USAID and NOAA Support for Sustainable Fisheries in the Asia Pacific Region

Speeches Shim

Under an interagency agreement with USAID, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) supports U.S. Government efforts in the Asia Pacific region to assist regional and national institutions to combat illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing, encourage sustainable fishing practices, and ensure compliance with U.S. seafood import monitoring requirements. 

The Asia Pacific region contains some of the most diverse marine ecosystems on Earth, but destructive fishing practices threaten the region’s sustainability. Coastal and island nations across the Asia Pacific are faced with the impacts of climate change and growing populations that are dependent on fisheries resources for their livelihoods and income. NOAA provides scientific and technical expertise for USAID initiatives that reduce threats to coastal marine resources and food security. NOAA works with USAID and other partners in the Asia Pacific region on a range of activities that seek to strengthen regional cooperation for the sustainable and legal management and trade of marine resources, improve integrated fisheries management, and combat seafood fraud and the sale of products from IUU fishing. 

LEGAL PORTS AND SEAFOOD MONITORING

NOAA works to promote compliance with international and U.S. legal instruments that address IUU fishing. NOAA’s Office of Law Enforcement works with the Southeast Asian Fisheries Development Center (SEAFDEC) and national governments to implement legal and well regulated ports, legally defined as the Agreement on Port State Measures to Prevent, Deter and Eliminate Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated Fishing (PSMA).  This agreement seeks to strengthen the enforcement of fisheries requirements at legal and regulated ports and eliminate ports of convenience for IUU fish products; establish minimum standards for port inspections and controls over foreign vessels seeking entry; and promote information sharing among participating nations, enforcement agencies and Regional Fishery Management Organizations. NOAA’s Office of International Affairs and Seafood Inspection also works with government and industry representatives across the region to raise awareness of the U.S. Seafood Import Monitoring Program, which establishes permitting, data reporting, and recordkeeping requirements for imported fish and fish products identified as vulnerable to IUU fishing and seafood fraud. 

INTEGRATED FISHERIES MANAGEMENT TOOLS

NOAA’s Office of Coastal Management works with SEAFDEC to build their institutional capacity to implement an Ecosystem Approach to Fisheries Management, an integrated management approach across coastal and marine areas and natural resources that promotes conservation and sustainable use of the whole ecosystem.  NOAA also provides training, technical input, and tools that build the leadership and ownership of SEAFDEC’s Training Division to oversee future delivery of tools and products supported by USAID and other regional partners. NOAA’s Northwest Fisheries Science Center trains scientists, resource managers, and decision-makers across the region on two interrelated topics: using data collected from electronic catch documentation and traceability programs, and developing harvest strategies where data and other management resources are limited.

CONTACT INFORMATION

For more information, please contact info-rdma@usaid.gov  

Last updated: March 22, 2022

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