Members of the Asia-Pacific Fisheries Commission (APFIC) have vowed to scale up collective efforts to ensure that fisheries and aquaculture are managed in a responsible and sustainable manner, the commission announced today at its 35th Session, which has convened in Cebu, the Philippines.
As a region, Asia and the Pacific produces most of the world’s fish. The region currently contributes over 55 percent of global capture fisheries and 90 percent of its aquaculture. Resilient blue growth of capture fisheries and aquaculture in the region is of great importance to food security, nutrition, livelihood development and overall economic and social development in many countries of Asia and the Pacific and achievement of some important SDG Goals in the 2030 Agenda.
As demand for both capture fisheries and aquaculture rises, the industries will need to rely on innovations in a number of areas. They will also need to become more resilient to the effects of climate change on fish stocks and aquaculture operation. FAO’s Regional Initiative on Blue Growth offers some solutions and a way forward, and the Commission will examine these during the days ahead. The 35th APFIC Session will review a draft six-year APFIC Strategy (2018-2023) prepared by the Secretariat for eventual revisions and endorsement.
APFIC convenes every two years with the main objective to consider the Secretariat’s report to the membership and observers on major programme activities carried out, and the achievement by the Secretariat during the intersessional period. The FAO Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific provides the Secretariat services to APFIC and this 35th Commission Session is jointly organized by FAO and the Philippines’ Department of Agriculture.
Regional Consultative Forum
The 35th Session of APFIC will also review and discuss the recommendations from a Regional Consultative Forum Meeting convened prior to the Session and is expected to endorse the proposed priority areas of work to support the member countries in addressing issues relating to the development of their fisheries and aquaculture sectors.
The Regional Consultative Forum Meeting involved inputs from representatives of 16 countries and 10 international and regional organizations. It focused on suggestions for improvements in sustainable fisheries and aquaculture production, management systems and governance based on the extensive sharing of knowledge, experiences and lessons by the participating countries and organizations. The meeting also called for increasing efforts to strengthen gender-sensitive, equitable and inclusive fisheries and aquaculture value chains through suggested strategies and actions at country and regional levels.