Welcome Remarks by
Professor Widi A. Pratikto, Secretary-General of the Ministry of Marine
Affairs and Fisheries and APFIC Chairperson
His Excellency The Minister of Marine Affairs and Fisheries of the Republic of Indonesia, Mr Ndiaga Gueye, Chief, International Institutions and Liaison Service, FAO Fisheries Department, The Honorable Governor of North Sulawesi, Distinguish Participants, Ladies and Gentlemen,
Welcome to the opening ceremony of the Thirtieth APFIC Main Session. As the APFIC Chairman of the period of 2007-2009, I am very grateful that during the APFIC Second RCFM we have experienced a very lively and informative discussion which resulted in a very important and useful recommendation for the Thirtieth APFIC Main Session.
Several issues have been raise during the RCFM such as fishery management, capacity reduction, product certification and IUU Fishing, and the presentation from various experts from the region of Asia-Pacific yielded ways to address them or at least has illuminate our mind to further search for better way to solve them.
We have also been informed regarding the success stories from our region which has been supported whole-heartedly by the FAO in general and APFIC in particular. These are a very good example which all of us could refer to. I sincerely hope that APFIC can continuously assist all member countries so that all member countries have their own success stories.
Excellencies, distinguish participants, Ladies and Gentlemen,
In formulating the regional policy on marine and fisheries in Asia-Pacific we should not forget that the focus for fishery management and capacity reduction should not harm the livelihood of artisanal fishermen. Although the meaning of the term varied among APFIC member countries, I believe that most fishermen in the Region of Asia-Pacific still live under subsistence level. We should empower and build their capacity, through co-management scheme, where the government and the people are equal partner to manage fishery resources.
Aquaculture is an alternative which has to be the focused in every APFIC member countries policy in developing their fishery policy. To address the knowledge gap, sharing between members should be encouraged and put into policy. Aquaculture can address at least partially the issues of capacity reduction, conservation and also renewable food source and security as well as nutrition to the people.
Excellencies, distinguish participants, Ladies and Gentlemen,
In addressing the issue of IUU fishing however, we should not hesitate to enforce the legal and binding measures such Port State Measures. IUU fishing has mitigates the effort to sustainably manage fishery resources which cause the fish stock to decreases alarmingly without the slightest chance of regeneration. Concerted action by APFIC member countries to cooperate in combating the IUU fishing is clearly and definitely needed. Together we could definitely put an end to this destructive activity. Transnational crime needs transnational law enforcement. In the case of IUU fishing, legal and binding measures is needed and enforced internationally and regionally.
For product certification, we should remember that not every APFIC member countries have the capacity to produce fishery related product with international quality. Assistance in the form of capacity building in production and quality control should be given to the countries which needed it. I hope that APFIC, as one of the oldest fishery bodies in Asia-Pacific, could facilitate assistance in this important issue.
Excellencies, distinguish participants, Ladies and Gentlemen,
I would like to remind you that the most important fact of policy is to implement and to monitor its implementation. From the recommendation of the Second RCFM, I sincerely believe that we should be able to formulate a new policy or to amend the old one. We could also intensify our monitoring effort to the implementation of all the regional policies which has been ratified by the APFIC member countries. Perhaps the keyword is the political will of every government to implement every international measure which has been design to implement the fishery management, capacity reduction, product certification and combating IUU fishing efforts.
Excellencies, distinguish participants, Ladies and Gentlemen,
Thank you very much for your hard work during the Second RCFM, however we still have some hard work ahead of us. These next few days during Thirtieth APFIC Main Session would be a testament of our commitment to the development of fishery in the region of Asia-Pacific. Therefore let us continuously work in the friendly, democratic and encouraging manner during the Thirtieth APFIC Main Session in which we always been work during the Second RCFM.
Again, thank you very much, God Bless and God Speed.
Opening Speech by
by H.E. V. Adm. (Ret.) Freddy Numberi, The Minister of Marine Affairs and
Fisheries of the Republic of Indonesia
Excellencies, Distinguish Participants, Ladies and Gentlemen,
Welcome to the Thirtieth Main Session of the Asia-Pacific Fishery Commission. On the behalf of the government of the Republic of Indonesia allow me to extend our warmest welcome to all of you. It is an honor for us to host such an important and defining session in the region of Asia and the Pacific.
