Enter Science & China’s Blue Economy in the South China Sea’s Policy Discussion


The role of marine science and the emergence of China’s blue economy helped frame a new narrative on the South China Sea’s policy debate, as shown at a CSIS discussion on May 21 titled “The Convergence of Marine Science and Geopolitics in the South China Sea.” Two of the panelists John McManus from the University of Miami’s Rosentiel School of Marine & Atmospheric Science and Kathleen Walsh from the U.S. Naval War College agree that the South China Sea is not simply a sovereignty dispute but is likely to be recognized as one of the most significant environmental issues of the 21st century.

Food security and renewable fish resource challenges are fast becoming a hardscrabble reality for more than fishermen. With a dwindling fish catch in the region’s coastal areas, fishing state subsidies, overlapping claims of exclusive economic zones, and mega-commercial fishing trawlers competing in a multi-billion dollar industry, the decline of fish is one of the issues at the heart of this sea of troubles.

The United Nations Environmental Program confirms that the South China Sea accounts for as much as one tenth of global fish catch, and that China will represent 38 percent of global fish consumption by 2030. Overfishing and widespread damage to coral reefs necessitate a science-driven intervention to safeguard the stewardship of this vital sea.

The Spratly Islands’ immense biodiversity cannot be overlooked. The impact of continuous coastal development, escalating reclamation, and increased maritime traffic in the sea calls for marine scientists and policy strategists to study the sustainability of the biological seascape and to navigate the development of science diplomacy.


Read more: http://cogitasia.com/enter-science-chinas-blue-economy-in-the-south-china-seas-policy-discussion/