SEAFDEC Newsletter Vol.31 No.1
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Entering the 5th decade of its establishment, SEAFDEC has now been moving towards several initiatives to ensure sustainable utilization of fishery resources. With support from the Member Countries, establishment of regional advisory committee for fisheries management under SEAFDEC umbrella has been an on-going discussion, while under the ASEAN framework, the proposal for establishment of the ASEAN Regional Fisheries Management Mechanism (RFMM) has been initiated by the Department of Fisheries Thailand for submission to the ASWGFi in 2008. The other initiative which also has close linkages to fisheries management of the region is the development of RPOA-IUU (covering the South China Sea, Sulu-Sulawesi Seas (Celebes Sea) and the Arafura-Timor Seas); and SEAFDEC has continued to involve in the RPOA activities in order to provide technical contribution in combating IUU and ensuring responsible fishing practices of the region. During this quarter, SEAFDEC also organized an RTC for Member Countries to discuss the issues, and develop the executive summary on the international fisheries issues for submission to the SEAFDEC Council Meeting in April 2008. Small-scale fisheries is one of the highlighted topics, and in response to the request made at the RTC, SEAFDEC is planning to organize a consultation at the end of April to develop common direction among countries in the region in promotion of the small scale fisheries as the sector is considered crucial, and clear direction is required to ensure sustainable development.