Towards a new area of support for small-scale fisheries and aquaculture

Regional Hybrid Closing Event
of the International Year of Artisanal Fisheries and Aquaculture 2022 for Asia

Towards a new area of support for small-scale fisheries and aquaculture

28th February 2023, 14:00 – 16:00 pm (GMT+7)
Department of Fisheries,
Bangkok, Thailand

Registration deadline (for either in-person or virtual attendance): Feb 24, 2023

In-person venue: Homer Scott Swingle Building, Department of Fisheries, Bangkok, Thailand

Virtual participation: Via Zoom

The event will be conducted in English.

The global food system faces many complex challenges, including hunger, malnutrition and diet related diseases, an ever-growing global population that needs sufficient and healthy food, the need to reduce food loss and waste, the depletion of natural resources and effects of climate change, as well as the effects of the current COVID-19 pandemic.

Fish, molluscs, crustaceans and aquatic plants are fundamental, essential and indispensable foods eaten by people around the world, specially in Asia, as part of healthy diets, cultural heritage and culinary tradition. Small-scale artisanal fishers, fish farmers and fish workers produce a large portion of this food, and they hold enormous potential to promote transformative changes in how, by whom and for whom fish and fishery products are produced, processed and distributed. Supporting these communities is essential towards achieving Blue Transformation through better production, better nutrition, a better environment and a better life.

In recognition of the importance of this sector, the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) declared 2022 as the International Year of Artisanal Fisheries and Aquaculture 2022 (IYAFA 2022), with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) as lead agency. The IYAFA 2022 provided an opportunity to highlight the importance of small-scale artisanal fisheries and aquaculture for our food systems, livelihoods, culture and the environment.

Now that the year has come to an end, the Department of Fisheries in Thailand, jointly with the Too Big To Ignore Partnership (TBTI Global), INFOFISH and with the technical support of FAO, are organizing a hybrid event to formally close the celebration of the IYAFA 2022 in Asia. The event will review IYAFA 2022 activities, and share the key recommendations and commitments for ongoing and future support to artisanal fisheries and aquaculture in the region.


Chalermchai Suwannarak

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Chalermchai Suwannarak is the Director General of the Department of Fisheries, Thailand. He had been working as a fishery biologist at the Department of Fisheries since 20 November 1896. He has a great reputation of being a pioneer in fisheries and aquaculture. Particularly, he manipulated the Marine Fisheries Development Plan of Thailand 2009 – 2018 and the Fisheries Development Policy of Thailand, providing significant impact throughout the supply chain, including capture fisheries, aquaculture, post-harvest processing, and related industry. Since 2005, he has led many successful projects which contribute to promoting fisheries and aquaculture in Thailand to become more efficient, sustainable, inclusive, and resilient. In 2022, he initiated a project on Fisherman Shops to assist and support small-scale aquaculture farmers and artisanal fishers for their better livelihoods. Currently, the branches of Fisherman Shops are successfully expanded in all 77 provinces of Thailand as a new marketing channel for selling fishery products obtained from artisanal and small-scale producers. Moreover, he has launched various projects to address food safety issues in the production of aquatic animals in Thailand as well as other issues to promote Thailand as the Kitchen of the World. 

Nicole Franz


Nicole Franz is a development economist with 18 years of experience in intergovernmental organizations. She holds a Master in International Cooperation and Project Design from University La Sapienza, Rome and a Master in Economic and Cultural Cooperation and Human Rights in the Mediterranean Region. From 2003 to 2008 she was a consultant for the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD). In 2009-10 she was Fishery Planning Analyst at the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) in Paris, focusing on fisheries certification. Since 2011 she works for the FAO Fisheries and Aquculture Division where she coordinates the implementation of the Voluntary Guidelines for Securing Sustainable Small-Scale Fisheries in the Context of Food Security and Poverty Eradication (SSF Guidelines) with a focus on inclusive policy processes and stakeholder empowerment. Since 2021 she leads the Equitable Livelihoods team.

