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THE SOUTH CHINA SEA FISHERIES REFUGIA INITIATIVE

The Second Meeting of the Project Steering Committee (PSC2) for the SEAFDEC/UNEP/GEF Project on Establishment and Operation of a Regional System of Fisheries Refugia in the South China Sea and Gulf of Thailand was organized at Pullman Hotels and Resorts, Miri City, Sarawak, Malaysia from 5-6 November 2019. Hosted by the Department of Fisheries of Malaysia, in cooperation with the SEAFDEC Project Coordinating Unit (PCU), the PCS2 discussed on the progress of works and review the issues raised for consideration and approval by the Committee such as Regional Action Plan for management of Indo-pacific Mackerel, Guidelines for Indicators for management of fisheries refugia, financial matters, regional activities for 2020 and onwards, project management, financial matter, and other relevant matter. The Meeting was attended by all Project National Focal Point and all National Scientific and Technical Focal Point from 5 participating countries: Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, and Thailand, including Ms. Isabelle Vanderbeck: the project task manager from UNEP via skype; Ms. Malinee Smithrithee: the SEAFDEC Secretary-General, observers, and the Project Director and staffs of the PCU.

For more information, please see the following Link: https://fisheries-refugia.org/2nd-pscm/2nd-pscm-report

 

 

Joint effort on the Sustainability of Transboundary Species: Indo-Pacific Mackerel (Rastrelliger brachysoma)

Indo-Pacific mackerel (Rastrelliger brachysoma) is an economically important species of the Southeast Asian region, which migrates around the Gulf of Thailand (GOT). However, the trends are declining and catches are becoming unstable. Aiming at sustainable fishery resource, healthy habitats as well as ensured well-being of fishing communities, the Technical Consultative Meeting on Drafting of the Regional Action Plan for Management of Transboundary Species: Indo-Pacific Mackerel (Rastrelliger brachysoma) in the Gulf of Thailand Sub-region was held on 12-13 September 2019 in Chonburi Province, Thailand. The attendees of the Meeting were representatives from the countries of the Gulf of Thailand  and South China Sea sub-regions including Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand, and Viet Nam, resource persons from Sweden, Burapha University, as well as SEAFDEC officials and Regional Fisheries Policy Network members.

This Meeting was a joint effort between the SEAFDEC-Sweden Project and SEAFDEC/UNEP/GEF/ Fisheries Refugia Project to develop the Regional Action Plan for Indo-Pacific mackerel management. Both Projects have conducted several activities  such as DNA studies, data collection, among others to understand the stock and habitats of R. brachysoma. The Regional Action Plan would provide a direction within and among countries of the Southeast Asian region to work together in developing appropriate management of Indo-Pacific mackerel based on scientific information.

For more information, please check the link herewith at : https://fisheries-refugia.org/refugia-events 

 

 

During December 4-5, 2018, The Project Coordinating Unit (PCU) had organized the 1st Annual Meeting of the Regional Project Steering Committee Meeting for the SEAFDEC/UN Environment/GEF Project on Establishment and Operation of a Regional System of Fisheries Refugia in the South China Sea and Gulf of Thailand, which was conducted in Bangkok, Thailand. Many participants attended the meeting included; One (1) Delegate from UNEP, Two (2) regional experts, Two (2) delegates each from Cambodia, Malaysia, Thailand, Three (3) delegates from Indonesia, one (1) delegate from Philippine, and the PCU staffs. 

Fig. 1: in the mechanism on establishment and operation of a regional system requires long term appropriated indicators for management of fisheries refugia.

