THE Philippines advocated for the inclusion of projects on fisheries resource management and capacity building as a priority area for cooperation at the recent 2nd Southeast Asia – Republic of Korea (ROK) Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries Consultation Workshop.
Foreign Affairs Assistant Secretary for Maritime and Ocean Affairs Office (MOAO) Maria Angela A. Ponce, in her remarks, shared her optimism on achieving the Workshop’s objective of identifying common areas of interest among the participating ASEAN countries and Korea.
She noted the importance of fisheries resource management and protection of the marine environment in responding to transboundary ocean concerns.
The Department of Agriculture’s Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) Assistant Director Drusila Esther E. Bayate, elaborated on potential projects on fisheries.
The participants positively responded to the Philippine proposals, particularly on strengthening capacity in the implementation of the Agreement on Port State Measures (PSMA), developing shellfish farming technologies and environment-friendly fish feeds, and promoting climate-smart aquaculture technologies, among others.
There was collective recognition of that current challenges in the oceans and fisheries sector, such as sea level rise due to climate change, illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing and marine plastic pollution can only be solved through multilateral cooperation
Participating in the event along with the Philippines were the governments of Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Vietnam, and the host, the Republic of Korea. The Philippine delegation, headed by Assistant Secretary Ponce, was composed of representatives from the Department of Foreign Affairs, BFAR, and the National Fisheries Research and Development Institute (NFRDI).