The Asian Fisheries Social Sciences Research Network Section (AFSSRN) was established in 1996. Prior to this, it was a research network launched as a project of ICLARM (now the World Fish Center) in 1983 to address the need to enhance social science research capabilities of relevance to capture fisheries, coastal resource management and aquaculture in Asia. ICLARM actively coordinated the Network from 1983-1996. AFSSRN received funding support from ICLARM, IDRC and the Ford Foundation, and evolved through four Phases of Social Science research and training/capability-building components.
- Phase 1 focused on fisheries economics;
- Phase 2 focused on key issues affecting the development of capture fisheries and aquaculture (technology, fish marketing and resource management);
- Phase 3 focused on the social science aspects of fisheries and aquaculture resources management; and
- Phase 4 addressed policy analysis and social science research applicable to fisheries and coastal resource management.
By the time IDRC support ended in 1996, the Network consisted of 15 research teams, totaling more than 80 researchers, at universities, research institutions and government fisheries agencies in Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, the Philippines and Vietnam.
In an attempt to sustain the Network, ICLARM provided some funds for one annual training and team leaders meeting, at which it was agreed that AFSSRN would apply to become a section of the Asian Fisheries Society. With the acceptance by AFS, the Network drew up a Constitution, consequently approved in Bali, Indonesia in March 1996. In this Constitution, ICLARM accepted a lead role, specifically to serve as vice-chairman of the executive committee. ICLARM staff would continue to provide technical guidance to the AFSSRN and also publish AFSSRN News in NAGA, ICLARM’s quarterly publication. Dr. Nik Mustapha Abdullah was elected as the Chair of the Network and the Vice-Chair was filled by Dr. Kuperan Viswanathan of the WorldFish Center.
In 1997, an AFSSRN meeting was held in Phuket, Thailand. In November 1999, a special session of the AFSSRN on socioeconomics issues in fisheries in Asia was organized at the 5AFF in Chiang Mai, Thailand. Section members who attended the Fisheries Co-management Research Workshop at the Coastal Resources Institute (CORIN), Prince of Songkla University, Hadyai, Thailand in October 2-7, 2000 were also involved in undertaking research for the phase two of the Coastal Resources Co-management Project undertaken by World Fish Center.
In 2006, AFS tasked Ida Siason of University of the Philippines Visayas to reactivate the Section as a vehicle to strengthen social science analysis in fisheries and aquaculture research. An internet-based survey was taken of AFS member who indicated preference for Section membership. In 2007, during the 8AFF at Kochi, India, a meeting was held among social scientists to discuss possible ways forward. The follow-through discussions on this were carried on through email. Another meeting was held with social scientists of Shanghai Ocean University in 2009, to stimulate interest in the Section in anticipation of the 9AFAF to be held in Shanghai in 2011. Furthermore, a core group from several countries with AFS members was formed to anchor the Section interest, and the members agreed to be the Section’s resource person on matters pertaining to social science concerns in their geographic area. In September 2010, AFS appointed Dr. Nerissa Salayo of SEAFDEC (Aquaculture Department in the Philippines) to be the Coordinator of the AFSSRN.
The reactivation of the AFSSRN will enable the network to tap the potentials of scientists in the member countries and build their capabilities to deliver better science in the sector. The following objectives on which AFSSRN was established continue to be relevant, given the new challenges in the dynamic fisheries and aquatic resources sector:
- To promote effective interaction and cooperation among persons involved in living aquatic resources social sciences research;
- To encourage and promote investigation and advances in knowledge of living aquatic resources social sciences;
- To focus attention on living aquatic resources social sciences problems by disseminating technical and other information on all aspects of living aquatic resources social sciences and management; and
- To promote the proper use of living aquatic resources social sciences research practices and results in the region.
Chairperson: Dr. Alice Joan FERRER
Current Coordinator: -
Asian Fisheries Society
c/o Laboratory of Marine Biotechnology
Institute of Bioscience
Unversiti Putra Malaysia
43400, UPM Serdang
Tel. No. (+603) 8947 2216
Fax No. (+603) 8947 2217