Fisheries Refugia: A Regional Initiative to Improve the Integration of Fisheries and Habitat Management
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Fisheries of Southeast Asia are characterized by high levels of small-scale fishing. Increasing fishing pressure coupled with continued decline in the expanse and quality of coastal habitats critical to the life-cycles of most species, has raised serious concerns regarding the long-term sustainability of the region's fisheries. The process of establishing Fisheries Refugia and the outcomes of a regional initiative under the UNEP/GEF South China Sea Project (2002-09) to improve the integration of fisheries and habitat management are discussed briefly in this paper. The Fisheries Refugia concept as a fisheries management tool has been introduced in the Southeast Asian region with the objective of enhancing fisheries resources through the integration of fisheries and habitat management. The concept is defined as 'spatially and geographically defined, marine or coastal areas in which specific management measures are applied to sustain important species [fisheries resources] during critical stages of their life cycle.' To support the Fisheries Refugia approach, the ASEAN-SEAFDEC ministries responsible for fisheries endorsed the supplementary guidelines to substantiate the Regional Guidelines for Responsible Fisheries in Southeast Asia in 2006. In addition, the ASEAN-SEAFDEC Resolution and Plan of Action on Sustainable Fisheries for Food Security toward 2020 adopted in 2011 also supported the establishment of Fisheries Refugia for enhancing the fishery resources of the Southeast Asian region.
Siriraksophon, S. (2016). Fisheries refugia: A regional initiative to improve the integration of fisheries and habitat management. In H. Kawamura, T. Iwata, T. Theparoonrat Yuttana, N. Manajit, & V. T. Sulit (Eds.), Consolidating the Strategies for Fishery Resources Enhancement in Southeast Asia. Proceedings of the Symposium on Strategy for Fisheries Resources Enhancement in the Southeast Asian Region, Pattaya, Thailand, 27-30 July 2015 (pp. 80-92). Samutprakan, Thailand: Training Department, Southeast Asian Fisheries Development Center.