SEAFDEC Newsletter Vol.43 No.2
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The current COVID-19 pandemic prompted the SEAFDEC Secretariat to facilitate the conduct of the “Fifty-second Meeting of SEAFDEC Council” through teleconference on 19 May 2020 and Ad Referendum Session thereafter. After taking note of the progress of activities and achievements of SEAFDEC in 2019, the SEAFDEC Council approved the proposed programs of activities to be undertaken by SEAFDEC in 2020, and endorsed the Draft Resolution and Plan of Action on Sustainable Fisheries for Food Security for the ASEAN Region Towards 2030. The said Resolution and Plan of Action was subsequently endorsed by the 28th Meeting of ASEAN Sectoral Working Group on Fisheries organized online on 24 June 2020, for submission to the higher authorities under the ASEAN mechanism. The COVID-19 outbreak which has caused widespread restrictions on travel, abruptly called for the indefinite postponement of most of SEAFDEC’s workplan, and as a result, several essential activities in this quarter were carried out on online platform. These included the “Teleseminar on Effective Methods to Promote Fisheries Resources Management in Small-scale Fisheries” which highlighted the sharing of information and experiences on approaches to fisheries resources management in small-scale fisheries in Southeast Asia; and the “SEAFDECSweden Project Final Review Meeting” which discussed the achievements as well as the challenges and lessons learned from the Project that focus on strengthening the capacity of the concerned Southeast Asian countries on the management of fisheries and habitats, management of fishing capacity, and combating IUU fishing. Notwithstanding the current situation and for the management of SEAFDEC activities to be carried out online, the “Inter-Departmental Meeting on Online Training Course” was organized focusing on the basics of online training, module development, training processes as well as the hardware and software needed for the success of the online-orchestrated activities of SEAFDEC. Nevertheless, in view of their necessities, some activities had to be conducted by the Departments face-to-face, such as the “Workshop on Analysis of Sharks and Rays Landing Data for Determination of the Maximum Sustainable Yield” organized by MFRDMD; and the “Workshop on the Development the Ecosystem Approach to Fisheries Management (EAFM) Plan” organized by TD. Furthermore, the preliminary inspection of the fish passage constructed with assistance from TD was carried out to evaluate its performance as an effective pathway during the upstream migration of economically important freshwater fishes. During the second quarter of 2020, the baton of the IFRDMD Deputy Chief was passed on from Dr. Takuro Shibuno after serving from 2018 to 2020, to Mr. Toshiya Suzuki starting March 2020. In addition, the term of assignment of AQD Deputy Chief, Dr. Koh-ichiro Mori, was completed after more than two years.