U.S. Soybean Export Council, Fishin’ Company lead Southeast Asia workshops on sustainable marine aquaculture
With the goal of upping the production of sustainable marine aquaculture species in Southeast Asia, the U.S. Soybean Export Council (USSEC) facilitated a series of workshops throughout the region during the first half of May 2017.
The “Development of a Sustainable, High-Volume, Export-focused Marine Fish Aquaculture Sector in Southeast Asia” workshop series took place in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; Jakarta, Indonesia; Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam; and Manila, Philippines. Representatives from local governments, industry associations, international buyers, certification programs and exports all participated in the workshops, discussing how the Southeast Asian marine aquaculture industry can target international, extra-regional export markets.
While a large number of high-quality processing facilities for land-based aquaculture exist in Southeast Asia, the region’s marine fish aquaculture industry remains predominantly outdated, trailing behind “global trends towards larger scale, industrial marine fish cage farms that operate in offshore areas,” according to USSEC. Therefore, the organization focused its the workshops on preparing the overall Southeast Asia industry to plan sufficiently for export markets, it said.
“We were energized by the regional industry turnout and the overall interest in growing this sector of the industry,” said Lukas Manomaitis, USSEC Technical Director for Southeast Asia, during one of the workshop sessions. “We are confident that the conversations and discussions that were had by the industry stakeholders at these workshops will set the foundation for significant sustainable, feed‐based marine fish aquaculture production in these countries. In turn, this will increase markets for high quality U.S. soy feed ingredients.”
Matt Brooker, business development manager for The Fishin’ Company, presented at the workshops on the perspectives of exporters and buyers.
“I walked away from this experience with an excitement for the direction that USSEC is leading the industry in the region,” Brooker said. “There is a real need for high-quality, sustainable, and affordable seafood in North America and Europe. I believe that Southeast Asia is well positioned to capitalize on this demand with marine aquaculture as long as the production is established in a way that meets the required standards of our markets.”
“The Fishin’ Company stands ready to support and promote production facilities and countries that focus on sustainable and responsible production,” Brooker added.
Scott Zimmerman of Safe Quality Seafood Associates participated in the workshops, along with Isidor Yu of GlobalG.A.P. and Nguyen Thanh Binh of the Global Aquaculture Alliance’s Best Aquaculture Practices (BAP) program. Langley Gace and David Kelly of Innovasea Systems also participated.