Harnessing the potentials of inland fishery resources in Southeast Asia: Role of SEAFDEC/IFRDMD
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As inland fisheries received more attention considering its potentials to supply fish required for the growing food needs of the populace, especially the region's rural poor, the ASEAN-SEAFDEC Conference on Sustainable Fisheries for Food Security in the New Millennium "Fish for the People" in November 2001 included in one of the agenda, discussion on Inland Fisheries Development and Management. It was also recognized during the Conference that there is a need to compile real time data and information for the proper valuation of inland fisheries that could be used during planning and management of the inland fisheries sub-sector. Moreover, the Conference also considered it important to establish an approach that would recognize the role of inland fisheries within a multiple use water management system and foster restoration of critical habitats including fish migratory routes. As a result, the Resolution and Plan of Action adopted during the 2001 Conference included the need for the ASEAN countries to promote the importance of inland fisheries and aquaculture in planning and policy formulation, as means of improving food security and livelihoods of the rural people. Moreover, the subsequent Resolution which was adopted during the succeeding ASEAN-SEAFDEC Conference on Sustainable Fisheries for Food Security Towards 2020 "Fish for the People 2020: Adaptation to a Changing Environment" in June 2011, specified that the ASEAN countries should enhance the awareness of stakeholders on the contribution of inland fisheries to food security and sustainable livelihoods, and that all concerned stakeholders should be involved in undertaking development projects that may impact the inland fisheries. As a response to the aforementioned pronouncements, SEAFDEC has sustained its efforts in promoting inland aquaculture through AQD, and inland fisheries development through the newly-established SEAFDEC Inland Fishery Development and Management Department (IFRDMD) in Palembang, Indonesia for the sustainable development and management of inland fisheries in Southeast Asia.