Background On The Establishment Of SEAFDEC/MFRDMD


The establishment of the Marine Fishery Resources Development and Management Department (MFRDMD) was approved by the (SEAFDEC) Southeast Asian Fisheries Development Center Council at its Twenty-third Meeting in Bangkok in December 1990, and formalized in April 1992 as the Fourth Department of SEAFDEC. This marks an important event in the history of the Center with the appointment of its first Chief and Deputy Chief. It demonstrates the continuous commitment of SEAFDEC and its Member Countries to the changing needs and emphases in the development and management of the marine fisheries in the region.


The Government of Malaysia provided MFRDMD an area in Chendering, Kuala Terengganu with buildings, including research laboratories, research vessels, office facilities and equipment, services of professional and service staff, and an annual contribution towards the operational expenses of the Department. The building to accommodate MFRDMD was ready for occupation by the end of June 1992. In accordance with the provisions of Article 11 of the Agreement Establishing the Center, The Government of Japan contributes towards the operational equipment, and fellowships for trainees from Member Countries and Malaysian counterpart staff of MFRDMD. This budgetary requirement is for the initial setting up of MFRDMD and the services of a Deputy Chief and a number of professional staff from Japan.


The declaration of Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZs) in the region necessitates SEAFDEC to play a more active role in assisting Member Countries to develop and manage the marine fisheries in the waters within the extended jurisdiction of their respective EEZs. This task needs to be tackled on a regional basis. With the establishment of MFRDMD, it is hoped that the regional needs and problems of coastal states, associated with the responsibility to conserve and manage the marine fisheries for sustained development, could be addressed more effectively.