The call was made by Endhay Kusnendar, head of the research and development division of Indonesia`s Marine and Fisheries Ministry at the opening session of the 22nd APEC Fisheries Working Group Meeting as well as the 24th APEC`s Marine Resource Conservation Working Group Meeting in Bali on Monday.
Endhay said APEC had now become one of the prominent economic powers in the world with its member economies accounting for 57% of the global GDP and more than 40% of the world trade volume.
With a total population of more than 2.6 billion, he said, APEC itself had become a huge potential market. The consumption of global fish products in APEC economies had reached 70%, which comes from both captured and aquaculture production.
"Though the numbers look very promising, on the other hand, however, we are facing a major threat of ecosystem degradation due to excessive use of our resources which in return will jeopardize the sustainability of our oceans, and coastal resources," he said.
He said it was crucial for countries having marine resources to realize the full economic potential of their fisheries resources. "Economic sustainability depends not only on management of resource sustainability but that economic value added for economies from the use of such resources is fully enabled," he said.
Therefore, Endhay said, Indonesia with its mega marine biodiversity as a comparative advantage, realized the responsibility to safeguard the sustainable development of its marine resources and called on other APEC members to make the most of their ocean related resources and manage it in a sustainable manner.
He also reminded about the agreement which had been made by APEC Ocean-Related Ministers last 2010 in Paracas, Peru, titled the Paracas Declaration.
"I believe strongly, after all these declarations; it is high time for us to reaffirm our commitment by moving from words to action in achieving sustainable development of our ocean, seas, and coastal resources in the Asia-Pacific region," he said.
The APEC`S 22nd Fisheries Working Group Meeting and the 24th Marine Resource Conservation Working Group Meeting in Bali takes place in Bali starting June 6-9.
The meeting is participated in by representatives from 16 countries namely Indonesia, the US, Malaysia, Taiwan, Japan, Thailand, Mexico, South Korea, Australia, Hong Kong, Chile, Russia, the Philippine, China and Vietnam. The event is also attended by an observer from Independent Assessor and four expert speakers, including from NGOs.
Since 2010, the Lead Shepherd position for APEC FWG held by Mr Gellwynn Jusuf PhD from Indonesia, which currently also serves as Secretary General of Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries (MMAF), while Mr Ulises Munaylla PhD from Peru is the Lead Shepherd from APEC MRCWG since 2009. They are both Co-Chairs of the four days meeting in Bali.
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