Reviews in Fish Biology and Fisheries 13: iii, 2003.
Sea ranching is not a new concept but a new science.
Despite being in practice for over a century, scientiﬁc
information on stock enhancement and sea ranching
started to appear from late 1980s. In subsequent years
an effort was made by World Aquaculture Society
to promote sea ranching as a major ﬁshery manage-
ment tool. An ad-hoc working group on responsible
stock enhancement was formed on the occasion of
the Society’s meeting in 1993. This Working Group
continues to play an active role in achieving the
goals of promoting scientiﬁc discussion on guidelines,
recommendations and codes of practice for respon-
sible stock enhancement, and developing a global
network of professionals interested in this ﬁeld.
Involvement of the United Nations Food and Agri-
culture Organization with the Working Group has
provided considerable momentum to its activities and
clout to global developments in sea ranching.
We should not be led into pessimism from
historical disappointments with some sea ranching
attempts. We must analyze causes of failure, explore
remedial measures and formulate correct strategies.
With a knowledge-based approach our reasons for
undertaking sea ranching programs are compelling.
Alternatives to sea ranching are limited and although
uncertainties are often associated with ranching, but
the challenge is to turn them into success stories.
Concerns are often expressed with regard to the
impact of sea ranching on biodiversity and native
gene pool of wild populations. Biodiversity in its
pristine form does not exist in the sea. Overﬁshing
has depleted natural populations and modiﬁed the
genetic proﬁles of many species. Sea ranching seeks
to restore and enhance these populations. Further-
more, the responsible ranching carried out according
to scientiﬁc principles, taking into account genetic,
ecological and other concerns, and making best use of
the knowledge gained from past experiences will not
only address the contemporary concerns but will also
deal with possible future scenarios.
Recognizing that sea ranching has come to stay
both as a science and as a ﬁshery management strategy,
research interest and general awareness in this ﬁeld
should be promoted. This special issue is intended to
serve this purpose.
Although emphasis in this volume is biological,
it also provides useful accounts of technology appli-
cation in sea ranching and managerial matters. The
overall coverage makes the contents balanced in
We are indebted to several referees who devoted
their valuable time to review the manuscripts.
Drs. Devin Bartley, Masaru Fujiya and Yoh
Yamashita deserve thanks for providing permission
to reproduce some of the data contained in tables
and ﬁgures of their published articles. Professor John
O. Hill of La Trobe University, Australia provided
We received a great deal of encouragement
from Tan Sri Professor Datuk Seri Panglima Dr.
Abu Hassan Othman, Vice-Chancellor of Universiti
Evelyne Richard deserves special thanks for
providing references of latest publications. Drs. R.
Aliah, R. Doyle, E. Nugroho, R. Perez-Enriquez, T.
Sugaya and M.Takagi contributed to information in the
article on genetic factors in this volume.
We are grateful to Professor Jennifer L. Nielsen,
Editor-in-Chief of Reviews in Fish Biology and Fish-
eries, for accepting publication of the manuscript as a
special issue of the Journal.
Working with Kluwer Academic Publishers has
been a real pleasure; in particular, we thank Ms.
Martine van Bezooijen and Ms. Anneke Zoutendijk
for advice and cooperation throughout the processing
of the manuscript.
Borneo Marine Research Institute
Universiti Malaysia Sabah
88999 Kota Kinabalu, Sabah
Department of Applied Population Genetics
Graduate School of Agricultural Science
Tohoku University, Sendai, 981-8555