The Government of the Republic of Indonesia has always been cooperating with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nation as a part of its commitment to support any effort to eradicate hunger, ensuring food security and good nutrition through the practice of agriculture, fishery and forestry. While In the field of Marine and Fisheries, The Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries of the Republic of Indonesia and the Asia-Pacific Fishery Commission has always been working together in concerted efforts to develop sustainable and responsible utilization of fisheries, aquaculture and related aquatic resources in the region of Asia-Pacific.
To put those commitments, the Republic of Indonesia has initiated the Regional Plan of Action (RPOA) to promote responsible fisheries practices including combating the illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing practices. The RPOA is the first of regional plan of its kind in the world and based the implementation of the FAO International Plan of Action to prevent, deter, and Eliminate Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated Fishing (IPOA-IUU). It was adopted during the 3rd Senior Official Meeting and Regional Ministerial Meeting on Promoting Responsible Fishing Practices in Bali, Indonesia from May 2-4, 2007. The meeting was followed by 10 countries in the region of Asia-Pacific: Indonesia, Australia, Malaysia, Viet Nam, Filipina, Timor-Leste, Singapore, Thailand, Papua New Guinea, and Brunei Darussalam.
Excellencies, Distinguish Participants, Ladies and Gentlemen,
The global phenomenon of climate change demands our undivided attention, it has affected agricultural, fisheries and forestry sectors in all countries including in the region of Asia and Pacific. The phenomenon posed a significant threat to the agricultural, forestry and fisheries commodities and production systems and also to food security. We should put this as one of the primary consideration in the Thirtieth APFIC Main Session because we are trying to formulate the regional policy in the Asia and Pacific.
In addressing this phenomenon, the Republic of Indonesia's initiate the Coral Triangle Initiative or CTI on Coral Reefs, Fisheries, and Food security. This initiative centered on high-level, joint political commitments by the six governments of the region, namely Indonesia, the Philippines, Malaysia, East Timor, Papua New Guinea, and the Solomon Islands supported by significant international funding commitments. The intention is to accelerate the development of networks of marine protected areas across the Coral Triangle, and to formalize collaboration with other governments in the Coral Triangle Region.
I would like to remind you that the 2nd Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Ocean Related (APEC) Ministerial Meeting which was held in Bali September 13-17, 2005, adopted the Bali Plan of Action which seeks to balance conservation and management of marine resources with regional economic growth under the motto of "Toward Healthy Ocean and Coast for the Sustainable Growth and Prosperity of Asia-Pacific Community". Also in this meeting the ministers recommend to increase their efforts to strengthen and update fisheries governance and management including through reform of and cooperation in Regional Fisheries Management Organizations (RFMOs).
Again, the Republic of Indonesia is a full member of Indian Ocean Tuna Commission or IOTC to show our concern in the effort of sustainable management of tuna and tuna-like species in the regions of Asia and Africa. The Republic of Indonesia is also a full member of the Commission for the Conservation of Southern Blue fin Tuna or CCSBT and currently a cooperating non-member of the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC) to show our commitment to the conservation and the management of highly migratory species of fish. By joining these Regional Fisheries Management Organizations (RFMOs), the Government of the Republic of Indonesia put its concern and commitment regarding conservation into implementation.
We should not forget that the aim of the policy making session that we are going to do is to eradicate hunger and ensure food security and good nutrition through sustainable and responsible utilization of natural marine and fishery resources. However, we also have to remember that most of the fishermen in the region of Asia-Pacific live in subsistence level. These small and artisanal fishermen are prone to changes, they will have difficulties to understand and follow innovations in their livelihood even if it is for the better. This is because being fishermen have been their livelihood for generations.
Therefore these small and artisanal fishermen should be the focus of our policy making in order to ensure their continuous development, empowerment and improvement toward better future and live for them and their family. We should not put them on the line in because of our effort to sustainably and responsibly manage the marine and fishery natural resources.
I would like to remind you that a high level conference of heads of state (HOS), scientists, non-governmental organizations, journalists, private sectors and stakeholders discussing global ocean issues with the title of World Ocean Conference will be held in Manado, Indonesia in May 11-15, 2009. I believe that this conference is a good opportunity for all of us to once again working together to address the global issues which affected our ocean.
The ocean is our last frontier, the last region on earth with largely untapped natural resources and enormous potentials, which I believe, mankind's largest common capital for its development and survival. What we begin now in good faith and conciously to our ocean, will show our children and their children's children, the right way to utilize, reserach and to manage the ocean is to do it together as one.
