The rapid growing of fishing industry in the Southeast Asia region since late 1970s has led to increase in fishing capacity, especially with the introduction of highly efficient fishing gears such as trawlers and purse seiners as well as the increasing capacities of processing plants. The growing fishing fleets throughout the region coupled with rapid increases in harvesting capacity, has not been matched with the development of national capacities and regional/sub-regional cooperation to manage the fishing effort with due consideration given to the sustainability of fishery resources. The issue of managing fishing capacity has been raised regionally and internationally for spreading phenomenon of excessive fishing inputs and overcapitalization in fisheries. Management of fishing capacity is the key element that ensures sustainable utilization of the fishery resources. Therefore, effective fisheries management scheme should not only focus on the management of the “fish” but also on regulating the fishing effort by developing schemes that give direction on where and how-to fish, total allowable number of vessels and types of gear, special restrictions on protected areas and species, and seasonal restrictions. Thus, there is there is an urgent need for countries to cooperate in order to improve fisheries management, especially, with regards to the management of fishing capacity at national, sub-regional and regional levels.
The RPOA-Capacity was endorsed by the 48th Meeting of SEAFDEC Council in April 2016, then the 24th Meeting of the ASEAN Sectoral Working Group on Fisheries (ASWGFi) in June 2016, and adoption by the 38th Meeting of the ASEAN Ministers on Agriculture and Fisheries (AMAF) in October 2016. The RPOA-Capacity has been used as guide for the AMSs in their efforts on management and control of fishing capacity towards the sustainable utilization of fishery resources in their respective waters. Thus, the ultimate goal of the RPOA-Capacity is to facilitate development of appropriate fishing capacity management to ensure that levels of fishing effort are commensurate with sustainable use of available fishery resources.
Regional Technical Consultation on Regional Plan of Action for the Management of Fishing Capacity (RPOA Capacity) was held on 8 December 2020 via online. This RTC RPOA-Capacity was attended by the representatives of Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Thailand, and Viet Nam; resource person from FOA/RAP; Deputy Secretary-General, senior officials and officials from SEAFDEC Secretariat, TD and MFRDMD.
Objective of the meeting are:
a. To update information regarding the implementation status of fishing capacity (RPOA-Capacity) in AMSs.
b. To find way forward for the implementation of NPOA and RPOA-Capacity in AMSs.
Expected out of this meeting are:
a. Updated information on implementation of RPOA Fishing Capacity by countries.
b. Propose and/or revise activity for NPOA and RPOA Fishing Capacity in future.