Tropical marine fisheries and the future of coral reefs: a brief review with emphasis on Southeast Asia
- Cite this article as:
- McManus, J. Coral Reefs (1997) 16: S121. doi:10.1007/s003380050248
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%. Trawling for fish and shrimp has been the cause of widespread damage to coral communities on tropical shelves. The precautionary principle and the code of responsible fishing are intended to reduce such problems. Coral reef fishery management is promoted in the International Coral Reef Initiative in its emphasis on integrated coastal zone management. The scientific basis for the latter should be a primary focus of further scientific research.