Allow me to show our gratitude to all of you for attending and participating in the Thirtieth Asia-Pacific Fishery Commission (APFIC) Main Session. I believe that in the next few days you will be engaged in an interesting process of policy making based on shared vision on the field of marine and fisheries. Although we had had our differences, we share a common vision to develop the marine and fishery sector in the Asia-Pacific region. I sincerely believe that you will have a very good and fruitful session. Enjoy your stay at Manado.
Thank you very much,
Opening Remarks by
Mr Ndiaga Gueye, Chief for International Institutions and Liaison Service
FAO Fisheries and Aquaculture Economic and Policy Division (FIEP)
Good morning, on behalf of Mr Ichiro Nomura, Assistant Director-General, Fisheries and Aquaculture Department of the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations, it is my great pleasure to extend a warm welcome to you to this Thirtieth Session of the Asia-Pacific Fishery Commission (APFIC).
We are honoured to have with us today The Hon. Freddy Numberi, Minister, Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries, Indonesia. Excellency, thank you for taking time from your busy schedule to join us. FAO is very grateful to the Government and the people of Indonesia for the hospitality and for the excellent support and commitment that has been received for the organization of this session. I am also pleased to see that we have very good attendance here today. This clearly reflects the importance you all attach to APFIC and to FAO's work in fisheries. Now, without taking too much of your time, I would like to touch briefly on some of the issues you will be discussing during the session.
First, Status and potential of fisheries and aquaculture: The importance of fisheries and aquaculture in the Asia-Pacific region can hardly be overestimated. There are millions people who depend on fisheries and aquaculture and related activities in fish processing, marketing and distribution. Fisheries and aquaculture also significantly contribute to food security in the region. In addition to these benefits, aquatic resources exploited by capture fisheries and aquaculture offer an opportunity for major sustainable contributions to economic growth, poverty alleviation and food supply. Well-managed fisheries resources can contribute more to GDP than is currently the case. However, the fisheries resources in the region are under threat. More and more fish stocks are getting over-exploited and their habitats are being degraded. The trend towards unsustainable levels of fishing capacity and fishing effort is of great concern to stakeholders. Reversing this trend through efficient and effective fisheries management policies and approaches has become very urgent for fisheries managers.
Second, Building on the theme of its first meeting that was held in Kuala Lumpur in 2006, the Second Consultative Forum Meeting concluded last week in this beautiful city of Manado focused on "Adapting to emerging challenges: promoting effective arrangements for managing fisheries and aquaculture in the Asia-Pacific region". I hope that your deliberations will lead to the identification of mechanisms and strategies that can/will facilitate the implementation of the main recommendations of the Forum meeting. This agenda item is a key one.
Third, the Commission will also be asked to identify the major theme for APFIC biennium work plan for 2009/10 and identify major issues that will be focus of APFIC's work. The Executive Committee has suggested a number of topics in its last meeting. Your guidance is needed on a number of recommen-dations that were made by the last session of the Executive Committee.
Mr Chairman, distinguished delegates, before I conclude my remarks, I would just like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has enthusiastically contributed to the organization of this Thirtieth Session of APFIC. It is our belief that APFIC constitutes an irreplaceable forum for the consideration of major fisheries issues in this region and to agree on ways of implementing plans developed to address these issues. It is also encouraging to note progress made year after year thanks to the continuous commitment and ownership of its members. FAO is committed to continue to work with, the countries, the donors, the IGO and our NGO partners for the well-being of fishers and fish farmers in the Asia-Pacific region. I wish you fruitful deliberations.
Thank you for your attention.
Dr Siri Ekamarai, Secretary-General of the Southeast Asian
Fisheries Development Center (SEAFDEC)
Mr Chairman, Ladies and Gentlemen
Firstly, allow me to thank AFPIC for the invitation extended to SEAFDEC to attend this meeting. This will give SEAFDEC the chance to exchange views and experiences with all of you and to raise your awareness on the efforts of SEAFDEC to promote sustainable fisheries in Southeast Asia.
As a regional fisheries development organization, SEAFDEC is continued to strengthen our collaboration and cooperation not only with the ASEAN but also with other international and regional organizations concerned with the promotion of sustainable fisheries in the Southeast Asian region including APFIC.
