Regional Solutions for Sustainable Fisheries and Marine Conservation

Speeches Shim

The Indo-Pacific region is one of the most biodiverse on earth and its fisheries are critical to supporting global food security. Climate change and unsustainable and illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing practices are devastating the fisheries and marine resources that sustain communities across the region. 

The USAID Regional Development Mission for Asia (USAID/RDMA) Sustainable Fish Asia (SuFiA) program promotes sustainable fishing and marine conservation from a regional perspective—by building capacity to sustainably manage marine biodiversity; strengthening resilience to climate change; and driving more funding to local partners and regional institutions that have the insights to develop tailored solutions and the mandate to implement them.


In partnership with regional institutions and international forums, USAID/RDMA promotes the sustainable management of marine resources together with governments, regional organizations, the private sector, and other key stakeholders. 

The USAID Sustainable Fish Asia Technical Support (SuFiA TS) activity supports the development, adoption, and implementation of sustainable fisheries policies, standards, and practices region-wide. SuFiA TS provides on-demand technical support to regional institutions, private sector partners, and key stakeholder groups working to promote fisheries sustainability and marine conservation across the Indo-Pacific.  

Regional fisheries organizations play an important role in addressing threats to marine conservation and leading sustainable fisheries management efforts. From 2020 to 2022, the USAID Sustainable Fish Asia Local Capacity Development (SuFiA LCD) activity strengthened the leadership of two regional fisheries organizations in the Asia-Pacific: The Southeast Asian Fisheries Development Center (SEAFDEC), and the Coral Triangle Initiative on Coral Reefs, Fisheries and Food Security (CTI-CFF). The activity enhanced their managerial, operational, and overall organizational capacity. Together with the U.S. Department of Interior, USAID/RDMA provides additional targeted support to SEAFDEC and CTI-CFF to strengthen their technical capacities to combat IUU fishing, promote sustainable fisheries, and conserve marine biodiversity—laying the foundation for more direct engagement with these local partners.


While individual countries have made progress to preserve biodiversity and combat unsustainable fishing practices, collaboration and enforcement of global and regional standards across borders remains a challenge. Under the SuFiA program, and together with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), USAID/RDMA works with SEAFDEC and national governments to implement the Agreement on Port State Measures to Prevent, Deter and Eliminate Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated Fishing.  This agreement seeks to strengthen the enforcement of fisheries requirements at legal and regulated ports and eliminate ports of convenience for IUU fish products. It also establishes minimum standards for port inspections and controls over foreign vessels seeking entry and promotes information sharing among participating nations, enforcement agencies, and Regional Fishery Management Organizations. 


Women are an integral part of the fisheries supply chain—comprising 50 percent of the fishing industry in Southeast Asia—and yet they face substantive challenges in the sector. Through the USAID SuFiA TS and USAID SuFiA LCD activities, USAID/RDMA works to level the playing field and drive independent, collective, and strategic action to improve gender equality in policymaking and transboundary fisheries management.  The activities also provide guidance to regional partners on fair-labor practices.

Last updated: October 21, 2022

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