soybean field

USSEC Facilitates Regional Meeting of SE Asian Government and Commercial Companies on Managing Common Water Bodies

USSEC recently facilitated the Common Water Body Modeling Meeting in Bangkok, Thailand, a regional gathering that brought together government, commercial and non-government representatives from the nations of Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam to discuss critical issues in the uses and regulation of common water bodies.  The term “common water bodies” refers to those that are used by multiple stakeholders for aquaculture and typically describes rivers, lakes, reservoirs, estuaries and nearshore marine areas used for cage and pen aquaculture.  This meeting was the culmination of an ongoing two-year United Soybean Board (USB) / New Uses project spearheaded by Dr. David Bengtson and Dr. Michael Rice, professors at the University of Rhode Island.
Dr. Bengtson and Dr. Rice had worked individually with the invited nations prior to this meeting to meet with regulators and industry stakeholders to develop a simple modeling tool to improve regulation and management of common water bodies used for aquaculture.  Currently, most common water bodies either do not have a maximum loading target for aquaculture or have an unrealistic target.  The overall goal of the USB / New Uses project was to help regulators set a basic, safe maximum loading target quickly, and then work to improve the information gathering to further adjust that maximum target.
The outcome of this regional meeting was an agreement that, moving forward, the participants would work together to create some regional approach ideas and to share national and local approaches that have been successful.  Dr. Bengtson will continue to lead this effort until March 2014, when it will transfer to a regional governing structure.

Participants at the Common Water Body Modeling Meeting in Bangkok, Thailand
Participants at the Common Water Body Modeling Meeting in Bangkok, Thailand