Zainal Arifin Fuad

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Zainal Arifin Fuad is the Chair of Indonesian Peasant Union (SPI) for Foreign Relation. He is also active in La Via Campesina – International Peasant Movement as SPI is its member. He is a member of International Coordination Committee of La Via Campesina -representative of South East and East Asia region, and a member of the Collective work of La Via Campesina on the rights of peasant (United Nation Declaration on the Rights of Peasant and other people working in rural areas/UNDROP) and  the Seed, biodiversity and Agroecology as well. He is also a representative of La Via Campesina in the second vice Presidency of the Global Steering Committee of UN-Decade Family Farming. Now, he is also a member of the Regional Advisory Group VGSSF of Asia from 2020.

Nakazato Tomoko


Nakazato Tomoko is the Deputy Secretary-General of SEAFDEC and the Deputy Chief of SEAFDEC/Training Center. Before taking on these roles, she was the Director of the Overseas Fisheries Cooperation Office International Affairs Division, Fisheries Agency.

Jie Huang


Dr. Jie Huang serves as the Director General of the Network of Aquaculture Centres in Asia-Pacific (NACA), a regional intergovernmental organization. He dedicates himself to strengthening the network and its contribution to sustainable aquaculture development in the region. As an expert in aquaculture epidemiology and biosecurity, Dr. Huang previously held positions such as a Principal Investigator at the Yellow Sea Fisheries Research Institute (YSFRI) within the Chinese Academy of Fishery Sciences (CAFS), the Chief Scientist of CAFS on disease control, and the Designated Expert of the OIE Reference Laboratories for WSD and IHHN. Since 1990, Dr. Huang has conducted research on diagnostics, epidemiology, and control technology for aquatic animal diseases, reported on emerging pathogens and diseases, established new diagnostic methods, developed disease prevention techniques, and actively promoted the biosecurity concept for aquaculture. He has published 400 papers, of which 180 were as the corresponding author, been awarded 57 patents, and achieved other notable accomplishments. He has also mentored over a hundred doctoral and master-level students and postdoctoral scientists. 

Ravadee Prasertcharoensuk


Ravadee Prasertcharoensuk has an educational background in social administration, community development, and human rights.  She has worked in the field of development since 1975. Before she started playing an active role in advocacy and campaign for structural change toward people-centered Sustainable Development at the National and International level, she worked in the rural sector. Since 2018, she has been the director of Sustainable Development Foundation (SDF). SDF is a Rights-based environmental non-government organization promoting inclusion, governance, customary rights on ecosystem-based sustainable natural resource management, people-centered, and women's rights.

Oscar Amarasinghe

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Oscar Amarasinghe is an Emeritus Professor of the University of Ruhuna and present Chancellor of the Ocean University of Sri Lanka. He is also the president of Sri Lanka Forum for Small Scale Fisheries (SLFSSF). He pioneered work in Fisheries Economics and Management in Sri Lanka and has been instrumental in training students in fisheries social sciences. His most important contribution to fisheries development of Sri Lanka include work on the national fisheries policy development process, transboundary fisheries issues in the north, ILO Work in Fishing Sector Convention 188, addressing issues in small scale fisheries through island-wide consultations, implementing FAO Voluntary Guidelines for securing sustainable small scale fisheries and strengthening fisheries cooperatives. He has worked with FAO and the World Bank for a number of initiatives aimed at achieving economically, socially and environmentally sustainable fisheries sector, with major emphasis on addressing community issues.

Shirlene Anthonysamy

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Shirlene Maria Anthonysamy is the director of INFOFISH. Shirlene brings with her more than 20 years of experience in monitoring and reviewing the Asia Pacific fishery industry; carrying out consultancies related to international fishery trade for private companies and national bodies; publishing articles related to international fishery trade and markets; conducting training and facilitation on trade promotion, marketing and database; and coordinating national and international workshops and conferences. She holds a Masters in Food Biochemistry and Bachelors in Biochemistry and Microbiology from University Putra Malaysia. Shirlene has been heading INFOFISH as Acting Director since May 2016 and became Director of INFOFISH in December 2018. Prior to that she was Trade Promotion Officer at INFOFISH for
16 years. 

