Managing purse seine fisheries in the Southeast Asian region: A joint effort among ASEAN member states
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Production from marine capture fisheries of the Southeast Asian region is derived from the fishing grounds in the South China Sea and Andaman Sea of the Indian Ocean (Fig. 1), comprising FAO Fishing Area 57 (Indian Ocean, Eastern), Area 61 (Pacific, Northwest), and Area 71 (Pacific, Western Central). In the Southeast Asian region, small pelagic fishes such as round scads, mackerels, sardines, and anchovies are considered as important components of the marine ecosystem and pelagic fishery resources. The migratory behavior of small pelagic fishes had made them known as “shared stocks” since they migrate across the exclusive economic zones (EEZs) of neighboring countries. Considering the likelihood that such stocks are shared by the bordering countries within the same ecosystem, i.e. in the South China Sea and the Andaman Sea, effective management of the shared stocks would require appropriate measures at the regional level. Nevertheless, delaying the regional approach in managing these stocks will further expose the small pelagic fishes to overexploitation that are now probably at unsustainable level (SEAFDEC, 2012).