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Asia-Pacific Fishery Commission

Report of the Thirty-fourth Session of the Asia-Pacific Fishery Commission (APFIC)

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This is the final report of the Thirty-fourth Session of the Asia-Pacific Fishery Commission (APFIC) convened from 12 to 14 February 2016, hosted by the Ministry of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Development, Sri Lanka. The Session was attended by 15 APFIC member countries and comprised 29 participants and 9 observers. The Commission reviewed the inter-sessional work programme of APFIC and endorsed the report of the meeting of the Seventy-fifth APFIC Executive Committee. The Commission endorsed the recommendations of the Sixth Regional Consultative Forum Meeting in full and recommended that these should form the future biennial work plan of APFIC. The Commission requested that the APFIC biennial aquaculture overview include more details on seaweeds in future editions. The Commission recommended two options for APFIC member countries to follow up on cooperation to combat illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing. One option was the development of an ASEAN Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on combatting IUU fishing; a second alternative or supporting action could be the broadening of the membership of the Regional Plan of Action to Deter and Eliminate IUU Fishing (RPOA-IUU). The Commission endorsed the recommendations of the APFIC Regional Consultative Workshop “Improving the contribution of culture-based fisheries and fishery enhancements in inland waters to blue growth” convened from 25 to 27 May 2015 in Negombo, Sri Lanka, and the accompanying technical guidance document. The Commission welcomed the FAO blue growth initiative programme and several members expressed their interest to be included in the activities. The Commission endorsed the regional strategy and action plan developed by the regional consultative workshop on “Promotion of sustainable intensification of aquaculture for food and nutritional security in the Asia-Pacific”. The Commission recognized the contribution of the regional Global Environment Facility (GEF) projects with which they have been engaged and noted that the outputs of these projects have relevance for enhancing fishery management and capacity in the region. Several member countries expressed their interest in greater involvement in these initiatives. The Commission requested the Secretariat to proceed with an update of the Strategic Plan, which would be reviewed by the Seventy-sixth APFIC Executive Committee meeting. The Commission endorsed the forthcoming biennial Work Plan (March 2016 – March 2018) with a number of amendments. The Commission recommended that future financial arrangements for the Commission be included in the agenda of the Seventy-sixth Executive Committee. The Commission elected new officers and agreed that the Thirty-fifth Session of APFIC will be convened in Philippines in 2018.