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Asia-Pacific Region Discussed Sustainable Fisheries Development

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VIET NAM - Representatives of the Asia Pacific Fishery Commission's member countries gathered in Da Nang to discuss ways to develop regional fisheries in a sustainable manner.

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Over the next two days, participants will discuss the management and governance of fisheries and aquaculture in Asia-Pacific, reports VNS.

"The session will focus on how to improve assessments of fisheries resources, adaptation and mitigation measures for climate change, and improving livelihoods for fishing communities," said Simon Funge Smith from the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations' regional office for Asia and the Pacific.

"We'll find a way to support coastal area fishermen in coping with climate change as well as mitigating the use of driftnets and catching small fish for foodstuff power," he said.

Mr Smith added the session was being held to help local administrations build plans and policies on fishing grounds, coastline fishing in appropriate seasons, and illegal fishing activities.

"The session will be a chance for Viet Nam to gain experience from member countries and improve the management of fisheries and aquaculture," said Nguyen Huy Dien, a representative from the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.

"There are not strong enough sanctions in place to tackle illegal fishing or appropriate policies on fishing management. We hope that the country will finalise strict policies to protect fish resources and aquaculture soon," he said.

Viet Nam has joined the top 20 countries in terms of fisheries in recent years and become the sixth largest exporter of seafood. The sector employed five million people last year.

The country's fisheries sector produced a total of 5.3 million tonnes of seafood and aquaculture last year, earning US$6.1 billion and becoming one of the country's top three export industries.

According to a report from the commission, Asia and the Pacific are the most important regions for fish production in the world.

Fisheries production in Asia and the Pacific reached 48.7 million tonnes in 2010, representing over half of world production, valued at $48.3 billion.

At the same time, the Asia and the Pacific region produced 53.1 million tonnes of farmed aquaculture products (excluding aquatic plants), representing 89 per cent of global aquaculture production worth some US$95.2 billion.

Deputy chairman of the Da Nang People's Committee Vo Duy Khuong said the central city, which has a 90km coastline and fishing grounds of 15,, had a fleet of 2,300 fishing vessels.

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