In tropical floodplain systems local populations are generally highly dependent upon the system’s natural aquatic resources. In such systems the annual fish production depends on a combination of biological and physical parameters, principally 1) hydrological factors; 2) environmental factors and 3) fish migrations. Developing management plans is complicated as assessing the role of each factor is usually made difficult by their diversity, their interactions or feed-back loops, and by the frequent absence of data on certain factors.
The importance of quantifying the economic returns to investments in aquatic resources research together with the social, environmental and institutional impacts of such investments is widely recognized among ICLARM's donors, trustees and beneficiaries. As with other Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) centers, ICLARM is being asked to provide specific accounts of the outputs of its research and their impact on farms and on fisheries, including their socioeconomic impact.
Following a brief presentation of marine catch trends in Southeast Asia, some biological peculiarities of the stocks upon which these fisheries rely are discussed. Two empirical log- linear models are presented allowing rough estimation of potential yield of small pelagic fishes fish from primary production, and of demersal fish from mean water depth and primary production. These models are applied to the Banda and Arafura Seas, and the results compared with yield estimates from similar ecological areas, the Sulu Sea (Philippines) and Gulf of Papua.
A joint Sierra Leone/1CLARM project funded by the Commission of the European Communities is presented, whose task is to assemble the available survey and fisheries data on the marine fish resources of Sierra Leone, analyze them, and based thereon, propose a management regime for these resources. The computerized databases and other tools developed for this purpose and for monitoring and analyzing the fisheries after the project has ended are presented, and their potential use in neighboring countries is discussed.
The author attempts to summarize lessons from the past regarding the relationship between development and fisheries and aquaculture in developing Asian nations. From these lessons, we can derive the opportunities and challenges which we will face in the future. To meet these challenges, we must identify the directions and strategies for a substantive contribution by the fisheries sector toward the goal of sustainable development.
This paper details the approaches and tools developed at ICLARM to contribute to the sustainable management of fish as a food resource in the Mekong River Basin. Multiple partnerships have been established in order to gather, compile, analyse and compare existing data on fish resources. Core contributions from Mekong River Commission projects have been supplemented by additional data and experiences from a large range of sources.
The Rapid Rural Appraisal (RRA) techniques often employed to fast-track the assessments of agricultural and forest resource systems were applied to the coastal resource planning of Malampaya Sound in Palawan Island, western Philippines. The RRA was classified as exploratory: the aim was to describe the problems and opportunities in the area through the active participation of the local communities. The exercise was jointly undertaken by six researchers and representative household members from seven villages.
FishBase is a computerized encyclopedia of fishes developed at International Center for Living Aquatic Resources Management (ICLARM) with the support of the European Commission and in collaboration with a large number of institutions throughout the world, notably FAO, and available since 1995 as CD-ROM. Major improvements since version 1.2 have now allowed for the release of FishBase 96, whose name indicates the intention to update FishBase annually.
Wetlands are central to the livelihoods of rural communities through out the Mekong Region, providing vital functions and services that support the rural economy, ensure food security for the most vulnerable membrs of society, and underpin the prospects for national development. Proper appreciation of the importance of wetlands has been hampered by inadequate information and awareness of their uses, particularly among development planners, as well as legal and institutional frameworks that are often fragmented and poorly enforced.
The search for sustainable livelihood approaches to reduce poverty continues to pose a challenge to rural development planners and practitioners. Many fishers and farmers have developed methods of aquaculture that use water-based, natural-capital stocks and which utilize resources available locally. Development agencies have undertaken research and development efforts that build on these initiatives. This resource book is a compilation of 67 field-derived experiences and methods applied in Asia. These were compiled from contributions by 37 practitioners from 12 countries.