ASEAN-SEAFDEC Strategic Partnership Announces Support of USAID Oceans and Fisheries Partnership
In June 2016, the ASEAN-SEAFDEC Strategic Partnership (ASSP) announced their recognition and adoption of the United States Agency for International Development Oceans and Fisheries Partnership (USAID Oceans) as an official ASSP project. The ASSP was established in November 2007, after nearly ten years of technical cooperation between ASEAN and SEAFDEC towards sustainable fisheries development under the Fisheries Consultative Group. The ASSP aims to enhance cooperation between ASEAN, SEAFDEC, and its member countries, enabling increased opportunity for collaboration and achievement of long term common goals towards collective regional development and management of sustainable fisheries. Its partnership with USAID Oceans is a milestone for the sustainable fisheries program, enhancing USAID Ocean’s engagement with ASEAN and supporting its goal of regional expansion.
USAID Oceans is a USAID-funded activity and joint partnership between USAID, SEAFDEC, and the Coral Triangle Initiative on Coral Reefs, Fisheries, and Food Security (CTI-CFF). The Partnership, launched in 2015, works to strengthen regional cooperation to combat illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing (IUU), promote sustainable fisheries, and conserve marine biodiversity in the Asia-Pacific region. Through USAID Oceans, a catch documentation and traceability (CDT) system is being developed and implemented that will support ASEAN member countries’ fisheries management and human welfare objectives. In addition to providing a platform for data collection through the seafood catch supply chain, the system will help to prepare ASEAN member countries meet existing and increasing import/export regulations set forth within ASEAN, the United States, and the European Union.
Following the development of the catch documentation and traceability system, the partnership will work jointly to demonstrate the system in selected sites, with coverage to later be extended to additional ASEAN member countries, with a focus on areas that are important for biodiversity conservation in the Asia-Pacific region. Moreover, aspects