Socioeconomic aspects of small-scale fisheries in southeast Asia are considered. Income levels in fisheries were generally found to be lower than comparable groups within the same community. Country differences occurred and some of the factors responsible for these income differences include: 1) type of gear and how it is used; 2) marketing structures; 3) race, religion or caste; 4) government programmes; and 5) introduction of aquaculture. It is believed that further research and information are required for the industry.
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.
Change has become a pervasive global force with implications for the sustainability of social–ecological systems. In this context, understanding how much disturbance systems can absorb, where critical thresholds lie, and what systems might look like if a threshold is crossed are critical research questions. This paper explores resilience and social thresholds in two coastal communities in Mozambique by having fishers define their system identity, identify potential system thresholds, and explain how they would respond to crossing a threshold.
In order to achieve sustainable fishing livelihoods in coastal communities, data on profitability of small-scale fisheries relative to fish species caught and gear types used by fishermen is required as part of a broader fisheries management strategy. This study was undertaken with this in mind. Interviews were conducted among 60 fishermen between February and March 2010. Economic assessment of small-scale fishing activities were done using questionnaires based on direct market pricing and contingent valuation methods.
Small indigenous fish species (SIS) are an important source of essential macro- and micronutrients that can play an important role in the elimination of malnutrition and micronutrient deficiencies in the populations of many South and Southeast Asian countries. Of the 260 freshwater fish species in Bangladesh, more than 140 are classified as SIS and are an integral part of the rural Bangladeshi diet. As many SIS are eaten whole, with organs and bones, they contain high amounts of vitamins and minerals, including calcium, and iron and zinc. Some SIS, such as mola, are also rich in vitamin A.
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.
Fish production in Vietnam increased rapidly from 420 000 t in 1981 to 1 130 680 t in 1998. Likewise, there was an expansion in the number of motorized fishing boats from 29 584 units with an average horsepower (HP) of 19.8 boat-1 in 1981 to 71 800 units with an average HP of 26.2 in 1998. In 1995, fish production was valued at VN$2 475 billion (US$0.02 billion at 1 US$ = 11 041 VN$; source: oanda. com).
Hilsa was once abundantly available in the 100 rivers of Bangladesh. Fishermen used to catch plenty of hilsa which were sold fresh to the local and urban markets. It was a cheap fish and was affordable even to the poor. However, its population has declined significantly over the last 30 years. Such a decline in catches prompted the government of Bangladesh to declare four sites in the country's coastal rivers as hilsa sanctuaries restricting fishing during the breeding season.