOBLME, SEAFDEC and other relevant partners.
  • Mekong River Basin sub-region: Bilateral dialogues were arranged for Cambodia-Lao PDR on 4-6 June 2014 in Siem Reap and on 8-9 October 2014 in Bangkok, respectively. Through such dialogues, it was agreed that a series of workshops and trainings would be convened in 2015 to review legal framework of the two countries, particularly for specific areas of Preah Vihear (Cambodia) and Champasak Province (Lao PDR) aiming to share information and raise awareness among concerned officers.

    During the aforementioned bilateral events, the respective countries provided and shared knowledge and experiences on the current fisheries status and existing legal frameworks, and come up with action plans focusing on fisheries and habitat management, particularly for critical habitats, trans-boundary stocks and economically important species (e.g. Rastrelliger spp, neritic tunas), habitats and protected areas around transboundary waters. Furthermore, the events turned out to be fruitful with the formulation of joint work plans that address problems of IUU fishing and encroachment of foreign fishing vessels, and improve records of catch/landing at ports which would facilitate the management of fishing capacity (monitoring, record and control).

    For Cambodia-Viet Nam cooperation, significant progress has been made through the signing of the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) between the two countries in April 2014. Such MOA aims to enhance communication and corporation between Kien Giang Province of Viet Nam and Kampot and Kep Provinces of Cambodia, focusing to support fisheries sector by implementing joint actions in the areas of common interest of these coastal provinces. For Cambodia-Lao PDR, a draft MOA was prepared, aiming to enhance communication and cooperation in the areas of common concern between Stung Treng and Preah Vihear Provinces of Cambodia and Champasak Province of Lao PDR.

    In addition, as part of the efforts in strengthening Thailand-Malaysia cooperation, SEAFDEC/TD conducted a one and a half year (2014-2015) study on “Strengthening Malaysian and Thai Partnership in support of Joint Fisheries Planning and Management in the Western Gulf of Thailand”, which aimed to gather preliminary information on fishing efforts (fishing vessels, fishing gears, and people engaged in fishing activities) and landing of catches. It is anticipated that such information could be used for improving the monitoring and control of fishing activities as well as strengthening the cooperation between Malaysia and Thailand in the future.

Regional Cooperation on Sustainable Management of Neritic Tuna Resources in Southeast Asia

Regional Cooperation on Sustainable Management of Neritic Tuna Resources in Southeast Asia

In a region-wide perspective, the SEAFDEC-Sweden project had successfully advanced the regional dialogue among government agencies, NGOs and private sector to develop a regional plan of action to ensure sustainable utilization of neritic tunas. The Experts Group Meeting on Regional Plan of Action on Sustainable Utilization of Neritic Tuna in the ASEAN Region was held on 18-20 June 2014, in Krabi Province, Thailand. The Experts Group Meeting resulted in the successful development of the draft “Regional Plan of Action on Sustainable Utilization of Neritic Tunas in the ASEAN Region” (RPOA-Neritic Tuna), with the establishment of the Scientific Working Group for obtaining better information on status and trends of neritic tuna, and capacity building program to support future implementation of the RPOA-Neritic Tuna. The Project also hosted the 1st Meeting of the Scientific Working Group on Neritic Tuna Stock Assessment in the Southeast Asian Waters from 18-20 November 2014 in Shah Alam, Malaysia.

In 2015, The RPOA-Neritic Tuna adopted by the SEAFDEC Council in April 2015 and by the ASEAN Sector Working Group on Fisheries (ASWGFi) in June 2015. The project also continued to provide the platform for the “2nd Meeting of the Scientific Working Group (SWG) on Neritic Tuna Stock Assessment in Southeast Asian Waters” from 15 to 17 June 2015 at the Research Institute for Marine Fisheries (RIMF) in Hai Phong, Viet Nam. The Meeting agreed to carry out two main activities, namely: Genetic Study for Neritic Tunas to be conducted in 24 sampling sites covering the South China Sea, Gulf of Thailand and Andaman Sea; and Stock Assessment for Long Tail Tuna and Eastern Little Tuna/Kawakawa using a production model. Further, the meeting also agreed on the final Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for Genetic Study and Data Collection of Neritic Tunas. Click here for Neritic Tuna Website

