The Southeast Asian Fisheries Development Center (SEAFDEC) is an autonomous inter-governmental body established in 1967. The mandate of SEAFDEC as endorsed by the 41st Meeting of the SEAFDEC Council is "to develop and manage the fisheries potential of the region by rational utilization of the resources for providing food security and safety to the people and alleviating poverty through transfer of new technologies, research and information dissemination activities". SEAFDEC comprises 11 Member Countries: Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Japan, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam. The Center operates through the Secretariat located in Thailand and has four Technical Departments, namely: the Training Department; the Marine Fisheries Research Department; the Aquaculture Department; and the Marine Fishery Resources Development and Management Department.
The SEAFDEC Secretariat is mandated to coordinate and oversee the general policy and planning of the Center, and acts as the focal point for channeling and implementing the decisions and resolutions of the SEAFDEC Council of Directors. In addition, the Secretariat also organizes regular SEAFDEC meetings to obtain directives and guidance from the Member Countries on the operation of the organization, as well as regional technical consultations and meetings on issues as recommended by the Member Countries.
The Training Department (TD)
Established in Thailand in 1968, TD has been focusing its efforts on the development of modern fishery techniques to aid regional fisheries in a more sustainable approach through the promotion of responsible fishing technologies and practices, exploration of resources, and advancing the coastal fisheries management approach. Under the new Strategic Plan which was endorsed in 2006, the structure and activities of TD have been adjusted to emphasize on the promotion of coastal fisheries management to ensure responsible resource utilization and sustainable livelihoods in coastal communities, and the promotion of off-shore fisheries through the development of best fishing practices and energy optimization technology to ensure stable supply of food fish and reduce fishing pressure in coastal areas.
The Marine Fisheries Research Department (MFRD)
MFRD was established in Singapore in 1969 and is responsible for promoting, undertaking, and coordinating research in fisheries post-harvest technology and furthering the development of the fish processing industry in the region. Its task includes research and development on fisheries post-harvest technology and practices, such as fish processing technology to optimize the utilization of harvested fish and enhancing the quality and safety of fish and fishery products. MFRD also develops technology-based analytical methods to assess seafood safety and quality, and publishes several manuals as reference materials for the Member Countries.
The Aquaculture Department (AQD)
Established in the Philippines in 1973, AQD has been carrying out research, technology verification, training and information dissemination on a wide range of aquaculture disciplines, including broodstock management and seed quality improvement, promotion of responsible and environment-friendly aquaculture, diagnosis and control of aquatic diseases, aquaculture for stock enhancement, and culture of aquatic species under international concerns. The aquaculture commodities covered by AQD include fishes, shrimps, mud crab, mollusks, and seaweeds. In addition, AQD also promotes good aquaculture practices and effective management of aquatic resources to support rural development and alleviate poverty.
The Marine Fishery Resources Development and Management Department (MFRDMD)
MFRDMD was established in Malaysia in 1992 to conduct activities on marine fishery resources focusing on biological studies of commercially-important fish species, resource assessment and management, and conservation and management of aquatic species under international concerns, e.g. sharks and marine turtles. MFRDMD also implements activities that support the Member Countries in gathering information on inland capture fisheries, and developing of indicators to be used for the sustainable development and management of fisheries.
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