Fisheries of the Pacific Islands: Regional and national information


Fisheries of the Pacific Islands:
Regional and national information

Robert Gillett

Download Full Report  1.7Mb

Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific
Bangkok 2011


The Pacific Island region consists of fourteen independent countries and eight territories located in the western and central Pacific Ocean. These comprise about 200 high islands and some 2 500 low islands and atolls. Coastal fishing is of fundamental importance in the Pacific Islands. Much of the regions nutrition, welfare, culture, employment, and recreation are based on the living resources in the zone between the shoreline and the outer reefs. The continuation of current lifestyles, the opportunities for future development and food security are all highly dependent on coastal fisheries resources.

Although dwarfed in both volume and value by the offshore tuna fisheries, the Pacific Island fisheries that are based on coastal resources provide most of the non-imported fish supplies to the region. Coastal fisheries harvest a very diverse range of finfish, invertebrates and algae. Unlike the tuna fishery, virtually all the coastal catch is undertaken by Pacific Islanders themselves, with very little access by foreign fishing vessels.

This publication presents information on coastal and offshore fisheries in the region. The information is broken down into resource categories, the major types of fishing, the important species, the status of those resources, and the fisheries management that occurs. The book also provides supplementary sectoral and governance related information on the fisheries in the 14 independent Pacific Island countries.

Table of Contents

Abbreviations and acronyms
Regional information
    The Pacific Islands region
    Fishery statistics in the region
    Main categories of fisheries in the region
    Fishery resources
    Coastal fihsery resources
    Important types of coastal fishing
    Management of coastal fishery resources
    Offshore fishery resources
    Important types of offshore fishing
National information on fisheries
    Cook Islands
    Federated States of Micronesia
    Marshall Islands
    Papua New Guinea
    Solomon Islands

The designations employed and the presentation of material in this information product do not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) concerning the legal or development status of any country, territory, city or area or of its authorities, or concerning the delimitation of its frontiers or boundaries. The mention of specific companies or products of manufacturers, whether or not these have been patented, does not imply that these have been endorsed or recommended by FAO in preference to others of a similar nature that are not mentioned.

The views expressed in this information product are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of FAO.

ISBN 978-92-5-106792-5

All rights reserved. FAO encourages reproduction and dissemination of material in this information product. Non-commercial uses will be authorized free of charge upon request. Reproduction for resale or other commercial purposes, including educational purposes, may incur fees. Applications for permission to reproduce or disseminate FAO copyright materials, and all other queries concerning rights and licences, should be addressed to:

Publishing Policy and Support Branch
Office of Knowledge Exchange, Research and Extension - FAO
Viale delle Terme di Caracalla, 00153 Rome, Italy
or by e-mail to:

For copies write to: The Senior Fishery Officer
FAO Regional office for Asia and the Pacific
Maliwan Mansion, 39 Phra Atit Road
Bangkok 10200, Thailand
Tel: (+66) 2 697 4000
Fax: (+66) 2 697 4445

© FAO 2011