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«Sampan Panjarat The United Nations-Nippon Foundation Fellowship Programme 2007 - 2008 DIVISION FOR OCEAN AFFAIRS AND THE LAW OF THE SEA OFFICE OF ...»

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- 69 marine environment and its resources.248 The approach makes use of five link modules to monitor, assess, and manage marine ecosystems, including productivity and carrying capacity, fish and fisheries, pollution and ecosystem health, socioeconomic condition, and pertinent governance regimes.249 The Bay of Bengal is one of the LMEs (BOBLME) in which changing environmental conditions are influencing currents, productivity and coastal pollution. Some coastal areas serving as nursery grounds for commercially valuable species are polluted. It can be concluded that certain activities are causing serious local and cumulative environmental degradation that threatens the sustainable management and health of the BOBLME as a whole. Fisheries concerns must also include the critically important areas of biological diversity, fish spawning and nursery areas, coral reefs, mangroves and estuaries in the Bay of Bengal. The Bay of Bengal is under increasing stress due to habitat loss and degradation with certain species being already or becoming endangered. The concentration of shrimp aquaculture farms in certain coastal areas has raised environmental concerns for estuarine and coastal habitats and other user groups.250 An alarming increase in cyanide fishing in the coral reefs of the region for the lucrative live food fish markets has been seen. There are other destructive methods of fishing which threaten living resources and the fragile ecosystems on which they depend. The fishery resources are heavily exploited due to unregulated fishing activities, open access, unauthorized incursions by foreign fleets and the encroachment of nationals into the territorial waters of their neighbors. This is further complicated by poor national resource management strategies, conflicts between artisanal and large-scale fisheries, unaddressed transboundary environmental issues and insufficient knowledge and data on the functioning of the ecosystem as a whole.251 The core of the LMEs management approach is the application of a module assessment and management methodology to the process of formulation and implementation of the transboundary diagnostic analysis (TDA), strategic action program (SAP), and national action plan (NAP). TDA is the collecting or gathering of information on relevant issues and problems, H. Wang. “Ecosystem Management and its Application to large Marine Ecosystem Management: Science Law and Politics,” Ocean Development and International Law, 35 (2004), 41-74 pp.

K. Sherman. “Modular Approach to the Monitoring and Assessment of Large Marine Ecosystem,” In The Gulf Mexico Large Marine Ecosystem: Assessment, Sustainability, and Management, (eds.) H. Kumpf, K. Sreidinger, and K. Sherman. Malden, MA: Blackwell Science, 1999. 34 p.



- 70 SAP is the setting out of priorities, reflected in the output of TDA, and specific action needed for resolving priority transboundary environmental concerns. It also provides mechanisms for long term preservation protection and restoration of the LMEs. The NAPs is the implementation of the SAP at the national level. Each Member State has to adjust, modify and improve its NAP in accordance with the SAP and take necessary enforcement and compliance-enhancing measures at the national, subnational, and local levels.

The BOBLME program is now operational and is now preparing a Transboundary

Diagnostic Analysis (TDA),252 the main components of TDA are:

• The establishment of national and regional co-ordination mechanisms;

• The synthesis and assessment of existing information on the status of living marine resources in general, and fisheries in particular, and of the environment in the BOBLME, identification of transboundary issues that threaten these resources and the health of the ecosystem, and recommendations to address and mitigate these problems through co-ordinated action; and

• Regional and national workshops involving a wide range of stakeholders to identify, discuss and reach consensus on transboundary (marine) water-related issues, constraints and priorities to be addressed.

After TDA generating, a SAP will be prepared. That means the actions related to fisheries management in BOBLME will be taken, and that enforced at both the regional and national levels will be pursued.

3. Asia-Pacific Fisheries Commission The Asia-Pacific Fisheries Commission (APFIC) was established within the framework of the FAO.253 The APFIC Agreement was created at Baguio, Philippines, on 26th February See more detail about the definition and process of TDA, SAP and NAP in H. Wang. An Evaluation of the Modular Approach to the Assessment and Management of Large Marine Ecosystems. Ocean Development and International Law, 35 (2004), 267-286 pp.

