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High-Value Aquaculture Good For Cooperation

Economics +1 more

PHILIPPINES - Officials from the fisheries department from Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines have gathered in General Santos city, Mindanao for the first-ever Bimp-Eaga Business Conference on High Value Aquaculture.

According to Brunei News, a statement from the Mindanao Economic Development Council (Medco) said that the three-day conference is focused on promoting and improving high value aquaculture in the sub-region.

Bimp-Eaga is the Brunei Darussalam-Indonesia-Malaysia-Philippines East ASEAN Growth Area.

He said: "The conference was a response from Bimp-Eaga governments' directive to create a joint venture on fisheries in the sub-region." The conference also aimed to strengthen immediate steps and generate involvement from all stakeholders in the Eaga region.

According to a statement, 'High-value aquaculture has been identified as one of the areas of collaboration by the Bimp-Eaga Fisheries Working Group along with tuna, sardines and seaweed.'

This first-time conference will also try to increase and expand private enterprises on high-value aquaculture in the region through active promotion of joint ventures between and among Eaga members, investment and trading, and export of high-value seafood to target markets.

Trade and investment opportunities in the aquaculture sector from among the Bimp-Eaga countries are hoped to be present in the talks along with best practices and recent breakthroughs on high-value aquaculture farming and marketing. At the end of the conference, a plan of action for high value aquaculture sector in the growth-area will be drawn up including business proposals through the business matching sessions. The statement said that the topics to be discussed include global market opportunities for high-value aquaculture, economic potentials related to environment conservation of the Coral Triangle, as well as business potentials of the abalone industry, seaweeds and grouper.

Meanwhile, the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) has advised stakeholders of the aquaculture region to sustain and maintain good environmental conservation programmes which will result in improved business in the sector, reports Brunei News.

Dr Jose A. Ingles of WWF commented: "The aquaculture industry will certainly sustain through environmental conservation," according to the Philippine News Agency. Dr Ingles, one of the speakers, said that the crisis of dwindling tuna stocks is mainly due to over-fishing instigated by the loss of bio-diversity and natural capital like coral reefs and mangroves.

He reminded attendees that it is every man's duty to preserve the ecosystem by acting responsibly while ensuring the sustainability of supply, hence, business sustainability.

The four-member countries resolved to bolster environmental conservation for better market access and strengthen cost-effective systems on energy and water usage for savings in operations that would produce good profit. The three-day summit is expected to come up with a common direction leading to the preservation of ecosystem in what used to be rich aquaculture areas in the borders of four Asian countries.