During the Second Regional Consultative Forum Meeting arranged by APFIC, which immediately preceded this meeting, SEAFDEC presented its support to an initiative on the ASEAN Regional Fisheries Management Mechanism (ARFMM) that is relevant to the promotion sustainable fisheries management in the region. This initiative is envisaged to be parallel with the mechanism within SEAFDEC on the Regional Advisory Committee for Fisheries Management in Southeast Asia (RAC) which was established and adopted by the SEAFDEC Council in April 2008 to provide advice to the SEAFDEC Council on issues related to fisheries management, particularly to address the concerns on improving fisheries management in the region such as addressing the Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated or IUU fishing as well as issues related to fishing capacity, fishing vessel registration system, impact of climate change to fisheries, etc.
Other initiative is the establishment of the Framework for Fishery Statistics of Southeast Asia which is aimed to provide a unified regional platform for cooperation in fishery statistics and serve as minimum requirement for the collection of fishery statistics that can be achieved by the countries in Southeast Asia. The framework is envisage to entail greater and more effective sharing fishery data and information, leading to closer dialogues among countries at both regional and subregional levels in addressing common fisheries concerns. The new framework is also meant to provide inputs in developing the regional database for fishery management which is being initiated through the RAC that could assist the SEAFDEC Council in addressing issues related to sustainable fisheries management.
Regarding issue on certification on fisheries and aquaculture, SEAFDEC in November 2005 conducted a short regional study on eco-labeling of aquatic products in the ASEAN countries. The study recommended many important issues to be further implemented. In addition, with support from the Swedish Board of Fisheries through Sida, SEAFDEC initiated a project in 2007 to explore ways and means of developing an incentive for sustainable fisheries through the promotion of eco-labeling, including identified a set of candidates of the region's products to be used in exploring standards, criteria and certification processes, critical elements for the certifying body, the role of governments, and the appropriate certification schemes.
For capacity management and combating IUU fishing, SEAFDEC has conducted to support the establishment of ARFMM aimed at improving capacity for the management of fisheries and important coastal fisheries (fisheries refugia), and strengthening the capacity to monitor and record active fishing effort in coastal fisheries. To tackle overcapacity problem, the ASEAN-SEAFDEC member countries agreed to promote the improvement and/or establishment of system for fishing vessel registration and in addressing the issues related to Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) and destructive fishing.
The establishment of a regional fishing vessels registration system is now being pursued by SEAFDEC as this could be used as reference in understanding the size and structure of large and small-scale fisheries as well as to support sustainable fisheries management in the Southeast Asian region. SEAFDEC with the support of Sida organized the "Expert Meeting on Fishing Vessel Registration" from 30 June to 2 July 2008 in Phuket, Thailand to facilitate the process of improving and/or establishing systems for registration of boats or vessels in the ASEAN region. Concerns in vessel registration and licensing will also be deliberated on during the next meeting of the Regional Advisory Committee for Fisheries Management (RAC) to be convened in September this year.
Under the issue on implementation of CCRF, the global Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries was used as the framework and guiding principle for development of the adopted Resolution and Plan of Action on Sustainable Fisheries for Food Security for the ASEAN Region during the 2001 Millennium Conference. While promoting the implementation of the CCRF in the ASEAN region, and in order to make the CCRF fully understood by the stakeholders in the ASEAN region, where fisheries is characterized as multi-gear and multi-species and mostly small-scale, SEAFDEC regionalized the CCRF starting in 1998 with long-term regionalization process funded by the Japanese Trust Fund (from 1998 to 2007) which considered the specific nature, needs and requirements of the fisheries in the region. The outcomes of such regionalization were four regional guidelines that cover the whole facets of fisheries such as responsible fishing operations, fisheries management, aquaculture, and fisheries post-harvest and trade; and the Supplementary Guidelines on Co-Management Using Group User Rights, Fishery Statistics, Indicators and Fisheries Refugia (to substantiate the regional guidelines on fisheries management). The regional guidelines have been recognized by the ASEAN countries as important tools in bridging the gaps between internationally adopted initiatives and the actual implementation of the CCRF at the national and local levels.
After the publication and dissemination stages of the regional guidelines, SEAFDEC continued to promote the CCRF in the region through capacity building and human resource development with the funding support by Sida. In order to continue providing support to the ASEAN countries in further achieving the implementation of the CCRF, SEAFDEC has always considered embedding the essence of the CCRF in the planning and implementation of the SEAFDEC activities. To review the progress and achievements made by the member countries and SEAFDEC in the implementation of the CCRF, SEAFDEC conducted the Regional Seminar on the Implementation of the Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries in Bangkok in October 2007. SEAFDEC noted during the seminar that all countries in the ASEAN region have embraced the CCRF in various degrees of implementation. Most of the countries have translated in CCRF into their national languages to promote wider adoption by all stakeholders. SEAFDEC also continues to assist the ASEAN countries in mainstreaming the CCRF through the regional guidelines into the countries' respective national policies.
