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54. The Workshop considered the range of IUU fishing problems prevalent in Southeast Asia and developed priority listings by country. In turn, a priority ranking of issues for the subregion was developed. Participants also proposed a list of actions to be taken to address the IUU fishing problems that had been identified. The priority listing of problems by country and for the region and the proposed actions to combat these problems are attached as Appendix M.

55. Discussion of the main IUU fishing issues reflected a good understanding of the problems that countries are encountering. It was evident that many of the problems were similar although the severity of the problems varied among countries. Participants were aware of the merits of adopting both “hard” (e.g. confiscation of catch and vessels) and “soft” (awareness building) approaches to combating IUU fishing, recognizing that a mix of measures were needed depending on national policies and conditions and whether nationals or foreign fishers were involved.

56. Some participants stressed the relevance and importance of bilateral and regional cooperation in matters relating to IUU fishing, citing activities such as the sharing of information about IUU fishers and vessels and joint enforcement programmes. It was noted that such programmes had proven to be effective in facilitating coordinated MCS arrangements and reducing the incidence of IUU fishing in some instances.

57. The use of prohibited gears and fishing methods generated considerable discussion in the Workshop. Some participants pointed out that countries had introduced innovative measures to address these problems including the imposition of travel/movement restrictions on persons found using dynamite for fishing and requiring persons in possession of dynamite to justify why they had dynamite in their possession. However, the Workshop agreed that the use of prohibited gears and fishing methods was symptomatic of deeper-seated social and economic problems that needed to be addressed concurrently if the fisheries problems were to be alleviated.

58. Some participants expressed the view that the ranking of IUU fishing problems in Appendix M reflected the severity and prevalence of problems in Southeast Asia. However, it was pointed out that some of the issues could be more precisely defined and clustered into groups. A concern was expressed that the ranking of “inadequate legislation for IUU fishing/MCS” underestimated the adequateness of legislation in the subregion to effectively deal with IUU fishing and MCS. Similarly, it was noted that the listing of issues focused principally on marine issues and that some issues of concern to inland fisheries had been overlooked.

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