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Asia-Pacific Fishery Commission

Report of the Fifth Regional Consultative Forum Meeting, Responsible management of fisheries and aquaculture in the Asia-Pacific

Asia-Pacific Fishery Commission. 2014. Report of the Fifth Regional Consultative Forum Meeting, Responsible management of fisheries and aquaculture in the Asia-Pacific, Hyderabad, India, 19–21 June 2014. FAO Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific, Bangkok, Thailand, RAP Publication 2014/23, 86 p. 

 

The Fifth Regional Consultative Forum Meeting of the Asia-Pacific Fishery Commission (Fifth RCFM) “Responsible management of fisheries and aquaculture in the Asia-Pacific” was hosted by the Government of India and convened in Hyderabad, India, 19–21 June 2014. The event was attended by 85 participants from some 17 APFIC member governments, various international and regional organizations/partners and the private sector. The Fifth RCFM provides a platform for the government of APFIC Members, international and regional fisheries/aquaculture organizations and economic bodies and the private sector to discuss pressing and emerging issues relating to the development and management of fisheries and aquaculture in Asia and the Pacific. Unlike previous RCFMs, the Fifth RCFM had parallel fisheries and aquaculture sessions in addition to the general sessions and was notable for the participation of the private sector.

The “fisheries and environment” parallel session “Lessons learned and future directions of the marine environmental and fisheries initiatives in the Asia region” was aimed at improving coordination between ongoing and pipeline programmes concerned with marine ecosystems, capture fisheries and the marine environment in the region. This session built on previous networking activities that took place in 2013 and is a contribution to the Global Environment Facility-International Waters learning process. It drew together best practice lessons, identified gaps and needs, and made recommendations on actions and areas for future cooperation. The partnership between the Bay of Bengal Large Marine Ecosystem (BOBLME) Project and the Asia-Pacific Fishery Commission (APFIC), in convening this session, combines their respective competences. BOBLME is a regional, large marine ecosystem project whilst the Asia-Pacific Fishery Commission has regional convening ability together with regional policy and advisory functions. The main advantage of this regional approach is that it goes beyond global coordination activities, which typically involve only project managers by also involving a selection of national project coordinators and country representatives. The “aquaculture” session “Promoting sustainable intensification of aquaculture for food and nutritional security in the Asia-Pacific region” focused on promoting sustainable intensification of aquaculture (SIA) in the region. Intensification of aquaculture has been the main factor in the rapid increase in production in the APFIC region over the past two decades and has made significant contributions to both food security and rural livelihoods in the region. For many years the region has contributed over 90 percent of world aquaculture production, supplying nearly 50 percent of the food fish for the world population. Sharing the experiences and progress in different areas relating to sustainable aquaculture intensification, the session identified gaps and recommended policy strategies to promote SIA. In particular it focused on the roles and areas for cooperation and coordination between governmental, research, non-governmental and the private sector.

The consolidated recommendations of the Fifth RCFM adopted in plenary session were subsequently presented to the Thirty-third Session of APFIC which was convened immediately after the Fifth RCFM. The Thirty-third APFIC Session endorsed these recommendations as a guide to work priorities for FAO, country governments and international and regional organizations related to fisheries and aquaculture. The effectiveness of the process of linking diverse regional stakeholders in this dialogue is demonstrated by the consensus achieved on the practical priorities for action. The follow-up processes which spin off from this event are also an indicator of impact and I am certain that the Regional Consultation Forum Meeting of the Asia-Pacific Fishery Commission will continue to play a valuable role in facilitating regional priority setting.