THE REGIONAL MEETING ON
THE REGIONAL FISHING VESSEL RECORD (RFVR) FOR 24 METERS IN LENGTH AND OVER AS A MANAGEMENT TOOL TOWARD COMBATING IUU FISHING IN ASEAN
12 - 13 December 2018
Samut Prakan, Thailand
The growing domestic and international demand for fish and fishery products had resulted in the excessive exploitation of aquatic resources anywhere in the world including the Southeast Asian region. The increasing demand for fish has driven fishers to catch more fish by all means even to the extent of practicing Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) fishing. Taking into account the forms of IUU fishing appeared and/or performed by ASEAN Member States (AMSs) such as poaching in the waters of neighboring country, illegally across the border for landing of their fish due to high price, double flagged vessel operated within two countries without deregistration. These forms of IUU fishing are problems and affect to the management of fisheries.
SEAFDEC has been assisting the AMSs in their efforts toward combating IUU fishing through the ASEAN-SEAFDEC Strategic Partnership Program entitled “Promotion of Sustainable Fisheries and IUU Fishing-related Countermeasures in Southeast Asia” since 2011. The initiative project aims to review and improve fishing license, boats registration, and later, all AMSs agreed to the establishment of the Regional Fishing Vessels Record as a management tool to reduce IUU fishing, starting with vessels size 24 meters in length and over (herein after called RFVR-24m) as effort to engage in international fishing activities/ Operations (Fishing operations in foreign country’s EEZ or in High Seas). The RFVR-24m is a collaborative initiative among the AMSs intending to share fishing vessels identification and other relevant data/information. The purpose of this initiative is to provide AMSs with reliable and rapid tools to identify the foreign vessels among AMSs that engaged in International Fishing operation.
The concept note on establishment of the RFVR-24m as a management tool to reduce IUU fishing in the ASEAN region was endorsed by the Forty-fifth Meeting of the SEAFDEC Council in April 2013 in Philippines. Furthermore, the concept proposal was raised at the ASEAN Meetings and supported by the Twenty-second Meeting of the ASEAN Sectoral Working Group on Fisheries (22-ASWGFi), and later by the Senior Officials Meeting of the Thirty-fifth Meeting of the ASEAN Ministers on Agriculture and Forestry (SOM-35th AMAF), respectively. The RFVR-24m and its database system were developed through the harmonization from series of Expert Meetings and regional technical consultation during a period from 2011-2015. Currently, the RFVR-24m includes the 28 Key Data Elements as basic information required in effective tools to support the fishing vessel inspection by Port State to reduce the IUU fishing vessels entry into port.
It is expected that RFVR will work as a practical tool for related authorities of AMSs in checking and taking corrective actions against inappropriate behavior of its fishing vessels, thereby supporting elimination of IUU fishing in the Southeast Asian Region. For example, AMSs can take appropriate actions against “Double-Flagging Vessels, IUU fishing vessels, Port State Control and pouching” by sharing information and identifying problematic vessels through RFVR database.
According to the output from relevant meetings and workshops such as The Regional Technical Consultation on Promotion of ASEAN Guidelines for Preventing the Entry of Fish and Fishery Products from IUU Fishing Activities in to the Supply Chain, The Working Team Meeting on the Results Discussion of Baseline Survey on Monitoring and Control of Fishing Effort and Landing in the Western
Gulf of Thailand in March 2016, The Third Meeting of the Andaman Sea Sub-region in October 2016, and The Expert Meeting on Regional Cooperation to Support the Implementation of Port State Measures in Southeast Asian Region in February 2016, the meetings and workshops were recommended to expand the RFVR Database to cover fishing vessels less than 24 meters as well as to further develop the advance mobile system to increase the effectiveness of the RFVR to be utilized by AMSs.
To continue and follow up of RFVR activities, SEAFDEC Training Department therefore proposes to convene “The Regional Meeting on the Regional Fishing Vessel Record (RFVR) for 24 meters in length and over as a Management Tool Toward Combating IUU Fishing in ASEAN”
- Management and updating of the RFVR Database for 24 meters in length and over;
- Sharing information on fishing vessels in AMS; and
- Initiative activities of the RFVR Database less than 24 meters which appropriate range of vessel length to reduce IUU fishing in the region
- RFVR National Focal Point from AMS;
- Representatives from the SEAFDEC Secretariat and Training Department,
- Representatives from relevant agencies; and
- Members of the Regional Fisheries Policy Network (RFPN) for Six (6) SEAFDEC Member Countries
- Situation from AMS to reduce IUU fishing through update number of fishing vessels by size (categories) and by type of fishing;
- Way forward for AMSs and SEAFDEC to prevent, deter and eliminate IUU fishing through utilization of RFVR; and
- Suitability of length for fishing vessel less than 24 meters for the development of RFVR Database in next step