Essential EAFM - Ecosystem Approach to Fisheries Management

Date: 2-8 March 2015
Venue: Rayong Province, Thailand

Overall course objectives
Participants will understand the concept and need for an Ecosystem Approaches to Fisheries
Management (EAFM) and acquire skills and knowledge to develop, implement and monitor an “EAFM plan” to better manage capture fisheries.


The welcome address and closing note were made by Dr. Chumnarn Pongsri, Secretary-General and Chief of the Training Department. Dr. Yuttana Theparoonrat, Coastal and Small-scale Fisheries Management Division Head/Information and Training Division Head, gave a speech on introduction of the course. Dr. Jarin Sawanboonchun, Regional EAFM Training Coordinator from Bay of Bengal Large Marine Ecosystem Project, gave a brief on the background of the EAFM course.

The course was delivered entirely by SEAFDEC trainers; 1) Mr. Isara Chanrachkij, 2) Ms. Panitnard Taladol, 2) Ms. Saivason Klinsukhon, 3) Ms. Jariya Sornkliang, 4) Ms. Rattana Tiaye, 5) Mr. Krit Phusirimongkol. At the end of each day the trainers and coach had a feedback session and detailed planning of the following day. There were total of 20 participants on this course: five each from Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, and Thailand.

The original 5.5 days program was extended to 7 complete days to incorporate a half day field visit to a local fishing village on the morning of day 6. The standard course sequence and the activities was followed in the session plans, only alternating slightly to ensure a good daily spread of theory and practice. Days 1-7 ran as original plan (see timetable in Appendix). However, there were some changes such as the lunch time. We expanded the lunch time for 30 minutes for Muslim praying.

At the end of each training day, after detailed feedback and discussions on the delivery; the trainers carefully planned the subsequent day, confirming the already assigned allocation, and assigning responsibilities for every planned activity, including the energizers.

As a response to requests for moving to bigger room, we have some activities outside the room. For the food, we concerned more about the Muslim food; therefore, we have more seafood, vegetable and fruit during lunch and coffee break. In addition, we have a video and more case studies/examples during the presentation. It is very important for the trainers to look after the participants. We responded the participants’ requests as much as we can.

The field trip on day 6 was to Mae Rumphung beach, Ban Pay District, Rayong. At the village, the participant had two and a half hours for face-to-face interview with local fisherman including participatory discussions by using a tools; Historical time lines, Venn’s diagram, Identify and Prioritize stakeholders (HH, HL matrix), Identify and Prioritize threats and issues either (simple ranking or HH, HL matrix), Problem tree analysis. Outcomes were that our participants practised focus group discussions including facilitation and observation; also historical time lines and HH, HL matrix were generated. Then, we had a result of each group presentation at EMDEC. In the evening, some participants prepared their presentation in the training’s room but the room can provided only till 7 pm.

The EAFM draft plan presentations went well; groups put a lot of work into preparation. Indonesia chose “Fishery in Bali Straight”, Malaysia chose “Coastal Area in Selangor”, Myanmar chose “Thaninthanyi Coastal Area”, and Thailand chose “Phung-Nga Bay”.  As often happens during the presentation, groups found it difficult to manage time properly 10 minutes for presentation and 5 minutes for question and answer. So we systematically allowed for content-related questions and then ensured we elicited and provided feedback on the actual draft plans.

SEAFDEC provided the participants USB that contained of all presentation, material (Handbook, Workbook, Toolkit, and Action Plan Booklet), picture and video during the training as well as bag, cap, shirt, and certificate.

For the interactive course review, the concentric circles individual feedback was used to know the course as a whole, and can draw out key learning points. Moreover, we also used the pairwise ranking of key EAFM messages activity. This activity worked very well and the messages that came out from all groups reflected the key points we had covered during the course.

Initially the trainers had some apprehension and nervous about whether the mix of very senior people, middle level and junior officers would appreciate the participatory teaching methodology consisting of many group activities and energisers, as these are different from other training or lecture sessions many would be familiar with. However, the daily monitoring and the final assessment clearly showed that there was a lot of appreciation for the training methods, course design, and course trainer including the administration.