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.
The Ecopath approach and software were used to construct a trophic model of the coastal fisheries ecosystem of the southwest (SW) coast of India. The model consisted of 11 ecological groups and used estimated landings from all areas along the southwest coast (based on the sample surveys conducted by Coastal Marine Fisheries Research Institute for the years 1994, 1995 and 1996). The trophic model suggests high catch levels, particularly for the large and medium predators, demersal feeders and detritivores.
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.
Research trawl surveys have been conducted in four areas of Malaysian waters (west and east coast of Peninsular Malaysia, and waters off the coast of Sarawak and off the west coast of Sabah) since 1970. Selected surveys (1972 - 98) were used to examine the status of demersal fishery resources in each area, focusing on catch rate and biomass trends, population parameters and the exploitation rates of dominant species.
The Java Sea is a major fishing ground in Indonesia contributing 31% of the national marine fisheries production. Demersal and small pelagic fishery resources account for most production in the area. During the 1960s and 1970s, strong demand for fish, which in Indonesia resulted from both increased human population and increased per capita fish consumption, stimulated the development of fishing in the Java Sea. This led to development of up-stream and down-stream industries, increases in employment opportunities, and increases in the number of fishers and fishing households.
The recent transition, in Italy, to an improved sampling scheme for fisheries catch and effort data, is described, with emphasis on the interactions between civil servants and fisheries scientists and on specific features of Italian fishery resources and research that may be common with those of some developing countries.
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.
India is endowed with a continental shelf of 0.5 million km2 and an exclusive economic zone (EEZ) of about 2 million km2. Almost half (39%) of the Indian population utilizes the marine fisheries resources. India ranked sixth worldwide in total fish production (4.95 million t) and second in inland fish production (2.24 million t) during 1995 - 96. Fish production expanded from 0.75 million t in 1950 - 51 to 4.95 million t in 1995 - 96, giving a significant increase at a cumulative growth rate of 4.2% per annum.