About this Research Topic
The South China Sea is a marginal sea of the Western Pacific Ocean, encompassing around 3.5 million km². The sea is of abundant fishery resources and provides many important sites for the coastal aquaculture industry. Most of the countries in the coastal fringes of the South China Sea are developing or underdeveloped economies that are home to about 270 million people. Therefore, the fisheries and aquaculture industry is a crucial sector for the development of coastal countries. Millions of people derive their main income directly or indirectly from fisheries, such as artisanal fishers, aquaculture workers, fish traders, workers in fishing vessels or aquatic products processing enterprises, and other seasonal, temporary, and permanent employees. The development of fisheries and aquaculture in the South China Sea has driven significant increases in food and nutrition and has improved livelihoods, employment, and local economic development among the coastal countries. However, the intensive anthropogenic activities have posed dramatically negative impacts on the fisheries and environment in the South China Sea, accompanied by the fast development within the coastal countries in recent decades. Environmental pollution has caused degeneration and disease outbreaks in aquaculture farms and ecosystem deteriorating, which has greatly hindered the production efficiency in aquaculture. Overfishing has made fishery resources continually decline and degrade in biological populations. Overfishing directly leads to a decrease in biological diversity and fishery catches in the South China Sea and accelerates the deterioration of the ecosystems. These negative effects will weaken the development potential of fisheries and aquaculture around the coastal countries and the people's livelihoods in the future.
To make fisheries, ecosystems, and resident livelihoods sustainable, there is a need for new ideas to face the challenges of fisheries and the South China Sea environment. With this Research Topic, we call for papers focusing on the research fields in the South China Sea, including fishery resources, biological diversity, fishery environment pollution, the relationship between disease control and aquaculture environment, and the effect of fishery facilities on the environment. We hope these innovative, often interdisciplinary approaches from outstanding scientists could help reveal the status of fisheries and the South China Sea environment and provide references to protect or improve the environment to improve fisheries' productivity, aquaculture, and the people's livelihoods in the coastal countries.
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