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5. Session II - What are the outstanding issues?

The working groups identified a range of issues which fell under nine principal themes:

1. A need for coordination of assistance and for fishery management;

2. Assessment of impacts/scientific studies for decision making;

3. Clarifying fishery policy managing capacity and institutions for coastal management;

4. Aligning assistance with needs;

5. Strengthening human capacity;

6. Preparedness, safety and simple early warning systems;

7. Strengthening communities;

8. Appropriate financial mechanisms and access to them, funds and finance;

9. Post harvest/value adding - opportunities for alternative employment.

The priority issues raised by the countries under each theme, and recommended solutions, are presented in full in Appendix E.

Indonesia - five priority need areas included:

India - five priority need areas included:

Malaysia - five priority need areas included:

Maldives - five priority need areas included:

Maldives recognized that there is an ongoing need to secure financial support for addressing shelter housing issues. An associated factor is implementing appropriate programs to mitigate transitional and long term impacts from displacement from traditional fishing grounds by providing short term employment opportunities and skill retraining. Maldives was beginning to engage in the process of establishing and building community and cooperative organizational capacity and this was an ongoing need. Developing processing technology towards adding value and improving fish quality and safety was identified as a key future direction. Developing financial institutions and mechanisms to underpin capital investment was also recognized as important for the future of the Maldives.

In a discussion session following the group presentations, a question was raised for India regarding whether or not they saw the issue of building social capital as a long or short term exercise. India responded that it was considered a long term process.

Points were also raised regarding clarification on how outstanding current issues were to be dealt with (such as any groups or individuals that may have missed out on rehabilitation support). There was concern that there still may be a relief gap in some countries. There was also a request to consider the danger of exporting problems to other sectors/areas unless comprehensive planning was carried out (for example moving large number of fishers into another sector).

There was also a request that the groups recognize the consideration of regional issues (such as transboundary fisheries/ecosystems and migrant workers). These issues may be a good area for CONSRN to work in. Lastly, there was a concern expressed regarding the common coordination issues. Coordination does not deliver unless there are clear objectives and leadership. The workshop agreed that there are many lessons to be learnt from the different countries.

Myanmar - five priority need areas included:

Problems identified with shelter housing and lack of access to investment capital requires the mobilization of financial resources both within Myanmar and amongst the donor community. It was also recognized that a review of the institutional framework and mechanisms underpinning capital finance is required. Myanmar sees a critical need to develop telecommunications infrastructure to open communication with isolated fisher communities. This would need to be backed up with a dedicated education and awareness program. There is still an immediate need to replace fishing boats damaged or destroyed during the tsunami but Myanmar also recognized that the management of vessel capacity into the future would be a key issue. There is little information on resource status and there is an immediate need to carry out baseline resource assessments and develop fishery management plans.

Sri Lanka - five priority need areas included:

Thailand - five priority need areas included:

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