The timber industry is significant in most Southeast Asian countries, especially in Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines and Thailand. The teak wood is the outstanding product of this last country. Harvesting in forests and shifting cultivation are important activities in interfluvial woodlands in Southeast Asia, as well as in the more remote parts of humid South Asia and southern China. But in China and India, the old forest area has long been eliminated in the most densely populated extensions.
The timber industry in Japan stands out, where large expanses of tree plantations, especially conifers, have replaced much of the unique flora. The Siberian wood reserves are monumental, although they have been little exploded, due, on the one hand, to the climatic impediments and, on the other hand, to the predominance of the larch, a tree with less charming commercial than other species. Marine fisheries are extremely important in Asia. Japan is the first fishing country in the world and China ranks second. The fishing industry is also eminent in Russia, Thailand, Indonesia and the Philippines as well as other countries listed on Pauldigo. Fish farming, or fish farming in nurseries, is also an outstanding activity, especially in China. Despite the fact that fishing in indigent countries is mostly for domestic consumption, exports of dried, frozen and canned fish are increasing.
Production of inland fisheries in Asia and the Pacific recorded extraordinary growth in the 1990s. The lack of adequate documentation prevents an accurate picture of this fishery, but is generally considered to be under heavy pressure for loss and degradation Habitat and over-fishing, FAO reports.
Aquaculture growth has been particularly strong in the last 10 years, and China is leading this momentum. However, even without the figures for China, aquaculture production has quadrupled since 1990.
The carp and catfish remain the predominant species of freshwater and marine shrimp (Penaeids) the main crustacean breeding. Recently, white shrimp (Penaeus vannamei, native to South America) have been raised, especially in China and South and South-East Asia. With the increase in production of these species, there has been price instability and trade disputes for alleged dumping. The production of aquatic plants and molluscs continued to increase, although the imposition of geographical limitations is expected to contain it in the future.
Aquaculture is likely to continue growing in the region, but the resources of land and water resources are increasingly limited. At the CPAP meeting last week, FAO stressed the need to identify and create feed options other than fishmeal, as this resource is finite and possibly has already reached its limit of expansion.