Addressing the issues and concerns on Anguillid eel fisheries in Southeast Asia
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The SEAFDEC Inland Fishery Resources Development and Management Department (SEAFDEC/IFRDMD) has been mandated to “monitor the state of exploitation and utilization of inland fishery resources and to come up with scientific basis for the sustainable development and management of such resources.” After its establishment in 2014, SEAFDEC/IFRDMD was tasked to address one of the concerns that need immediate attention, i.e. the conservation and management of the tropical Anguillid eels considering that this resource could be proposed for listing in Appendix II of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) and as such, could impact on the fisheries of this economically important species of the Southeast Asian region. It was therefore deemed necessary for SEAFDEC/IFRDMD to initiate a compilation of the available data and information on the biology, population status, use, and trade of these species, which had been carried out through the “Regional Study on Tropical Anguillid eels in Southeast Asia” with the collaboration of concerned ASEAN Member States (AMSs). With funding support from the Japan-ASEAN Integration Fund (JAIF) for three-year period from 2017 to 2018 and the Japanese Trust Fund (JTF) from 2015 to 2018, the regional study is specifically aimed at understanding the status and trends of tropical Anguillid eel fisheries as well as information on trade and management policies in the Southeast Asian region, for the conservation and sustainable utilization of the resource.