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Promoting High-Value Aquaculture

Marketing Politics

BRUNEI, INDONESIA, MALAYSIA, PHILLIPPINES - Delegates from the fisheries sector of Brunei-Indonesia-Malaysia-Philippines East Asian Growth Area (BIMP-EAGA) have gathered in General Santos city, Mindanao, for a three-day conference to promote and improve high-value aquaculture in the sub-region.

The first-ever BIMP-EAGA Business Conference on High Value Aquaculture was a response from BIMP-EAGA governments' directive to create a joint venture on fisheries in the sub-region, that also aims to firm up immediate next steps and generate involvement from all stakeholders in BIMP-EAGA.

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 seaweeds., according to the Mindanao Economic Development Council.

The conference also intends to increase and expand private enterprises on high-value aquaculture in BIMP-EAGA through the active promotion of joint ventures between and among EAGA members, investment and trading and export of high-value seafood to target markets.

The conference will present trade and investment opportunities in the aquaculture sector from among the BIMP-EAGA countries. Best practices and recent breakthroughs on high-value aquaculture farming and marketing will also be presented.

At the end of the conference, a plan of action for high-value aquaculture sector in BIMP-EAGA will be drawn up including business proposals through the business matching sessions.

Among the topics that will be discussed include global market opportunities for high-value aquaculture, economic potentials vis-à-vis environment conservation of the Coral Triangle, as well as business potentials of the abalone industry, seaweeds and grouper.

The participants will also visit the Alson’s Aqua Corporation in Alabel, Sarangani, as a success story on high-value aquaculture.

“By advancing the aquaculture sector, we provide a breathing space to our marine species to regenerate while the fishing operators and their workers have an alternative source of living,” Sani Macabalang, Regional Director of the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatice Resources (BFAR) Region 12 said in a press statement.

The BIMP-EAGA sub-region shares a common vast fishing ground, however, too much pressure brought about by the rapid development of the fishing industry and unsustainable fishing practices, a statement from the conference briefer reads.

Thus, the aquaculture sector has been identified as one of the best solutions to lessen the pressure on natural marine populations, the briefer reads.

The prospects for the development of BIMP-EAGA’s aquaculture sector are promising with its members’ current participation in the Live Reef Food Fish (LRFF) market, which is a principal commodity in Southeast Asia, with China, Hong Kong, and Japan as major demand centres.

Mr Macabalang added that aquaculture plays a vital role in bio-security, food security, and income generation with the growing global demand.