Supported by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), Rusty Brainard, Adel Heenan, and Megan Moews of the PIFSC Coral Reef Ecosystem Division from Nov. 28 to Dec. 1 took part in a short writeshop in Phuket, Thailand, to develop the curricula for a training course on implementation of an Ecosystem Approach to Fisheries Management (EAFM). Partners that participated in this writeshop included Robert Pomeroy of the U.S. Coral Triangle Initiative Coral Triangle Support Partnership (CTSP), Simon Funge-Smith of the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO), Rudolf Hermes, Chris O’Brien, and Muralidharan Chavakat of the Bay of Bengal Large Marine Ecosystem (BoBLME) Project, independent consultant Derek Staples, and capacity-building and training consultants Silvia Capezzuoli and Chris Grose from United Kingdom-based IMA International. This writeshop was held at the Andaman Sea Fisheries Research and Development Center.
The FAO defines an EAFM in this way: “An approach to fisheries management and development that strives to balance diverse societal objectives, by taking into account the knowledge and uncertainties about biotic, abiotic, and human components of ecosystems and their interactions and applying an integrated approach to fisheries within ecologically meaningful boundaries.”
Prior to this writeshop, the FAO and BoBLME Project had been developing an EAFM curricula for the 8 countries partnering through the BoBLME Project to improve regional fisheries management: Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Maldives, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, and Thailand. At the same time, NOAA and CTSP had been developing an EAFM curricula for the 6 countries of the Coral Triangle Initiative—Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Timor-Leste, Solomon Islands, and Papua New Guinea—that are partnering to address the urgent threats that face the coastal and marine resources of the Coral Triangle region. The purpose of this writeshop, then, was to initiate the development of an integrated and standardized curricula and training package that participants can provide to these regions and others to support sustainable fisheries management for food security, livelihoods, economic growth, and biodiversity conservation.
The EAFM training course under development at this writeshop is targeted at trainers and resource management practitioners. The objectives of the training course are to help participants develop a better understanding of why an EAFM is beneficial, what EAFM is, and how to implement an EAFM. Participants at this writeshop produced the following draft materials for the course: (1) 5-day training outline, (2) written modules for nearly all of the components, (3) lesson plans, (4) PowerPoint slides, and (5) exercises. Trainers previously unfamiliar with EAFM will be able to use all of this work to train others.
Because this writeshop and the collaboration that was established through it were a great success, participants look forward to sharing materials and working together in the future. The next steps in this cooperative endeavor include review of the draft materials produced during this writeshop and a follow-up writeshop to finish material development. The second writeshop will be followed by further review, a joint pilot training, and further improvement of the course materials. Once the course has been finalized, it will be made widely available to other major agencies and institutions for educational and management uses and on the Web for public use.