After commencing with a summary of the current status, importance and productivity of natural wetlands, the chapter reviews the contribution of wetland ecological functions to sustaining vital ecosystem services. Wetlands are vulnerable to a range of anthropogenic pressures, notably land use change, disruption to regional hydrological regimes as a result of abstraction and impoundment, pollution and excessive nutrient loading, the introduction of invasive species and overexploitation of biomass, plants and animals.
A mass-balance steady-state trophic model of the coastal fisheries ecosystem off the West Coasts of Sabah and Sarawak, Malaysia (10 - 60 m depth) was constructed using the Ecopath software. The ecosystem models were partitioned into 29 ecological/trophic groups. The input values (e.g. biomasses) for selected groups were obtained from the research (trawl) surveys conducted in the area in 1972. The estimated mean trophic level of the fisheries catch for both models is about 3.3.
A trophic model of Lake George, Uganda, Central Africa was constructed using published quantitative and qualitative information on the various biotic components of the lake and the ECOPATH II approach and software. It is shown that the available production and biomass estimates for the various groups in the system are consistent with each other, and that it is possible to make a balanced model of the major trophic interactions in Lake George.
Fisheries are an important source of animal protein for most of Thailand’s population, particularly in provinces on or near the coast. Between 1978 and 1997 the per capita consumption of fish averaged 24 kg·capita-1 annually. In 1995, about 535 210 people were involved in the fisheries sector and 44% of these were engaged in small scale marine capture fisheries. Since 1982, Thailand has faced problems with the development of marine capture fisheries and their over-exploitation which has increased fishery conflicts and disputes with neighboring countries.
These publications, consisting of a Regional State of the Coral Triangle report with six corresponding country-level State of the Coral Triangle reports, identify key issues that decision makers must address if sustainable development of the Coral Triangle’s coastal and marine resources is to be achieved. The Regional State of the Coral Triangle report summarizes each country’s biophysical and socioeconomic characteristics, as well as their institutional framework for governing marine resource use.
The Solomon Islands National Plan of Action (SI-NPOA): Coral Triangle Initiative on Coral Reefs, Fisheries, and Food Security (CTI-CFF) provides visionary guidance for the management of coral reefs and related ecosystems in the Solomon Islands (Ministry of Environment, Climate Change, Disaster Management and Meteorology and Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources, 2010). It is consistent with the CTI Regional Plan of Action (RPOA), but also incorporates local situations and circumstances.
Thailand is currently one of the ten largest fishing nations in the world. In 1996, fish production reached 3.7 million t with 90% of the production coming from the marine fisheries sector and 10% from inland fisheries. Thai fishing operates in four fishing grounds namely, the Gulf of Thailand, the Andaman Sea, the South China Sea and the Bay of Bengal. However with the establishment of the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) in 1977, Thailand lost over 300 000 km2 of traditional fishing grounds.
Bangladesh has an exclusive economic zone (EEZ) of 164 000 km2 and a continental shelf area of 66 440 km2. Artisanal (small scale) fisheries extend from the coast to 40 m while industrial (commercial scale) fisheries operate beyond 40 m depth. The coastal fisheries of Bangladesh exploit a complex multi-species resource. There are 18 demersal and pelagic species, seven species of larger pelagic and 10 shrimp species that are commercially important among the fishes exploited.
Sri Lanka is an island country with a land area of 65 610 km2. With the declaration of the exclusive economic zone (EEZ) in 1976, the country gained sovereign rights over an ocean area of 536 000 km2 and EEZ extending from 24 to 200 nm. The continental shelf is about 26 000 km2 with an average width of around 22 km, and the coastline is 1 100 km long. The total annual fish production of Sri Lanka was 25 000 t in 1952 and 269 850 t in 1998. Major fish species caught in Sri Lankan waters are skipjack, blood fish, yellow fin tuna, mullet, shark, trevally, Spanish mackerel, prawns, lobsters.
Fisheries are an important source of protein and employment for Sri Lanka’s population. The declaration of the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) in 1976 gave the country a water area larger than its land area. The coastal fisheries resources consist of small and large pelagic fish, demersal and coral reef fish, invertebrates, shrimps and crabs. The small pelagic fish contribute 70% of the catch from coastal waters with an estimated annual production of 152 752 t in 1997.