The Special Five-Year Program on Sustainable Fisheries for Food Security in the ASEAN Region has been conducted by SEAFDEC from 2002 to 2005 as a follow-up of the outcome of the ASEAN-SEAFDEC Conference on Sustainable Fisheries in the Third Millennium: Fish for the People in Bangkok, Thailand in November 2001. The Integrated Regional Aquaculture Program (IRAP), which is the Aquaculture Component of the Special Five-Year Program, has two components, namely, SDII-1: Aquaculture for Rural Development, and SDII-2: Supply of Good Quality Seeds. The evaluation of the outcome of the IRAP as the Aquaculture Component of the Special Five-year Program from 2002 to 2005 was done during the Regional Planning Meeting for the Special Five-year Program held in Bangkok, Thailand in February 2005. In that Meeting, the member countries considered the implementation of the Aquaculture Component a success however there were still specific areas that require further development. Member Countries that have ongoing activities on aquaculture research and technology development still expressed the need for some aspects of aquaculture to be developed further.

Thus, during the Regional Planning Meeting in February 2005, aquaculture R&D areas of concern that need to be considered in the second phase of the Program, were identified and these include: (1) freshwater aquaculture of indigenous species; (2) integrated agri-aqua culture systems; (3) coastal aquaculture and mariculture; and (4) captive broodstock development. It was also agreed during the February 2005 Planning Meeting that research and verification activities under each area of concern will be conducted on priority species of the region. Likewise and in order to optimize resources, culture technology packages known to be economically-viable and environment-friendly that are well developed in one country should be considered for verification in another country.

The Planning Workshop for the Special Five-Year Program (Aquaculture Component): 2006-2010 was therefore convened by AQD from 30 November to 2 December 2005 in Bangkok, Thailand in order to confirm the priority species as well as identify the developed culture technologies for specific species and the core countries for each activity under the four areas of concern.

The main objective of the Planning Workshop was to develop a five-year plan of action for 2006-2010 that would address the various aquaculture areas of concern identified during the February 2005 Planning Meeting. Specifically, the Planning Workshop was convened to:
  1. discuss the output of the Special Five-year Program (Aquaculture Component): 2003-2005 and to identify further constraints that would be addressed through the second phase of the Program;
  2. develop the detailed plan of action for the Program with component activities that may include research, verification, training and information dissemination through publications, study visits and farm demonstration; and
  3. identify the core countries to be involved in the various activities, such that countries that have common interest in specific species will be grouped to conduct the collaborative projects on such species while countries that have developed technologies for identified species can serve as core countries or serve as the source for technical assistance.

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