This Workshop report is a contribution to the new role of the Asia-Pacific Fishery Commission (APFIC) as a regional consultative forum. This forum provides its Members a neutral platform to examine issues affecting the sustainable development of fisheries and aquaculture across Member Nations. One of the major changes in modus operandi was to involve its partners and non-governmental organizations much more in the consultation and discussion processes on issues facing fisheries in the region. The Workshop was attended by 70 participants, brought together from both APFIC member countries as well as regional organizations that have a competence in fisheries, namely the Australian Centre for International Agriculture Research (ACIAR), the Mekong River Commission (MRC), the Network of Aquaculture Centres in Asia-Pacific (NACA), the Southeast Asian Fisheries Development Center (SEAFDEC), the WorldFish Center (WFC), and the Reversing Environmental Degradation in the South China Sea (UNEP/SCS).
The Workshop focused on the emerging issue of increasing demand for trash fish in the region. Based on the regional review of the current status and trends of "low value/trash fish" production and utilization, the Workshop discussed strategies to address the identified issues and design action-oriented outputs to implement the strategies at national, subregional and regional levels.
This Workshop is a clear example of how regional organizations and FAO member countries can join their resources to deal with issues of common interest. The elaboration of the action plan from this meeting is also a strong indication of the will to move forward on tackling some of the issues facing fisheries in the region. This report is the record of the Workshop and is further supported by presentations from the participants which cover in detail national and regional issues relating to low value/trash fish in the Asia-Pacific region. This is the first time the issue has been dealt with so comprehensively in the region and the outputs of this Workshop will provide a benchmark for the future.
Assistant Director-General and
Regional Representative for Asia and the Pacific