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NEWS UPDATES 24 June 2010

Officials urged to stop overfishing

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The permanent secretary at the Ministry of Industry and Primary Resources has called on high-level Asean fisheries officers, currently convening in Brunei, to discuss ways to overcome overfishing in the region, according to the Brunei Times

At the opening of the 18th Meeting of the Asean Sectoral Working Group on Fisheries (ASWGFi) yesterday, Hjh Suriyah Hj Umar suggested the delegates consider securing cooperation among states that share marine territories.

"(Brunei's) marine fisheries resources are limited and there is a decreasing trend in volume of production, just like other countries in this region. This is mainly due to biological overfishing, especially in the small-scale fisheries sector," she said.

"This is where the Asean member states could work together, especially among coastal states sharing the same waters. I hope this aspect could be looked into as part of the deliberations," she added.

Despite being a "small regional player" in fisheries and aquaculture production, Hjh Suriyah informed the delegates that the Sultanate saw these sectors as a crucial contributor to the nation's economic diversification drive.

She said that development of fishing technologies, aquaculture methods and construction of processing plants were among the initiatives that the country has embarked to cater to growing industry needs. On a broader note, she recognised fisheries' potential to meet the fast growing demand for animal protein and thus, the need to protect marine resources from "degradation", market forces and climate change.

Hjh Suriyah also underscored ASWGFi's role in ensuring sustainable development in the fisheries sector, as part of the process towards the realisation of an Asean Community by 2015.


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