State of Fishery and Aquaculture Industry Briefings kicked off with Azerbaijan
- All participants agreed the view that both national and intra-regional collaboration and partnerships in fisheries and aquaculture industry is a prerequisite for the development of the sector.
Monthly webinar series titled the State of Fishery and Aquaculture Industry Briefing started with Azerbaijan on October 19 with the participation of various stakeholders including representatives from FAO, the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry of the Republic of Turkey (MAF), and the Ministry of Ecology and Natural Resources of Azerbaijan and the private sector. Representatives of key stakeholders in the fishery and aquaculture industy in Azerbaijan took the webinar as a platform to brief each other, discuss opportunities and challenges in the sector and establish networks.
Organized under the project titled Capacity Development for Sustainable Fisheries and Aquaculture Management in Central Asia (FISHCap), participants of the webinar sought the ways of inter-industry cooperation and establishing partnerships and discussed effective management of fisheries and aquaculture industry in Azerbaijan. All participants agreed the view that both national and intra-regional collaboration and partnerships in fisheries and aquaculture industry is a prerequisite for the development of the sector.
The event started with a short brief by Haydar Fersoy, senior fishery officer from FAO, who introduced the main aims and objectives of the monthly webinar series. In her opening remarks, Melek Cakmak, FAO Representative in Azerbaijan, pointed out the potential of fishery and aquaculture industry and underlined the necessity of regulating the industry by considering its impacts on environment. Çakmak reminded that fishery and aquaculture products are deemed to be one of the healthiest food in the world and can be critical in eliminating hunger and malnutrition. Underlining the importance of partnership with private sector, Çakmak expressed that Azerbaijan realized a significant progress in fisheries and agriculture sector.
Webinar contiued with the speech by Viorel Gutu, FAO Sub-regional Coordinator for Central Asia and FAO Representative in Turkey. Gutu expressed his pleasure that the state of fishery and aquaculture industry briefing series provides participants with a fertile environment to establish partnerships, share information and experience and strengthen inter-industry cooperation and stakeholder involvement. These are what we need for effective participatory fisheries/aquaculture management, he added.
Gutu’s speech was followed by FAO Regional Programme Leader for Europe and Central Asia Raimund Jehle’s address. Jehle put emphasis on international standards in the sector and said that safety challenges on fisheries and aquaculture persist because of lack of compliance of international standards.
Mustafa Altuğ Atalay, the General Director of Fishery and Aquaculture Products of the MAF, expressed in his short brief that Turkey is pleased to share its experiences in fishery and aquaculture sector with its counterparts in the region.
The event continued with Mehman Akhundov’s presentation. Mentioning the importance of collaboration with FAO and Azerbaijan, Akhundov, Director of Biodiversity Research Centre, Ministry of Ecology and Natural Resources of Azerbaijan, explained the prospects for the development of aquaculture in Azerbaijan giving details about fish farms operations in the country. Akhundov also portrayed challenges to Azerbaijan’s fishery and aquaculture sector and presented his proposals to tackle with these challenges.
The webinar ended with a questions & answers session in which representatives from the private sector directed their questions to the experts.