PRESS RELEASE: USAID Partners with Philippine Seafood Industry to Roll Out Seafood Traceability System
BANGKOK, October 30, 2017 – Today, the United States Agency for International Development, through its Oceans and Fisheries Partnership (USAID Oceans), and the SOCSKSARGEN Federation of Fishing and Allied Industries, Inc. (SFFAII) announced a partnership to roll out a pilot of the Philippines’ new electronic catch documentation and traceability (CDT) system for seafood products, with a focus on tuna.
The USAID and SFFAII collaboration will help demonstrate how the CDT system can enable a transparent supply chain for seafood products originating from General Santos City, ensuring their legality, sustainability and compliance with local and import market regulations. The CDT system, developed by the Philippines Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources, is part of the Bureau’s long term plan of an integrated system to manage Philippine fisheries which started with the development of its electronic fisherfolk registration and vessel registration three years ago.
“SFFAII has a demonstrated clear understanding of the importance of managing fisheries resources, actively engaged for decades in the sustainability of the region’s’ resources and an active contributor to the Philippines’ National Tuna Management Plan,” said Angela Hogg, director of the USAID’s Regional Development Mission for Asia Regional Environment Office “We are grateful for their partnership in this new endeavor to combat illegal and unregulated fishing and ensure the sustainability of the Philippines’ invaluable marine resources.”
Through this partnership, USAID and SFFAII will engage industry and fisherfolk to build awareness and industry adoption of the CDT system. By addressing key CDT barriers such as accustomed use of the current paper-based system, lack of information on CDT and its benefits, and inconsistent data collection, the partners will ensure the system is launched to an informed and equipped network of learning site fishers processors and canneries.
SFFAII is a non-profit organization comprised of seven associations representing over 100 fishing, canning, fish processing, aquaculture production and related companies. SFFAII is connected to the SOCSKSARGEN (South Cotabato, Cotabato City, North Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, Sarangani and General Santos City) region’s tuna industry, located in Central Mindanao and surrounded by the Sarangani Bay, Moro Gulf and Celebes Sea in Southern Philippines. The region is home to General Santos City, the tuna capital of the Philippines and to the USAID Oceans’ learning site for CDT system demonstration and testing.
The partnership will share knowledge about sustainable fisheries management and human welfare principles through workshops, community outreach and individual training. SFFAII’s extensive membership base, strong presence and involvement in the community, and close relationship with the Philippine Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources will support seamless system implementation and help to build a sustainable framework for the system to grow upon.
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ABOUT USAID OCEANS
USAID Oceans is a partnership between USAID and the Southeast Asian Fisheries Development Center. USAID Oceans works to strengthen regional cooperation to combat illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing, promote sustainable fisheries, and conserve marine biodiversity in the Asia-Pacific region. The backbone of the program is the development and implementation of a financially sustainable catch documentation and traceability system, piloted in learning sites in Indonesia and the Philippines and adapted for regional expansion. For more information, please visit www.seafdec-oceanspartnership.org.
ABOUT THE SOCSKSARGEN FEDERATION OF FISHING AND ALLIED INDUSTRIES, INC. (SFFAII)
The SOCSKSARGEN Federation of Fishing and Allied Industries, Inc. (SFFAII) is a non-profit organization, established in 1999 as an umbrella organization of seven associations with a total over 100 companies involved in fishing, canning, fish processing, aquaculture production and processing and other allied industries. SFFAII is the only umbrella seafood industry association based in General Santos City with company memberships that cut across the entire supply and value chain. SFFAII has a close working relationship with Philippines Government, including the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR). For more information, please visit www.sffaii.com.
Richard Nyberg, USAID Regional Development Mission for Asia: firstname.lastname@example.org
Melinda Donnelly, USAID Oceans: Melinda.Donnelly@oceans-partnership.org
Rosanna Bernadette Contreras, SFFAII: email@example.com