Ratana Chuenpagdee


Ratana Chuenpagdee is a University Research Professor in Geography at Memorial University of Newfoundland, in St. John’s. She is leading a major global research partnership, Too Big To Ignore (TBTI), which aims at elevating the profile of small-scale fisheries and rectifying their marginalization in national and international policies. As part of this project, she’s coordinating research and activities to support the implementation of the SSF Guidelines and transdisciplinary research for fisheries and ocean governance around the world. Ratana also co-leads a research module on informing governance responses in a changing ocean for the Ocean Frontier Institute, another major collaborative research initiative between universities, governments, private sectors and communities. Together with colleagues, she co-edits several TBTI books about small-scale fisheries, the latest of which is titled “Blue Justice: Small-Scale Fisheries in a Sustainable Ocean Economy.”

Yinji Li

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Yinji Li is a marine social scientist with a PhD in Marine Science from the Tokyo University of Marine Science and Technology, Japan. She is currently an Associate Professor in the School of Marine Science and Technology at Tokai University, Shizuoka, Japan. Her research interests and expertise lie in small-scale fisheries and coastal issues in Northeast Asian regions. She is also the TBTI Japan Research Network coordinator, the Japan country team coordinator of the V2V Global Partnership project, a member of the Human Dimensions Working Group of the IMBeR project, and a member of the Board of Trustees of IPNLF.


Alice Ferrer

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Dr. Alice Joan G. Ferrer is Professor 12 in Economics and Scientist III from the University of the Philippines Visayas (UPV). Currently, she is the Dean of UPV College of Arts and Sciences, Immediate Past President of the Asian Fisheries Society (2022-2025), and Immediate Past President of Asian Fisheries Social Science Research Network (2021-2024).  She is a pioneer member of the Global Partnership for Small Scale Fisheries Research (Too Big to Ignore Global). She is the project manager of the National Consortium for Small-Scale Fisheries Research and Development in the Philippines (TBTI Philippines) launched in November 2022 with 32 State Universities and Colleges as members. 

Mahmud Islam

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Mahmudul Islam is an associate professor at the Department of Coastal and Marine Fisheries at Sylhet Agricultural University in Bangladesh. He received his PhD from the University of Bremen in Germany. His PhD research contextualized poverty and vulnerability in the livelihoods of coastal fishing communities in Bangladesh. With a background in marine science, oceanography, and fisheries development studies, Dr. Islam is an interdisciplinary marine social scientist with interests in coastal social-ecological systems. He has more than ten years of experience in conducting research on coastal communities, small-scale fisheries, and marine conservation in Bangladesh. Some of his works focused on policy and marine management, thus he has gathered experiences in working at the science-policy-interface. His recent research interests include marine protected areas governance, climate change impacts, and disaster risk reduction in coastal Bangladesh. Recently he led a research project on the implementation of the Voluntary Guidelines for Securing Sustainable Small-Scale Fisheries (SSF Guidelines) in Bangladesh small-scale fisheries.


Simon Funge-Smith

Simon Funge-Smith, is currently the Senior Fishery Officer at the Asia and Pacific Regional Office of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization and is he Secretary of the Asia-Pacific Fishery Commission. His professional career spans both fisheries and aquaculture development, with more than 30 years of experience working in Asia. With responsibility for coordinating FAO's regional programme on fisheries and aquaculture, his work covers the valuation and assessment of the role and importance of the regional capture fisheries and aquaculture, marine and inland fisheries development, extensive and intensive aquaculture, rural development and their associated livelihoods. As part of FAOs function to develop norms for responsible use and management of fisheries resources he works with regional and global networks of government officers, researchers and civil society organizations to seek solutions to national and regional challenges to responsible capture fisheries. He was part of the FAO consultation process to develop regional input to the development of the VGSSF.


Angela Lentisco


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