13 September 2011. The Australian Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry has today released a report to help guide future strategies to fight illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing in South East Asia.
“The report was undertaken on behalf of the Regional Plan of Action, an eleven-country membership that signed an action plan in 2007 to address emerging regional issues such as rapid fisheries development and overfishing.
The report Net Returns: A Human Capacity Development Framework for Marine Capture Fisheries Management in South East Asia can be found at www.daff.gov.au/netreturns.
The report Net Returns, commissioned by the department and funded by AusAID’s Public Sector Linkages Program, provides guidance to fisheries agencies on strengthening marine capture fisheries management at regional, national and local levels.
Parliamentary Secretary for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, Dr Mike Kelly, said the release of the report comes at a critical time, as food security in South East Asia is becoming an increasingly important issue, with coastal fishing the only available source of income and animal protein for many millions of people.
“This new report, designed to help overcome the challenge of already depleted fish stocks and to ensure that fisheries are managed sustainably, is a significant policy development for the region,” Dr Kelly said.
“These countries recognise that the pace of fisheries development, coupled with an increase in overfishing and illegal fishing, requires urgent development of greater human and institutional fisheries management and governance capacity.”
The report was informed by extensive consultation with member countries of the action plan including Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea, The Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Timor-Leste and Vietnam.
In addition, many regional fisheries organizations contributed to the study at a regional workshop hosted by Vietnam in November 2010.
The eleven countries will consider how to implement the report’s findings at a meeting in Cambodia later this year.