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The South China Sea is an important fishing area with an annual harvest of some 5 million tonnes, or 10% of the catches jointly taken by the developing nations of the world. Details are given of a model of the area describing fisheries catches and biological interactions. The area, viewed as a large marine ecosystem, was divided into 10 subsystems; each subsystem was then linked with adjacent subsystems by predatory links, and detritus flows.
A brief review of marine fishery development in Southeast Asia is given, with emphasis on the phase of rapid growth of catches that prevailed in the 1960s-1970s, and on the high expectations this phase generated, especially in the six countries that make up the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).
Despite the importance of the fisheries sector to national welfare in Indonesia, most fishers are small-scale producers who are among the poorest of the poor in Indonesian society.