Cooperate or South China Sea fisheries may collapse

A Vietnamese fishing boat on the South China Sea. Photo by Jean-Pierre Bluteau via Flickr (CC BY-NC 2.0).A Vietnamese fishing boat on the South China Sea. Photo by Jean-Pierre Bluteau via Flickr (CC BY-NC 2.0).

    • More than half the fishing vessel in the world operate in the South China Sea, where sovereign rights have been an object of fierce contention among bordering countries.
    • Scientists have been warning that the sea is fast becoming the site of an environmental disaster, the impending collapse of one of the world’s most productive fisheries.
    • Now a group of experts that includes geopolitical strategists as well as marine biologists is calling on the disputing parties to come together to manage and protect the sea’s fish stocks and marine environment.
    • Effective management hinges on China’s active participation, but it remains unclear whether that country, now the dominant power in the sea with a big appetite for seafood, will cooperate.

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