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Extreme Weather Impact on Fishing Discussed

03 May 2012, at 1:00am

TAIWAN - Taiwan held a seminar to share its experiences in dealing with the impact of extreme climate on its aquaculture industry and fisheries. Held in Taipei on March 21-23, this seminar brought together 18 of the 21 member countries of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), according to the Council of Agriculture.

Around 80 representatives from countries such as the United States, Canada, Australia, Japan and South Korea took part in the seminar, which was first proposed by Taiwan's Deputy Agriculture Minister Hu Sing-hwa during the third APEC Oceans-related Ministerial Meeting in Peru in October 2010, the council said.

At the ministerial meeting, Hu presented a report on the loss of lives in the aquaculture sector due to the Typhoon Morakot that devastated Taiwan in August 2009 and the country's rebuilding efforts after the disaster, the council said. In addition, Hu expressed Taiwan's willingness to contribute to the international society by establishing an information exchange platform and holding seminars to help APEC members share disaster prevention technologies and experiences, as the world faces climate change and extreme weather.

Chern Jenn-chuan, the Public Construction Commission Minister and CEO of the Morakot Post-Disaster Reconstruction Council, was the keynote speaker at the seminar. He discussed the results of the rebuilding efforts by people from all walks of life in the past two years, after the Typhoon Morakot hit Taiwan and caused massive floods and landslides in the country. Experts from Taiwan, Japan, the Philippines, Australia and Indonesia also discussed the response mechanisms to climate change and natural disasters in aquaculture policies. Meanwhile, experts from the 18 countries presented reports and described measures to cope with climate change. They also attempted to formulate a possible code of action to promote the sustainability of the fishing and aquaculture industries, the council said.

In recent years, the likelihood of natural disasters has increased, the council said, with extreme weather such as torrential rain, drought, heat waves, cold waves and even multiple disasters impacting the industry, especially fishing and aquaculture, in every country. A United Nations report in 2009 pointed out that the Asia-Pacific had experienced frequent natural disasters, with 70 percent of all severe disasters occurring in this area. The report also noted that climate change would only increase the possibility of disasters in the region and their severity. Therefore, mitigating and adapting to the impact of climate change and extreme weather was a key consideration for the Taiwanese government in its development plans for its industries, the council said.

By inviting representatives from APEC countries, officials of the APEC Ocean and Fisheries Working Group, and business leaders and experts in the fields of climate change and ocean preservation, the seminar was able to discuss reports on the impact of extreme weather on aquaculture and analyze the response strategies of different countries. The discussions held and conclusions reached during the seminar will be summed up and submitted with suggestions for the APEC Ocean and Fisheries Working Group at meetings of the senior officials from APEC's member countries, the council said.

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