Small-scale Filipino fishermen use fish corral to trap fish in the coast. In Southeast Asia alone, the export value of the fish caught was US$19.5 billion in 2015, but the cost of overfishing far exceeds this amount, writes van Wees. Image: Bernard Spragg , CC BY-SA 2.0 via IFPRI Flickr The world’s oceans are running out of breath. In the past 50 years, we have lost nearly half our coral reefs and mangrove forests and the size of marine populations has halved. A third of global fish stocks are already depleted. If trends continue, it is estimated that there will be no stocks left for commercial fishing by 2048 in the Asia-Pacific region alone. By 2052 oceans might contain more plastic than fish by weight and 90 per cent of coral reefs may be lost. The “blue economy”, which includes livelihoods and other economic benefits derived from oceans, is estimated at between $3 trillion to $6 trillion per year globally. Oceans contribute significantly to the gross domestic product of many developing countries—as much as 13 per cent in Indonesia and 19 per cent in Vietnam. Thirty-four million people in our region are engaged in commercial fishing. In Southeast Asia […]

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