Mr Chairman, Ladies and Gentlemen, it was our persistent effort in promoting the implementation of the CCRF in the ASEAN region that made SEAFDEC the latest recipient of the prestigious Margarita Lizarraga Medal Award for the biennium 2006-2007 given by FAO in November 2007. The Medal Award has given SEAFDEC more inspiration and aspiration to set higher sights in promoting responsible fisheries in Southeast Asia. On the Emerging Issues in line with internal initiatives, SEAFDEC has always provided the forum where ASEAN-SEAFDEC member countries could discuss and exchange views on issues related to evolving fisheries situations that have serious implications to the ASEAN region's fish trade including the sustainability of the fisheries resources. Through a series of consultations, the ASEAN-SEAFDEC member countries have been given the opportunity to respond to international initiatives including the development of common positions and policy options reflecting the ASEAN fisheries in international fora. Among the emerging issues discussed during the series of consultations include issues related to the requirements of CITES (sea turtles, sharks, sea cucumber), eco-labeling, aquaculture related issues (e.g. chemical/antibiotic residues of aquaculture products), CCRF, small-scale fisheries, poverty alleviation, climate change, etc.
In 2008, SEAFDEC convened two Regional Consultations. The first in February came up with common regional direction to address issues that have potential impacts on fisheries in the ASEAN region, including: the Legally-binding Instrument of Port State Measures, Traceability, Certification and Labeling, Small-scale Fisheries. The common position could serve as guide for the ASEAN and SEAFDEC member countries in voicing the regional interests in relevant international fora. The second Consultation in July discussed important issues relevant to emerging fisheries policies including climate change. The Consultation came up with proposed activities including the integration of climate change into fisheries policy frameworks and conduct of programs aimed to minimize the impacts from fisheries and aquaculture to climate change.
For small-scale fisheries, SEAFDEC has always recognized the importance of small-scale fisheries for the Southeast Asian countries as the sector has been contributing significantly to food security, livelihood and economic development of the region; and also the need to ensure the sustainable development of small-scale fisheries in the region. Considering that the Global Conference in Securing Sustainable Small-scale Fisheries: Bringing Together Responsible Fisheries and Social Development will organized in October 2008 in Bangkok, it was deemed necessary for the Southeast Asian region to come up with a harmonized approach in ensuring the sustainable development of small-scale fisheries, and to reflect the region's seriousness in addressing the issue to the international communities. The Regional Technical Consultation on Small-scale Fisheries in Southeast Asia was organized by SEAFDEC on 29 April-2 May 2008 in Bangkok to prepare the Southeast Asian common and coordinated position for the promotion of sustainable small-scale fisheries and prepare the member countries to actively participate and provide inputs during the Global Conference. The coordinated position, which was submitted to higher authorities of SEAFDEC and the ASEAN, is envisaged to provide basis for the ASEAN and SEAFDEC to prepare relevant inputs and interventions during the Global Conference. In addition, based on the agreed conclusion at the RSN1 (Regional Fisheries Bodies Network Meeting, March 2007), SEAFDEC has developed the Global dedicated web site on Small-scale Fisheries to provide forum for RFBs members in providing and changing information on regional and national policy, initiatives and issues on small-scale fisheries.
To ensure that the concerns from fisheries sector are properly accommodated at international conventions, ASEAN-SEAFDEC member countries agreed to take more substantial role during international meetings with the coordinated positions on behalf of the Southeast Asian countries. SEAFDEC in collaboration with the member countries would also develop appropriate technical programs to support the member countries on each particular issue, for example: on the safety and quality of products, poverty alleviation, climate change, eco-labeling, traceability, criteria for certification of fishery products, port-state measures and others.
With that Ladies and Gentlemen, I wish to reiterate here that SEAFDEC would be willing to establish cooperative linkages with other organizations working on the development of sustainable fisheries in the ASEAN region. SEAFDEC will also continue working closely with APFIC in promoting the proper utilization of living aquatic resources through sustainable development and management of fisheries in the ASEAN region. Thank you for your kind attention.