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David @ Tokyo

Perspective from Japan on whaling and whale meat, a spot of gourmet news, and monthly updates of whale meat stockpile statistics



The Overseas Fisheries Consultants Association (OFCA)

One area of focus of the Government of Japan's Official Development Assistance (ODA) programme is fisheries related development assistance.

The Overseas Fisheries Consultants Association (OFCA) foundation is apparently one organization involved in the programme. Their homepage (sorry, Japanese only it seems) describes their activities.

You can however get an idea of where in the world they are active from the following pages (which have maps)
I might come back to some of this an translate later, but for now here is my translation of their first page which basically covers what OFCA is, and what they are about:

About OFCA

A great many countries including Japan rely heavily on marine resources, and in people of developing countries also seek animal protein from this source. As such, considering the fact that the global population is increasing, marine resources play an important role as supply source for animal-based protein. However, as seen from the decrease in resources due to unregulated fishing and excessively developed coastal areas, year-by-year the environment for the fisheries industry is becoming increasingly severe, and an important current concern is how we may manage and most effectively utilise these limited marine resources. Above all, amongst developing countries that are in a transition phase from small time fishing to commercial fishing, there are those aiming to move from a "taking" fisheries mentality to one of "fisheries cultivation", those encouraging increased production in fresh water based aquaculture under restricted conditions, and so on, resulting in a variety of development plans being made to promote fisheries in a range of different environments. In such nations, however, from economic and technical perspectives the true situation leaves much to be desired, with operations not proceeding as planned in many places. Therefore assistance from developed nations is required. OFCA is actively working to contribute to fisheries promotion in these developing nations, by utilising our experience and high-caliber technology in the fisheries field, of which our country is placed at the top level in the world.

Founded: 1989 February 28
Jurisdiction: International section, Resource Management Department, Fisheries Agency
Representative: Toru Morikawa (Chairman)

The state of the fisheries industry

The global population broke through 6 billion in 1999, however amongst those, 14% or 840 million people are in a situation where they are not receiving adequate food. Moreover, the UN estimates that by 2050 the global population will reach 10 billion. The UN Food and Agriculture Organization reports that 35% of the world's important fisheries resources are in an overdeveloped state, and 47% are currently developed to the maximum levels possible. The 1998 Rome Declaration on the Implementation of the Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries states the importance of striving towards the following.

* The suitable and sustainable use of the world's fishery resources
* Access through an ecosystem approach to fisheries management
* The contribution of fisheries towards the national economic and social goals of states and the attainment of world food security

In light of this, Japan, as the world leader in the fisheries field, is proactively working towards fishing effort reduction, marine resource aquaculture, and maintenance and preservation issues. In developing nations, besides marine resources being a precious source of protein for citizens, they are also indispensable for advancing the livelihoods of small time fishermen, as they are a source of foreign exchange income. Therefore, there is a need for us to continue to proactively expand our co-operation in this field. In turn, in order to plan for future production increases within the fisheries industry, it is necessary to make efforts in new fields, such as of course the further development of aquaculture industry, the servicing and creation of fishing grounds, and the new development of marine resources which are currently not being effectively utilised. In particular, because of excessive protection due to some developed nations and the egos of environmental protection groups, effective utilization is restricted. Due to the over-increase in some species such as whales, ecosystems may be damaged leading to negative repercussions for fishing. Thus it is necessary to plan for the effective utilization of yet-to-be exploited and un-exploited marine resources. OFCA is contributing to the world fishing industry taking into consideration these circumstances.

More to come on Fisheries ODA.

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