Ocean and Fisheries

APEC’s Oceans and Fisheries Working Group (OFWG) was formed in 2011, following a decision to merge the Marine Resource Conservation and the Fisheries working groups (in operation since 1990 and 1991, respectively).

The OFWG’s mission is to support APEC’s mission to foster sustainable economic growth, development and prosperity in the Asia-Pacific region.  The OFWG works to facilitate free and open trade in the region and promotes the sustainable use of fisheries, aquaculture, and marine ecosystem resources and related goods and services.  The OFWG will promote cooperation among its members, governments, academia, private industry, and regional and international organizations to advance this process.

The OFWG is committed to

  • Exchanging information and help foster institutional capacity building in a focused regional setting
  • Advancing discussions and the development of solutions for common resource management problems and share best practices
  • Developing projects, which will be managed and evaluated by the working group according to Leaders’ and ministers’ directives
  • Developing a regional approach with improved coordination for the implementation of various instruments (e.g., international plans of action)
  • Facilitating trade and investment opportunities that promote the sustainable use of fisheries, aquaculture, and marine ecosystem resources
  • Cooperating and partnering with other APEC working groups, international organizations, and the private sector where interests intersect
  • Ensuring the conservation and sustainable use of marine resources as well as protection of marine ecosystems needed to support fisheries and aquaculture
  • Promoting a common approach to preventing illegal fishing and related trade
Last page update: February 2021

Current Activities


The 14th APEC Ocean and Fisheries Working Group Meeting

The 14th OFWG Meeting took place from 7 to 8 February in Putrajaya, Malaysia. At the meeting, members presented and discussed APEC- and self-funded projects, and proposed concept notes for 2020.

Members discussed the implementation plan for the 2019 APEC Roadmap on Marine Debris Management as well as the 2019 Roadmap on Combatting IUU Fishing. These plans are considered one of Malaysia’s deliverables for APEC 2020.

The group also started the selection process of new OFWG Lead Shepherd for 2021–2022.

Capacity Building on Global Marine Debris Monitoring and Modeling: Supporting Protection of the Marine Environment (Indonesia)

The workshop was held in Bali, Indonesia, from 18 to 20 February 2020. Its objective is to promote one regional monitoring program and share a virtual collective awareness in order to align the movement in the same directions and promote better action plans in terms of the impact of marine debris, through AOFIC (APEC Ocean Fisheries Information Center) web portal.

The program is designed to encourage all APEC economies to explore prevention, preparedness and awareness by implementing and continuing the action plan of marine debris based on previous APEC capacity building experiences. 

The workshop also strengthens the connectivity between APEC economies and institutions concerned with marine debris. The program is significantly useful for APEC economies by specifically focusing on developing APEC economies, by especially merging their data with other agencies within APEC.


Good Practice and Innovative Workshop for Marine Debris Prevention and Management in the APEC Region (Japan)

Marine debris brings a significant and growing public health and environmental threat with the rapid urbanization of APEC economies, and there is growing awareness that their negative impacts on shipping, tourism and fishing industries would be enormous and chronic. This concern is shared not only by APEC economies, but also by a wide range of international communities. Since 2014, APEC has carried out relevant work, including related teleconferences and workshops, to encourage marine debris cooperation, but its scientific and technological side has not been focus-centered. This workshop aims to contribute to APEC priorities and targets with two points:

  • Sharing the latest good practices of the marine science technologies such as biodegradable plastics or utilizing the Deep-sea Debris Database, and related policies for marine litter prevention and reduction.
  • Encouraging networking, information sharing and coordination of the efforts related to marine science technologies to tackle marine debris.

Incentives, Barriers and Policies to Promote Women inclusion in the Fisheries, Aquaculture and Maritime Sector (Chile)

The economic participation of women in the fisheries, aquaculture and maritime sector is not only low, but is also primarily found in low-skilled jobs. Advancing women’s economic empowerment in high-skilled jobs and management positions, such as managers or masters would enhance the productivity of the industry, which would adapt to changes more effectively, and it would eventually become more stable. Strengthening the diversity of the workforce makes it possible to increase labor productivity as well as to encourage innovation.

This project seeks to identify incentives and barriers for women’s participation in the fisheries, aquaculture and maritime sector of APEC economies. Incentives and best practices will be exchanged by in APEC economies.

A list of recommendations would be proposed, to contribute and facilitate the attraction, retention and development of women in the fisheries, aquaculture and the maritime sector within APEC economies. A two-day workshop will be organized in Chile.

Promoting APEC Innovative Models in Reducing and Managing Land-based Debris into Oceans for Sustainable Development (Viet Nam)

Marine debris, 80 percent of which comes from land-based activities, is a globally recognized environmental issue of increasing concern. Thanks to the Fourth Industrial Revolution, which comes with massive technological change, there have been many innovative measures to improve waste management and reduce the amount of debris into oceans. To take the advantage of these innovative models, the project is designed to be a platform for APEC economies and stakeholders to:

  • Build the capacity of APEC members through sharing policy measures as well as best practices in utilizing new technologies to address effectively the land-based marine debris
  • Develop a compendium of applicable recommendations and feasible innovative models for APEC economies to decrease, monitor and prevent inland wastes to oceans
  • Foster the collaboration in actions for a consistent endeavor in conserving the marine ecosystem

A two-day workshop will be held in Viet Nam which will be based on discussions among the participants coming from governments, NGOs, institutions or businesses working on areas related to oceans protection.

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Ocean and Fisheries

The OFWG and its predecessor working groups (Marine Resource Conservation and Fisheries) have seen the following Declarations issued at the Ministerial-level:


Contact Us


Lead Shepherd
[email protected]

Ms PHAM Tu Uyen

Program Director
[email protected]