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: September 2019

Current Activities


Promoting Trade of Products that Replace Those with Mercury to Reduce Marine Pollution (Chile)

The APEC workshop, "Capacity Building to Promote Trade of Products that Replace Those with Mercury to Reduce Marine Pollution" was held from July 9 to 11 in Viña del Mar, Chile. The purpose of the workshop was to build technical capacity to manage the risks of mercury to human health and the marine environment. More than 40 delegates attended it from economies including Chile; China; Indonesia; Japan; Peru; Russia; and Viet Nam.

During the 13th OFWG meeting, which was held in Puerto Varas, Chile, from 20 to 21 August 2019, the group endorsed two important roadmaps:

  • APEC Roadmap on Marine Debris
  • APEC Roadmap on Combatting Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) Fishing

These roadmaps, which are key deliverables to support APEC Chile 2019’s priority of sustainable growth will create key guidelines for addressing these issues in the region.


Update of the 2009 APEC Report on Economic Costs of Marine Debris to APEC Economies (United States)

A report that considers the direct costs of marine debris to the shipping, fishing, and tourism industries, as well as remediation costs to APEC economies. It also suggests a number of recommendations to address the economic impacts of marine debris. Preliminary findings suggest that the economic costs of marine debris to the APEC region have risen considerably since the 2009 report, but there are still a number of data gaps. The final report is due in December, and project leads hope to present findings at the APEC Ministerial Meeting (AMM) in November 2019.

Compendium of Preventative Measures and Policies that APEC Economies are taking to Reduce Land-based Marine Debris (Policy Support Unit; Chile)

The Policy Support Unit presents key findings thus far in terms of laws and regulations, as well as preventative measures. Initial recommendations include

  • Better enforcement
  • Strengthening efforts on management and recycling
  • Partnership
  • Innovative solutions
  • Developing action plans
  • Financial support
  • Encouraging participation from the private sector
  • More effective monitoring

The final report will be tentatively available by November 2019.

APEC Workshop on Marine Debris and Microplastics: Blue Citizenship (China)

The overall goal of the project is to enhance APEC members’ capacity for marine debris prevention and control through a workshop platform. It includes the following aspects:

  • Information sharing on policy, research and technological progress on marine debris and microplastics
  • Organizing the APEC Workshop on Marine Debris and Microplastics and a back-to-back workshop on sustainable development of marine resources to promote the cooperation between APEC economies, APEC Working Groups and fora
  • Raising the awareness of citizens’ participation in marine debris and microplastics prevention through experience and achievement sharing, as well as collaborations with organizations, institutions, media, etc.

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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:


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Mr PHAM Hoang Tung

Program Director