Our ecological footprint analyses of coral reef fish fisheries and, in particular, the live reef fish food trade (FT), indicate many countries’ current consumption exceeds estimated sustainable per capita global, regional and local coral reef production levels. Hong Kong appropriates 25% of SE Asia’s annual reef fish production of 135 260–286 560 tonnes (t) through its FT demand, exceeding regional biocapacity by 8.3 times; reef fish fisheries demand outpaces sustainable production in the Indo-Pacific and SE Asia by 2.5 and 6 times. In contrast, most Pacific islands live within their own reef fisheries means with local demand at < 20% of total capacity in Oceania. The FT annually requisitions up to 40% of SE Asia’s estimated reef fish and virtually all of its estimated grouper yields. Our results underscore the unsustainable nature of the FT and the urgent need for regional management and conservation of coral reef fisheries in the Indo-Pacific.
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Vol. 32 • No. 7