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This Workshop was held to provide a regional review and synthesis of current knowledge on the status of offshore resources in South and Southeast Asia and to consider the technical and economic feasibility of developing new fishing activities directed to these resources. The workshop was organized in close cooperation with the Southeast Asian Fisheries Development Center's (SEAFDEC) programme on "Deep Sea Fisheries Resources Exploration in the Southeast Asia".
For resource background materials and presentations:http://www.apfic.org/modules/smartsection/item.php?itemid=360
The workshop provided an excellent overview of the many exploratory ishing/research cruises that have been carried out in the region and identified the main potential species that may support commercial fishing. The overall conclusion, however, was that these resources are rather limited, and in the case of oceanic tuna, already heavily exploited. There are also a large number of technological, social and ecological constraints that make offshore fishing a high risk undertaking. Accordingly, the workshop recommended a precautionary approach to offshore fishing in South and Southeast Asia, starting with in-depth economic feasibility studies, risk assessments � especially with respect to impacts on existing fisheries and potential environmental concerns � and gradual development as more information and knowledge are accumulated. A need for better regional collaboration in carrying out and analyzing exploratory and research cruise data was noted.
In terms of future management, the role of the regional fishery management organizations for highly migratory species was acknowledged, but the lack of regional arrangements for other shared fish stocks was highlighted. The workshop recommendations provide a number of important actions that need to be followed if South and Southeast Asia are to benefit from the sustainable development of their offshore resources.
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