Welcome to the ASEM Aquaculture Platform

The ASEM Aquaculture Platform intends to work out an action-oriented agenda for co-operation and to develop a multi-stakeholder platform for dialogue, networking and continued coordination concerning sustainable aquaculture between EU and Asia.
Through its different stakeholders the platform aims to reconcile ecological and socio-economic demands and introduce or consolidate concepts of sustainability in aquaculture development in both regions. The platform connects experts, the public and policy-makers by disseminating knowledge up to policy levels as well as down to farmers or consumers.

The platform is supported by the FP7 programme of the European Commission and by the Flemish Research Council.

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Aquaculture certification

Driven by concerns that some forms of aquaculture may be environmentally unsustainable, socially inequitable, and that products are not safe for consumers, over the years there have been attempts to respond to the consequent public perceptions and market requirements. Food safety standards have been elevated and international trade regulations tightened. In response to the growing environmental and consumer concerns and in order to secure better market access, aquaculture producers are paying more attention to the certification of aquaculture products and production systems.

One of the main tasks of the ASEM Aquaculture Platform is to facilitate the dialogue on issues where a lack of communication between Asian and European partners or between different stakeholders has given rise to misunderstandings or a conflict of interests. The Platform seeks to identify the main parties involved and to invite, as a neutral host, their representatives for an open discussion. Therefore, ASEM Aquaculture Platform has facilitated contacts between Asian and European stakeholders in this matter.
ext_link.png FAO/NACA Aquaculture Certicifation 

Thai shrimp culture: quality control & certification

On Monday April 21, 2008, the ASEM Aquaculture Platform organised 2 dialogues between European and Asian stakeholders in currently critical issues: the interaction of Thai shrimp farming with European parties and the sustainability of Pangasius culture in Vietnam. We have also offered our network services to the Thai Department of Fisheries in their effort to propagate their accomplishments in shrimp culture certification.
ext_link.png Thai Department of Fisheries
ext_link.png Thai Frozen Food Association
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Context

Europe is an important importer of Thai penaeid shrimp. In recent years, European import regulations for these products underwent drastic changes. The speed of change and increasing severity of these regulations have put a serious burden on exporting countries such as Thailand. Yet, the Thai authorities have successfully enforced a remarkable effort across the Thai shrimp industry towards certification and quality control.Upon request of the Director General of Fisheries of Thailand and at the occasion of her presence in Brussels with a delegation of her department and representatives of the Thai shrimp industry, the Thai delegation would like to present to the Commission the present status of their shrimp farming industry (incl. efforts to develop and apply best management practices and quality control measures, problems with export certification issues, etc.) and explore opportunities for better interaction with the public and private sector in Europe.

Summary of the discussions

Dr Rudy Herman, host of the meeting, welcomed the participants and outlined the motives of the Flemish Ministry of Research and Innovation to support the ASEM Aquaculture Platform. Prof Sorgeloos, coordinator of the ASEM Aquaculture Platform, outlined the purpose of the meeting. Mrs. Somying Piumsombun, Director General of DOF Thailand, introduced the members of her delegation. Mrs. Waraporn Prompoj presented the latest developments in the Thai aquaculture production, certification and quality control schemes.
The Thai DOF expressed their interest in cooperation with Europe, more specifically with the European Commission, for following issues:

  • computerized traceability on capture fisheries
  • computerized trade control and export system
  • training on bivalve culture and harvesting
  • ASEAN Shrimp Alliance: shrimp seminar/conference
  • improvement of Thai Fish Market Organization
  • eco-labelling; and experiences in fisheries resource management in EU as lesson learned for Thailand

A constructive discussions was held on these issues and concrete follow-up activities or reference to appropriate contactpersons where agreed on.

Participants  

  • Department of Fisheries (DOF) Bangkok
    • Mrs. Somying Piumsombun, Director General
    • Mr. Jirawan Yamprayoon - Deputy Director General
    • Mrs. Waraporn Prompoj - Director Foreign Affairs Division ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. )
    • Mrs. Warin Thanasomwang, Director Samutsakorn Coastal Fisheries R&D Center
    • Mrs Malinee Smithritthee, Senior Fisheries Biologist
    • Mrs Passarapa Kaewnern, Food Technologist
    • Mr. Pisit Wongsagnasri, Food Technologist
  • Thai Embassy in Brussels
    • Mr. Adisorn Promthep - Ministry Counselor for Agriculture ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. )
    • Ms Pasinee Na Pombejra - first secretary Office of Agricultural Affairs ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. )
  • European Commission
    • Mr. Richard Bates Directorate-General for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. )
    • Mr. Timothy Hall, DG Research, Director ‘Biotechnologies, Agriculture and Food' ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. )
    • Mr. Mario Santos, DG Research, Agriculture, Forestry, Fisheries and Aquaculture ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. )
  • Food & Agriculture Organisation
    • Mr. Gerry O'Sullivan, Fish Utilization and Marketing Service (FIIU) ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. )
  • Flemish Community, Administration for Economy, Science & Innovation of the Flemish Community
    • Mr. Rudy Herman, Senior scientist ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. )
  • INVE Aquaculture
    • Mr. Patrick Lavens, New Business Development Manager ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. )
    • Mr. Rudi Bijnens, general manager INVE Vietnam ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. )
  • ASEM Aquaculture Platform (Lab of Aquaculture & Artemia Reference Center, Ghent University)
    • Mr. Patrick Sorgeloos, chairman ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. )
    • Mr. Jean Dhont, secretary ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. )
  • IntraSoft
    • Mrs. Eleftheria Prodromou, journalist ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. )