direction in Asian APFIC member countries
This paper has been prepared by Poseidon Aquatic Resource Management Ltd.1, on behalf of FAO, as a background paper for the Asia-Pacific Fishery Commission (APFIC) forum held in Malaysia, 16 to 19 August 2006. Its main objective is to provide a regional synthesis of policy content and trends for fisheries and aquaculture in Asian APFIC countries. This synthesis is based on a review of fisheries policy in the following countries: Bangladesh; Cambodia; China PRC; India; Indonesia; Japan; Malaysia; Mynmar; Nepal2; Pakistan; Philippines; Republic of Korea; Sri Lanka; Thailand and Viet Nam.
As agreed with FAO at the beginning of the study, information on policy content and reasons for recent changes in these countries were collected through a desk study approach to complete a standard table template for each country. The table template (see Appendix B page 29) was structured into key sections focusing on a) the use of development and/or management targets, b) natural resource management issues, c) financial, economic and marketing issues, and d) socio-economic and poverty issues. In each section, questions were posed as to whether fisheries/ aquaculture policy in a particular country included any reference to a range of different issues. The main purpose of the tables was not to summarize the complete contents of policy in each country, but rather to pick up on the extent to which countries may be adopting different issues that are topical at the present time, and which might be expected to be increasingly integrated into policy. The resulting detailed information on policy content and direction for all the individual countries reviewed is provided in tabular form in Appendix B.
In completing the individual country tables, the principal sources of information were national fisheries/aquaculture policy documents and legislation, and where possible the consultant has gone back to these core documents. However fisheries/aquaculture plans and policy statements have also been considered, other published literature has been reviewed, and experts in the region have also been consulted. References used by country are provided in Appendix A.
Individual country tables focus on fisheries/aquaculture policy, not other non-sectoral policies, although some comment is provided where possible on non-sectoral policy.
Given the necessary limitations of a desk-study of this nature on such a wide-ranging topic and including a large number of countries, the study nonetheless provides an interesting impression of key policy content and changes in the region, and provides some findings that may be both unexpected and of interest. The paper also provides some comment on the underlying ‘drivers’ resulting in recent changes in fisheries/aquaculture policies.
Finally, it should be noted that this paper focuses primarily on policy content, and not on its implementation. The distinction is important because while policy forms the basis on which the fisheries/aquaculture sector is managed, and specifying ‘good’ policy is therefore important and has its own challenges, the challenges of implementing policy once it has been defined remain a related, but separate, issue. This paper does not attempt to comment in any great detail on the extent to which stated policy is successfully being put into practice in the region. The distinction between policy content and its implementation is also important because it raises the possibility that while some issues may not be explicitly covered in documented fisheries policy, ongoing actions by governments may nevertheless be addressing such issues.
1 Poseidon is a UK-registered company working globally to provide advice on fisheries and aquaculture issues (see www.consult-poseidon.com). Paper prepared by Graeme Macfadyen.
2 There is currently no formal fisheries in Nepal. This paper therefore reports on policy in the other 14 countries for which policy documents and information have been reviewed.