The Regional Plan of Action for Management of Fishing Capacity (RPOA-Capacity)

The Regional Plan of Action for Management of Fishing Capacity (RPOA-Capacity)

The series of consultation had been conducted in order to compile information and to develop the draft of the Regional Plan of Action for Management of Fishing Capacity (RPOA-Capacity), which could serve as basis for the AMSs in formulating relevant policies and provide an enabling environment for clear direction and understanding of the need to effectively manage the fishing capacity at national level. In addition, the need for AMSs to strengthening sub-regional and regional cooperation in managing fishing capacity in the trans-boundary areas such as in the Gulf of Thailand (GOT), Andaman Sea, Sulu-Sulawesi Seas, and other sub-regional areas where the fisheries are needed to manage together. On 19-21 August 2015, the project co-hosted the Experts Group Meeting on the Regional Plan of Action for Managing Fishing Capacity (RPOA-Capacity) organized in Songkhla Province, Thailand on 19-21 August 2015. The Experts Group Meeting was convened in response to the suggestion made during First Regional Technical Consultation (RTC) on Development of Regional Plan of Action for Management of Fishing Capacity in Southeast Asia which was organized in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia in February 2015. The zero draft of the RPOA-Capacity for Southeast Asia were draft by renowned experts and will be finalized at the 2nd RTC on the Development of Regional Plan of Action for Management of Fishing Capacity in Southeast Asia would be convened in December 2015, and to be tabled for endorsement at the 49th Meeting of SEAFDEC Council in 2016. <<Download ASEAN Regional Plan of Action for the Management of Fishing Capacity (RPOA-Capacity), Report of the Experts Group Meeting on Development of the RPOA-Capacity and Report of the 2nd Regional Technical Consultation on Development of RPOA-Capacity>>

Cross Cutting References

Cross Cutting References

A number of cross-cutting elements address during the course of project implementation that include gender, environment, climate change and capacity building.

The basic method for mainstreaming these issues is to incorporate them into the design of capacity-building and the development of local initiatives, livelihood diversification, etc rather than as an add-on to suggested activities. Capacity-building will be incorporated events at regional, sub-regional and on-site events.

Climate change and adaptive capacity

It is important that organizations are made aware and can report on how management intervention and local community organization is contributing to building up adaptive capacity.

Local knowledge and actions amongst ethnic groups and coastal/inland communities, in terms of responses to natural hazards and will build up adaptive capacity in response to climate variability and climate change were emphasized.

Gender equality, livelihood and social well being

Similarly, organizations and institutions need to be continuously made aware on the importance to strengthen the role of women on building local capacity and resilience. The promotion of equal roles for men and women, in terms of social, political, cultural and economic contexts is important. In the fisheries sector, the important role of women in, and contribution to, economic and social development has been widely recognized but should be further emphasized. In many of the member countries, women can exercise their rights and participate on an equal footing with men in many aspects of fishing based livelihoods. Usually, women play a major role in handling the supply of fish and the processing of fisheries products both from small-scale and commercial fisheries sectors. Women are dominating actors in the fish markets throughout the Region.

While noting that women play an important role in the livelihood of coastal fishing and of inland fisheries dependent communities, there is a need to recognize that in the process of change envisaged in efforts to manage habitat and fisheries, to reduce fishing capacity and to diversify income opportunities and to build up resilience and adaptive capacity, it is important that all family members, including women, are included in providing new livelihood and employment opportunities. In the process strengthen the role and position of women.

Through the Project, subcontracts provided to locally based organization and civil society organizations will ensure the involvement of women and that the capacity-building of women in fishing and inland communities will be enhanced. In rural villages it is also an imperative that any approach taken towards improved well-being, needs to be based on an appropriate gender balance if it is to be successful.

Livelihoods in coastal and inland fishing communities, and working opportunities for fisher-folk and migratory work force in the fishing sector (including post-harvest and processing) were also covered by the Project. Through its consultative processes the Project has highlighted the relatively poor standards of working conditions, labour welfare and the treatment of migratory workers in the ASEAN fishing industry, from the perspective of the ASEAN Community by 2015.

Sub-contract with local partners namely: CORIN-Asia Cambodia, Learning Institute and CORIN-Asia Myanmar