Fishing communities around the Indian Ocean were severely affected by the December 2004 tsunamis. Programs for rebuilding coastal fisheries livelihoods need to address the pre-tsunami situation that was characterized by overfishing and degraded natural resources. Adopting appropriate strategies to ensure sustainable livelihoods will require community involvement, as well as cross-sectoral, integrated planning and management at ascending government levels.
The management of fishing capacity in both inland and marine fisheries is a major policy concern in most countries in Southeast Asia. Excess capacity leads to a number of negative impacts, such as resource use conflicts, overfishing, environmental degradation, economic wastage, and security threats. This paper presents the results of a regional study that examined various approaches to managing excess fishing capacity in small-scale fisheries in Southeast Asia.
Asia is an important region in terms of fish trade supplying nearly 60% of global fish production. The region’s coastal fisheries play a critical role in ensuring food security and providing livelihoods, particularly for poorer sections of the community. This paper introduces a regional initiative in which eight Asian countries (Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Vietnam) undertook simultaneous, multi-disciplinary assessments of their coastal fisheries.
Worldwide, there is serious concern about the state of fisheries; yet for Asia, which accounts for half of the global fisheries production, information on the state of fisheries in order to guide management is sparse. In this paper we review the results of a regional study that examined the state of demersal fisheries resources in the coastal areas of Malaysia, the Philippines and Thailand. In each country time series of scientific trawl survey data (spanning 12–49 years, depending on the area) were used to assess changes in the total biomass of demersal species over time.
This paper provides an overview of the live reef fish market in Hong Kong, which accounted for about 15,000 t/yr (US$345 million) of live fish imports in the mid-1990s. The live fish trade has spawned a number of management concerns, including overfishing of highly-valued species, use of destructive fishing techniques and human health risks. Recent actions by the Hong Kong government in response to these concerns are reported and possible region-wide initiatives are briefly discussed in this paper.
Lake Chilwa produces between zero and 24,000 metric tons of fish per year, making it one of the most productive but variable lakes in Africa. The size of the lake varies seasonally and among years, sometimes drying completely. Its surrounding wetland and floodplain provide habitat for a diversity of birds and economically valuable grasses and reeds. When the lake has water, there is considerable activity on its shores and temporary fishing villages spring up. People move in and out of the lake basin in concert with these seasonal and longer term changes.
The marine fisheries of Trinidad and Tobago are mainly artisanal and involve about 8,000 fishers. The main fishing gear used are the gillnets, the troll, the shrimp trawl, the fishpot and the industrial longline. Landings total approximately 14,000 t annually with Scomberomorus brasiliensis, shrimps and sharks being the most abundant in the landings. Assessment studies indicate overfishing and inferior marketing is an important issue. Underexploited resources include clupeiods, deep shell and slope resources, and lobsters. The shrimp trawl and longline by-catch are not fully utilized.
In Bangladesh, only 6% of the daily food intake is animal food of which fish accounts for 50%. Rice is the mainstay, making up 60% of the daily food intake. However, many nutrients such as vitamins A and C, iron, calcium, zinc and iodine are not found in rice and have to be obtained from other sources. Small indigenous fish are a vital contribution to the diet of the rural poor in Bangladesh, where more than 30,000 children go blind every year from vitamin A deficiency and 70% of women and children are iron-deficient.
Rapidly growing human population and economic inequities are placing increasing demands on tropical marine fisheries. Coral reef fisheries constitute an important source of food and livelihood on a global scale. However, destructive fishing is a major cause of coral reef degradation and is often associated with Malthusian overfishing, a condition related to poverty and coastal crowding. Studies based on the Gordon-Schaefer bioeconomic model indicate that for many coral reef areas, suggest a return to optimal resource use will require a reduction of fishing effort by approximately 60%.
Pacific Island countries and territories (PICTs) are some of the most vulnerable nations to climate change. Growing populations, combined with climate change and overfishing of inshore reef fish, will compound food security problems arising from an increasing gap between fish demand and supply. Along with some other PICTs, Solomon Islands recognises the need for new sources of fish to meet future food security requirements. Options include fish imports, increasing access to offshore tuna fisheries such as with inshore fish aggregating devices, and aquaculture development.