Fish and fisheries have an importance in the economy of rice eating populations that is difficult for people here to comprehend. Rice is the most important item in the life of such countries. Though not important in bank clearings or financial statistics, fish are the second item in national economy. Although these two keep the common people going and are of primary importance, they have been neglected by politicians and officials, and ignored by western economists and writers. It is therefore no wonder that examination of the fisheries of any part of southeastern Asia or Insulinde shows unsatisfactory conditions in the quantity, quality, and market price of fish during much of the year. Prolonged field studies of the factors involved, especially in the Philippines, show that these conditions are unnecessary.

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