APFIC, Agreement at last amended at the twenty-fifth session of the commission (Seoul, Republic of Korea, 15-24 October 1996) Rome, Italy, 2-7 June 1997. art I.

- 71 and amended from time to time. It was last amended at the 25th Session of the APFIC in Seoul, Republic of Korea, at 15-24 October 1996 and then approved by the FAO Council at its 112th Session in Rome, at 2-7 June 1997.255 There are 20 Member States of the APFIC, namely: Australia, Bangladesh, Cambodia, People’s Republic of China, France, India, Indonesia, Japan, Republic of Korea, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, New Zealand, Pakistan, Philippines, Socialist Republic of Vietnam, Sri Lanka, Thailand, United Kingdom and the United States of America.256 The APFIC secretariat is based at the FAO Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific, in Bangkok, Thailand.

The main function of the APFIC is to promote the full and proper utilization of living aquatic resources257 in the Asia Pacific area.258 It seeks to encourage the development and management of fishing and culture operations, and that related to the processing and marketing activities in conformity with the objectives of the Member States.259 The functions respect resources including aquaculture, social and economic, research and training and also disseminate information regarding living aquatic resources and fisheries.260 With respect to resources, Members are to formulate and recommend measures and to initiate and carry out programs or projects to increase the efficiency and sustainable productivity of fisheries and aquaculture; and conserve, manage and protect the resources from pollution.261 With respect to economic and social matters, Members are to keep under review the economic and social aspects of fishing and aquaculture industries and to recommend measures aimed at improving the living and working conditions of fishers and other workers in these industries, and otherwise at improving the contribution of each fishery to national social and economic goals.262 Ibid. Rules of Procedure.


APFIC, Sessions Document (cited May 2007); available from http://www.apfic.org/modules/xfsection/index.php?category=7.

APFIC, Agreement. op. cit. art IV Function.

Ibid. art VI Area.

Ibid. art IV Function.

Ibid. art IV Function (g).

Ibid. art IV Function (b).

Ibid. art IV Function (c).

- 72 Coordinating Body in the Sea of East Asia

The Coordinating Body in the Sea of East Asia (COBSEA) has ten Member States:

Australia, Cambodia, People’s Republic of China, Republic of Korea, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.263 The East Asian Seas Regional Coordinating Unit (EAS/RCU), the lead agency of the United Nations for marine environmental matters in East Asia, serves as Secretariat for COBSEA, and responsible for co-ordinating activities of governments, NGOs, UN and donor agencies, and individuals in caring for the region’s marine environment.

There is no regional convention; instead the programme promotes compliance with existing environmental treaties and is based on Member States goodwill.264 The Action Plan established for Protection and Development of the Marine Environment and Coastal Areas of the East Asian Seas Region known as the East Asian Seas Action Plan. It was approved in 1981, stimulated by concerns on the effects and sources of marine pollution.265 In 1994, the Action Plan was reviewed to “the Protection and Sustainable Development of the Marine and Coastal Areas of the East Asian Region.”266 Initially, the Action Plan involved five States; Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore and Thailand. In 1994, it was revised to involve another five States; Australia, Cambodia, People's Republic of China, Republic of Korea and Vietnam.267 The main components of East Asian Seas Action Plan are assessment of the effects of human activities on the marine environment, control of coastal pollution, protection of mangroves, seagrasses and coral reefs, and waste management.

The COBSEA, complies with international framework such as agenda 21 and LOSC, promotes the sustainable coastal and ocean development, as well as in term of fisheries resources. It promotes policy, legal, organizational reform, relate to coastal and ocean governance in local and national level. Strengthen the local capacity to plan manage the costal fisheries resources.268 COBSEA, member countries (cited May 2007); available from http://www.cobsea.org/aboutcobsea/membercountries.html.

COBSEA, about COBSEA (cited May 2007); available from http://www.cobsea.org/aboutcobsea/background.html.



