This editorial provides introduction to the 13 contributions to this special issue which present inventory data on many previously undescribed capture fisheries, farming systems, geographical regions, inventory flows and supporting processes. The 13 papers also introduce methodological advances in the form of statistical considerations, impact categories relevant to aquatic resources, and spatial considerations.
The Convention on Biological Diversity provides a framework for countries to implement laws regulating the access, use and exchange of genetic resources, including how users and providers share the benefits from their use. While the international community has been preoccupied with resolving the unintended effects of access and benefit sharing (ABS) on domestication in agriculture for the past 25 years, its far-reaching consequences for global aquaculture has only recently dawned on policymakers, aquaculture producers and researchers.
Field consultations on the role of wild resources in people’s livelihoods were conducted in the Ayeyarwady Basin from the delta in the south to Putao in the north of Myanmar. Interviews and group discussions with local people, key government, and non-government stakeholders in 14 districts provided insights into the status and trends of wild resources and their management. This report is part of the The Ayeyarwady State of the Basin Assessment (SOBA) project.
The Ayeyarwady State of the Basin Assessment (SOBA) is one of the major knowledge outputs of the Ayeyarwady Integrated River Basin Management (AIRBM) Project prepared by Hydro-Informatics Centre (HIC). SOBA aims to inform planning in the Ayeyarwady Basin by providing baseline information on the condition and trends in water and land resources as well as related ecosystem services and the livelihoods and economies of Myanmar that depend on these resources.
A preliminary mass-balance trophic model was constructed for the coastal fisheries ecosystem of the West Coast of Peninsular Malaysia (0 - 120 m depth). The ecosystem was partitioned into 15 trophic groups, and biomasses for selected groups were obtained from research (trawl) surveys conducted in the area in 1987 and 1991. Trophic interactions of the groups are presented. The network analysis indicates that fishing fleets for demersal fishes and prawns have a major direct or indirect impact on most high-trophic level groups in the ecosystem.
Lake Victoria fisheries face severe environmental stresses. Stocks are declining in a context of increasing population and growing demand for the lake’s resources. Rising competition between users is putting conservation goals and rural livelihoods at risk. While Uganda’s co-management policy framework is well-developed, key resources for implementation are lacking, enforcement is poor, and the relations between stakeholders are unequal. Poor rural resource users face significant challenges to effectively participate in fisheries decision-making.
Data from trawl surveys (1961 - 95) and annual production statistics (1971 - 95) were used to examine the status of demersal fishery resources in the Gulf of Thailand. Analyses were focused on biomass trends, population parameters and exploitation rates of dominant species, and assessment of excess capacity from fishing effort and yield estimates. The results indicate by 1995, the trawlable biomass in the Gulf had declined to only about 8.2% of the biomass level in 1961.
Cambodia’s recent freshwater fishery sector reform, instigated at the top level of government, is one of the country’s most significant contemporary policy developments addressing natural resources management and rural development. Implemented in two main waves, the reforms culminated in the complete removal of inland commercial fishing lots. Yet serious problems still need to be addressed, including reportedly widespread illegal fishing, difficulties in protecting critical habitats, and competition among state agencies over resource management authority.
The Mekong is an exceptional river in many ways. In terms of fish biodiversity, it is the world’s second richest river after the Amazon (www.fishbase. org). With 6 to 18% of the global freshwater fish catch, it is also home to the largest freshwater fisheries in the world. The productive Mekong fisheries are essential to the food security of the 60 million people of the Lower Mekong Basin. Fish contributes 81% of the population’s protein intake in Cambodia and 48% in Laos. Mekong inland fisheries also provide employment to 1.6 of the 14 million Cambodians.
Cambodian inland fish resources are part of the Mekong system. With 781 known freshwater and brackish fish species, the Mekong Basin has the second highest fish biodiversity in the world after the Amazon Basin in South America. Cambodia itself features 461 freshwater species, plus 468 marine species and 26 species found in both environments. This makes 955 fish species in total.