South China Sea Project Knowledge Document on Fisheries Refugia
The South China Sea and Gulf of Thailand is a global centre of shallow water marine biological diversity, supporting a significant world fishery that is important to the food security of, and as a source of export income for, Southeast Asian countries. Landings from this area contribute approximately 10 percent of reported global fisheries production per annum and make significant contributions to the economies, of countries bordering the Gulf of Thailand and the South China Sea. The majority of fisheries are small-scale in nature, and fish are landed in a large number of decentralised locations for distribution through complex marketing networks at the community level. As a consequence estimates of fisheries production are considered to be gross underestimates and do not adequately reflect the importance of the artisanal or subsistence production to the fisheries sector as a whole.