Ibid United Nations, United Nations Environment program. First Regional Partner Workshop on Regional Coordination Mechanisms in the East Asian Seas Region. Bangkok, Thailand, 9-10 May 2005. UNEP (DEC) /EAS

1.WS annex III. 3-4 pp.

–  –  –

5. Southeast Asian Fishery Development Centre Southeast Asian Fishery Development Centre (SEAFDEC) is an autonomous intergovernmental body established as a regional treaty organization in 1967 to promote fisheries development in Southeast Asia. SEAFDEC aims specifically to develop fishery potential in the region through training, research and information services. It seeks to improve the food supply by rational utilization and development of fisheries resources.270 Its services cover the broad areas of fishing gear technology, marine engineering, fishing ground surveys and stock assessments, postharvest technology as well as development and improvement of aquaculture techniques.271 SEAFDEC currently has 11 Member States, namely Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Japan, Loa PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

It also has a Council of Directors composed of nominees from Member States, as policy-making body to provide directives and guidance on activities of SEAFDEC.272 SEAFDEC has a Secretariat as its administrative arm, based in Bangkok, Thailand, and four technical Departments, namely the Training Department (TD) in Thailand, the Marine Fisheries Research Department (MFRD) in Singapore, the Aquaculture Department (AQD) in the Philippines, and the Marine Fishery Resources Development and Management Department (MFRDMD) in Malaysia.273 At the regional level, SEAFDEC has been formulating and implementing activities under the programs/projects relating to fishery statistics; data and information; and indicators to support planning and management of fisheries of the member States.

As the premier fisheries organization in the region, with a long-term commitment to sustainable development and management of the region's fisheries and coastal resources, SEAFDEC has initiated a comprehensive program known as the Regionalization of the Code of Conduct for United Nations, United Nations Environment program. Report of the brainstorming meeting of the national focal points on new strategic of COBSEA. Bangkok, Thailand, 11 May 2005. UNEP (DEC) /EAS 1.NFP. 1-1 pp.

SEAFDEC, About SEAFDEC (cited 12 June 2007); available from http://www.seafdec.org/seafdec_n/about.htm.




- 74 Responsible Fisheries. It encourages the implementation of regional guidelines for responsible fisheries in Southeast Asia and considers regional specificities of fisheries structure, ecosystem, cultural, social, economic factors, as well as other issues of importance in the region. It also has developed supplementary guidelines on Co-Management using Group User Rights, Fisheries Statistics, Indicators and Fisheries Refugia. The program aims to effectively implement CCRF and to develop supporting activities/materials focusing on increasing human capacity for supporting the implementation of CCRF at the national level.274 SEAFDEC has also initiated programs that concern the sustainable use of marine resources in the region. Thailand has played an important role as a lead country in those programmes concerned with capacity improvement of fisheries community for fisheries management and alleviation of poverty, strengthening small-scale fisheries management through the promotion of rights-based fisheries and co-management, responsible fishing technologies and practices (fishing in harmony with nature), rehabilitation of fisheries resources and habitats/fishing grounds through resource enhancement, and sustainable utilization of potential fisheries resources and reduction of post-harvest losses.275 During the last decades, the international framework for the management of fisheries resources has made great advances, starting with the adoption of the LOSC, the 1992 UNCED, the 1993 FAO Compliance Agreement, the 1995 UNSFA, the 1995 CCRF and the related IPOAs.

These international instruments and commitments lead to the creation of solid foundation for regional fisheries bodies to improve fisheries management which allows for the sustainable use.

The increase of globalize fisheries society means increasing of effort mechanism to manage or regulate fisheries resource, they are all multi scale instruments that should be effective for fisheries management in Thailand. However, the challenge for Thailand is not only to consider ratification and adoption those Agreements, but also their implementation through effective national legislation, policy and practices which are harmonize with global and regional level approaches.

SEAFDEC, ASEAN-SEAFDEC FCG Program (cited 12 June 2007); available from http://www.seafdec.org/seafdec_n/program/html/10.htm.

SEAFDEC, SEAFDEC programs (cited 12 June 2007); available from http://www.seafdec.org/seafdec_n/program/program.asp?offset=15.

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