One of the World’s Biggest Fisheries Is on the Verge of Collapse

Major disputes in the South China Sea are putting critical habitat—and the food supply of millions—at risk.

One time Christopher Tubo caught a 660-pound blue marlin in the South China Sea. That was years ago, when the fishing there was good, he says. He would come home from a trip with dozens of valuable fish like tuna and a haul of other species.

“Here there’s none of that,” he says, looking toward the Sulu Sea, the Philippine sea where he’s been fishing for the past four years. His two boats, traditional Filipino outriggers called bancas, float in the shallow water nearby, new coats of white paint on the decks, drying in the sun.

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