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IIFET 2000: A Multidisciplinary and Multinational Success

by Deb Burke

The International Institute of Fisheries Economics and Trade (IIFET) 2000 Conference: Microbehavior and Macroresults was diversity exemplified—in both its subject matter and participants. The conference, held at Oregon State University from 10 to 14 July 2000, offered a multidisciplinary cross-section of sessions on the unique economic, social, and biological issues associated with fisheries and aquaculture development, hosting more than 500 individuals from over 45 countries.

Participants at IIFET 2000 represented countries from around the world, including Estonia, Poland, Bangladesh, India, Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand, Cameroon, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Malawi, Morocco, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Togo, Brazil, Chile, Mexico, and Trinidad and Tobago. Of particular note was the value of the conference in bringing the realities and challenges of fisheries and aquaculture development from these countries to the forefront.

The IIFET 2000 Conference was the largest to date, including 500 presentations in 81 sessions. Sessions ranged from topics such as Ecology and Theology to Price Analysis and Demand Estimation. In addition to sessions on fisheries, there were sessions focused on the socioeconomic aspects of aquaculture in developing countries, including a number of presentations by researchers from PD/A CRSP host countries. Presentations delved into the social and economic issues associated with aquaculture development for coastal communities in Mexico, the adoption and economics of tilapia farming in the Philippines, shrimp culture development in Thailand, and the socioeconomic impacts of aquaculture support programs in Kenya.

IIFET 2000 organizers are already looking toward future conferences. They are excited to incorporate multiple perspectives into the design of future conferences, thus creating opportunities for enhanced information flow and the identification of creative solutions to complex fisheries and aquaculture issues.

Comments from international participants reflected their positive experiences at IIFET 2000:

• The diversity of both attendees and topics presented made IIFET 2000 a positive experience for me. It was particularly satisfying to see people from different disciplines actively working for a greater understanding of shared problems through open dialogue. (participant from Uruguay/US)

• The exchange and discussion of experiences and knowledge has broadened the research perspectives and methodology approaches that can be developed in Mexico regarding the integration of aquaculture practices within the fishery sector…important impacts on rural communities and how they relate to livelihood…sustainability. (participant from Mexico)

• The conference once again validated the two most important features of an international conference of this magnitude…
1) the need for the interface of various disciplines in the biological, technical, behavioral, and social sciences in tackling issues and problems confronting a very important and strategic field…fisheries, aquaculture, and their allied sectors such as regulation and enforcement; environmental and ecological concerns; international trade and marketing; social ramification… and 2) the importance of partnership, linkages, and networking among and between governments, universities, research institutions, and the private sector in advancing the cause of fisheries and aquaculture. (participant from Asia)

IIFET was founded in 1982 to promote interaction and exchange between people from all countries and professional disciplines on marine resource economics and trade issues. Among the many interests of IIFETs members are fisheries economics, seafood markets throughout the world, aquaculture development and economics, and fisheries development. Industry members, government and academic researchers, and managers from over 60 countries benefit from membership in IIFETs network and activities. More information about the organization can be found on the Internet at <osu.orst.edu/dept/IIFET>.fish

The PD/A CRSP cosponsored IIFET 2000 and provided the following researchers working in PD/A CRSP host countries the opportunity to attend and present:

Eunice Pérez Sánchez, Institute of Aquaculture, University of Stirling, UK, Aquaculture Impacts in the Socio-economics of the Coastal Communities of Tabasco, Mexico (online abstract: <osu.orst.edu/dept/IIFET/2000/abstracts/sanchez.html>)

Ruben Sevilleja, Freshwater Aquaculture Center, Central Luzon State University, Philippines, Adoption and Economics of Tilapia Farming Technology in the Philippines (online abstract: <osu.orst.edu/dept/IIFET/2000/abstracts/sevilleja.html>)

Ruamporn Sirirattrakul, National Statistical Office, Thailand, Dramatic Development of Shrimp Aquaculture in Thailand (based on the 1985 and 1995 Thai Marine Fishery Census) (online abstract: <osu.orst.edu/dept/IIFET/2000/abstracts/sirirattrakul.html>)

Mathias Wafula, Fisheries Department, Kenya, Socio-economic Impact of Aquaculture Support Programmes on the Communities in the Lake Victoria Basin of Kenya (online abstract: <osu.orst.edu/dept/IIFET/2000/abstracts/wafula.html>)

In addition, the director of the PD/A CRSP, Dr. Hillary Egna, participated in a session that explored interdisciplinary approaches to issues in fisheries:

Research and Teaching: Across Disciplines, Countries, and Universities (session information online at <osu.orst.edu/dept/IIFET/2000/sessions/resteach.html>.


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