Small freshwater pelagic fisheries in closed lakes are very important to millions of people in sub-Saharan Africa providing livelihoods and nutritional security. However, returns from these fisheries have been shown to uctuate in response to climatic variability. In order to understand the impact of these fluctuations on the livelihoods of people dependant on these fisheries, there is a need for information on how the fish value chain is organized and how it functions in response to variation in supplies.
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.
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.
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.
Fisheries are an important source of protein and employment for Sri Lanka’s population. The declaration of the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) in 1976 gave the country a water area larger than its land area. The coastal fisheries resources consist of small and large pelagic fish, demersal and coral reef fish, invertebrates, shrimps and crabs. The small pelagic fish contribute 70% of the catch from coastal waters with an estimated annual production of 152 752 t in 1997.
Increase in demand of fish from Lake Victoria region has created gaps in local fish supplies and this raises concern since there are reports of limited animal-source food consumption plus protein and micronutrients deficiencies in this region. To fill the gap, less-preferred pelagic fish species such as Mukene (Rastreneobola argentea) and by-products from filleting Nile perch (Lates niloticus), which were commonly used for animal feeds, are increasingly being minimally processed and marketed for direct human consumption.
An account is given of pelagic fisheries in African lakes and reservoirs. Species introductions are considered, describing also various biological characteristics of the pelagic species. Currently pelagic fisheries are best developed in Lakes Tanganyika, Kariba and Kinneret. Development projects and planning necessary are discussed briefly.
The marine fisheries sector in Malaysia contributes significantly to the national economy in terms of income, foreign exchange and employment. In 1999, marine fisheries contributed 1.245 million t (90% of total fish production) valued at US$1.18 billion. The total value accounted for about 1.53% of national GDP and 11.31% of agricultural GDP. The export of fish and fishery products amounted to about US$210 million. The sector provided employment to about 80 000 fishers. Fisheries management is currently guided by the Third National Agricultural Policy (NAP3 1998 - 2010).
Marine fisheries production in India has increased from 0.5 million t in 1950 to 2.47 million t in 1997. The gross value of fisheries landings in India was US$2.37 billion in 1997. The contribution of fisheries to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) has risen from 0.7% in 1980 - 81 to 1.2% in 1994 - 95. The contribution to agricultural GDP has risen from 1.9% to 4%. Fisheries production also plays a critical role in food security and livelihood in rural areas.