Asia-Pacific Fishery Commission

APFIC/FAO Regional consultative workshop: strengthening assessment of fisheries and aquaculture in the Asia-Pacific region for policy development

Category Overviews, statistics & assessments

At its 31st Session, the Asia-Pacific Fishery Commission (APFIC) noted the need to strengthen fishery and aquaculture management in the region and encouraged member countries to undertake assessments where possible to assist fishery and aquaculture management decision-making. APFIC further emphasized the need to implement lower cost fishery assessment methods that are not heavily reliant on survey cruises, and to develop assessment techniques for data-poor, small-scale fisheries based on qualitative data and the use of risk-based approaches. It also recalled the need for improved management of aquaculture at the farm and sector level. As part of APFIC’s goals to support dialogue and improve understanding of key fisheries issues of common interest to the Asia-Pacific region, the 31st Session of APFIC identified the need to organize a workshop on “Strengthening assessment of fisheries and aquaculture in the Asia-Pacific region for policy development”. In response, a regional consultative workshop was convened which brought together 58 participants from APFIC member countries and from competent regional organization partners to discuss, consult on, and influence the region’s efforts to develop and apply various types of fishery-related assessments to support the fisheries management process.

The workshop reviewed how existing capture fisheries assessment approaches can contribute to the different phases of the fisheries management process. The workshop also considered how to help develop standards for environmental impact assessments (EIAs) and footprint type activities to support ecosystem approaches to aquaculture sector management. In particular, the workshop addressed how these assessment methods could be tailored to the characteristics of fisheries/aquaculture within the region (especially small-scale fisheries) to facilitate the sharing of learning experiences and contribute to the increased use of lower cost assessment tools.

The workshop report contains a priority list of recommendations on how the use of lower cost assessment tools can be applied appropriately in data-poor, small-scale fishery/aquaculture situations that are characteristic of the region. It also identified the capacity building needs to support this. This workshop was therefore an important step in building regional capacity to assess the management conditions and needs of the aquaculture and fisheries sectors. In particular, it established a foundation for further work on developing technical guidance on methods as well as formulating and implementing pilot level fishery management plans in member countries. 

FAO. 2012. APFIC/FAO Regional consultative workshop: strengthening assessment of fisheries and aquaculture in the Asia-Pacific region for policy development, Yangon, Myanmar, 4–6 October 2011. FAO Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific, Bangkok, Thailand. RAP Publication 2012/12, 50 pp.