Establishment and operation of a regional system of fisheries refugia in the South China Sea and Gulf of Thailand required a mechanism (Figure 1) to achieve the target objective to “operate and expand the network of fisheries refugia in the South China Sea and Gulf of Thailand for the improved management of fisheries and critical marine habitats linkages. Additionally, to ensure long term management of the fisheries refugia, the appropriated indicator sets as well as the standardized methods for collection and analysis of data and information, for the use in assessing the impacts of fisheries refugia are needed. In response to this, the Project Coordinating Unit (PCU) for the SEAFDEC/UNEP/GEF Project on Fisheries Refugia organized the Regional Meeting on Indicators for Refugia Management during September 9th -11th, 2019, in Pattaya, Chonburi province, Thailand. 17 participants (5 Females and 12 Males) from 6 participating countries namely, Indonesia, Cambodia, Malaysia, Philippines, Viet Nam, Thailand and PCU staff attended the meeting. Throughout the brainstorming sessions, the meeting could come up the set of indicators for management of fisheries refugia

(more details in website: https://fisheries-refugia.org/regional-meeting-indicators-refugia-2019 )

During September 11-13, 2018, The Project Coordinating Unit (PCU) had organized the Regional Scientific and Technical Committee Meeting for the SEAFDEC/UN Environment/GEF Project on Establishment and Operation of a Regional System of Fisheries Refugia in the South China Sea and Gulf of Thailand, which was conducted in Trat Provinces, Thailand. Many participants attended the meeting included; one representative from each of six participating countries, three regional experts, representatives from the SEAFDEC-SWEDEN project, representatives from Japanese Trust Fund (JTF) project and the PCU staffs. 

Fisheries Administration of Cambodia (FiA) hosted the 2nd Meeting of the Regional Scientific and Technical Committee Meeting (RSTC2) at Thansur Sokha Hotel, Kampot Province Cambodia on 21st – 23rd May 2019. This biannual meeting is one of regional activities under the SEAFDEC/UNEP/GEF Project on Establishment and Operation of a Regional System of Fisheries Refugia in the South China Sea and Gulf of Thailand with aims to overseeing the scientific and technical elements of the project; ensuring effective implementation of activities undertaken during project execution; and providing sound scientific and technical advice to the Project Steering Committee. The meeting invited not only the all national scientific and technical focal point but regional experts from various institutions such as IOC/Westpac-SEAGOOS project, Research and Development Division of the Training Department, Chulalongkorn University, as well as our partners from the SEAFDEC Sweden project and SEAFDEC/JTF projects. The highlights of the discussion are the updated national activities on establishment of a Regional system of Fisheries Refugia by 4 Member States namely Cambodia, Malaysia, Philippines, and Thailand during the past years till 1st Quarter of 2019. It is also noted that Viet Nam and Indonesia will start the project implementation from the third quarter of 2019 after signing the Letter of Agreement and revision of the national project activities and workplans for 2019-2020. There are several issues on the Data and Information needs to support the activities were addressed as follows: 

During July 18-19, 2018, A team of the coordination unit for the SEAFDEC/UNEP/GEF Fisheries Refugia Project visited the Fisheries Administration of Cambodia (FiA) under technical support mission. The objective of this mission is aiming to support the responsible agency under the FiA of Cambodia with project technical support matter, existing work plan as well as proposed work planning and budget for 2018-19. The technical topics during the meeting are include; baseline data collection, establishment of fisheries refugia area at 3 pilot sites also the procedure to setup the Site Level Committee.

During February 12-14, 2019, the Project Coordinating Unit (PCU) of the SEAFDEC/UNEP/GEF Project on “Establishment and Operation of a Regional System of Fisheries Refugia in the South China Sea and Gulf of Thailand”, in collaboration with Fisheries Administration (FiA) of Cambodia, conducted a Technical Training on Biological Studies of Short Mackerel (Rastrelliger brachysoma) in the coastal water Cambodia. There were 9 participants attended this training including 3 officers from Fisheries Administration (FiA), Cambodia and 3 fisheries officers from fisheries cantonment of Koh Kong Province, and 1 each of fisheries officer from Preah Sihanouk, Kampot and Kep Province, Cambodia.

The SEAFDEC/UNEP/GEF South China Sea Fisheries Refugia Initiative participated in the 18th Large Marine Ecosystem (LME) annual consultative meeting convened by IOC and LME:LEARN in Paris from 5-8 December. The SEAFDEC initiative contributed to the work of the LME governance and information and data management working groups. The fisheries refugia initiative was also showcased during a governance session dedicated to spatial planning for LME management.

 

Cambodia

 

Indonesia

 

Malaysia

 

Philippines

 

Thailand

 

Vietnam

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