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FAO Fisheries Circular No. 907 FIP/C907

Rome, 1997

ISSN 0429-9329

Fisheries Department
FAO, Rome, Italy



Part 1. The role of fisheries in the economy and society


The South Pacific region is a large and diverse area covering the western and central Pacific Ocean, the stretching from Australia in the west to Pitcairn Island in the east. There are 16 independent States (Australia, Cook Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Nauru, New Zealand, Niue, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu, Vanuatu and Samoa) and eight territories of France (French Polynesia, New Caledonia and Wallis and Futuna), New Zealand (Tokelau), the United Kingdom (Pitcairn Island) and the United States of America (American Samoa, Guam, and the Northern Marianas). Two of these States, Australia and New Zealand, are developed while the remaining States and territories are small island developing States (SIDS) and territories consisting of, with the exception some Melanesian States (most notably Fiji, Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands), a single island or a group of sparsely distributed islands.

The Pacific islands component of the region consists of three culturally different groupings of States and territories: Melanesia (Fiji, New Caledonia, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu), Micronesia (Federated States of Micronesia, Guam, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Nauru, Northern Marianas, and Palau) and Polynesia (American Samoa, Cook Islands, French Polynesia, Niue, Pitcairn Island, Samoa, Tokelau, Tonga, Tuvalu and Wallis and Futuna). All of these developing States and territories, except Papua New Guinea, have low land exclusive economic zone (EEZ) ratios,1 physical fragile environments, high economic dependence on external development assistance, high rates of urbanization, food insecurity in urban and rural areas, generally high levels of dependence on fish for food, especially in isolated areas, high rates of urban unemployment and rural under-employment, narrow and undiversified economic bases, and limited scope for land-based economic activities. For these reasons the marine resources of the Pacific islands are critical to the culture, subsistence and economic development of the region. Indeed, marine resources, together with tourism, hold the major prospects for sustained social and economic development in most of the Pacific islands.

Australia and New Zealand have a combined population of about 21 million while the 22 developing States and territories of the Pacific islands have a total population of approximately 7 million. However, the population distribution among the island States and territories is heavily skewed in favour of Melanesia where some 84 percent of the Pacific islands' population reside. High rates of population increase of between 2.5 and 3.5 percent are characteristic of most of the States and territories in the region.

1.2 The role of fisheries in the economy 

The fisheries sector plays a critically important role in the economies of South Pacific States and territories. The region's inshore and offshore fisheries resources are harvested for food, for sale on national markets, and importantly, for export. Subsistence and small-scale fishermen principally target inshore resources, though in Polynesia fishermen also harvest some pelagic stocks. Subsistence fisheries production in the Pacific islands region is approximately 85 000 tonnes per annum.

National and distant-water fishing nation (DWFN) industrial fleets target the region's large and commercially valuable tuna stocks. These stocks are not distributed uniformly throughout the Pacific islands. This consideration determines the extent to which States and territories can participate in, and benefit from, the region's tuna fishery. There are about 1 500 DWFN vessels operating in the region, the majority of which are small longlines.

Inshore fish and fisheries products have traditionally been, and remain, the major form of animal protein for island populations. Currently per caput consumption of fish in the South Pacific region varies widely but overall, it is generally high by international standards. A recent FAO study has put per caput consumption of fish in the Pacific Islands between 17 kgs and 182 kgs, with an average of 45 kgs per head.2 Significant imports of canned mackerel, especially in Melanesia and most notably in Papua New Guinea, supplement locally caught fish.

Fisheries industry development in the Pacific islands primarily focuses on the exploitation, processing and marketing of tuna. The South Pacific Commission has reported that in 1993 the total tuna catch in the South Pacific Commission was approximately 932 000 tonnes, down from 1 049 000 tonnes in 1992.3 The bulk of this catch was taken by DWFN fleets from Asia (China, Japan, Philippines, Republic of Korea, and Taiwan (Province of China)) and the United States of America.4 The value of the 1992 tuna catch from the region was estimated by the Forum Fisheries Agency to be US$ 1.2 billion.5 The under-reporting and non-reporting of catches by DWFNs undermines the capacity of States and territories in the region to conserve and manage their fisheries resources and, at the same time, deprives States and territories of revenue under their licensing arrangements.

DWFN fleets operating in the Pacific islands pay access fees to the licensing States and territories in return for fishing rights in their respective EEZs. In 1993 access fees paid to the member States of the Forum Fisheries Agency totaled about US$ 60 million.6 The rate of return paid to States in the region (dividing access fees paid by the value of catch) gave about 10 percent for the United States of America, 3.9 percent for Japan, 5.3 percent for Taiwan (Province of China) and 3.1 percent for the Republic of Korea.

National tuna fishing industries exist in several States and territories in the Pacific islands region. Pole-and-line fishing for skipjack tuna by domestically-based vessels is undertaken in Kiribati, Solomon Islands and Tuvalu for tuna canning; purse-seine fishing for skipjack and yellowfin tunas in the Federated States of Micronesia, Kiribati and Papua New Guinea for tuna canning; longlining for albacore tuna in Fiji and Tonga for tuna canning; and longlining of yellowfin and bigeye tunas in Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, French Polynesia, New Caledonia, Marshall Islands, Solomon Islands, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Tonga for the sashimi market. In recent years the airshipment of sashimi grade to Japan, and other niché markets inside and outside the region, has developed rapidly, with Guam being an important air and sea transshipment point.

Two tuna canneries exist in American Samoa, one in Fiji and one in Solomon Islands. The combined processing capacity of these four facilities is approximately 200 000 tonnes per year. This means that most of the canning grade tuna caught in the South Pacific is not processed in the region. Canneries in Thailand and Puerto Rico are heavily reliant on the region's production for throughput. It is estimated that tuna fishing and processing in the Pacific Islands employs some 5 400 islanders.

In addition to tuna, other commercial fisheries in the Pacific islands centre around the harvest of high-value finfish (e.g. snapper) and the collection and export of miscellaneous marine products such as bêche-de-mer, lobster, giant clam, coral, and aquarium fish. These products are sold both on local markets, often in support of tourism, and exported overseas, in some cases using air-transshipment.7 While value of these exports are not major national income generating items, they are often important for small and isolated communities that have limited opportunities to engage in income earning activities.8 Sports fishing and fisheries-related underwater sports are important in the region, and several States and territories are promoting such activities as part of their focus of tourism development and enhancement.

Inland fisheries and aquaculture are not well developed in the Pacific islands, and the prospects for such development, except in Melanesia, are mixed. Nonetheless, several States and territories are promoting aquaculture for subsistence purposes and to support national tourist markets. Pearl culture and trochus for diversification hold prospects for more isolated island (atoll) areas.

Australia and New Zealand have well developed industrial fishing industries. Production, which is primarily export orientated, centres marine capture fisheries, with inland fisheries and aquaculture being small in comparison. Nonetheless, aquaculture production has shown strong growth over the past decade. In 1994 the combined marine fisheries production was about 704 000 tonnes, of which 70 percent came from New Zealand.9 The fishing industry in Australia is the country's fifth most important rural industry. It employs an estimated 21 000 persons in fishing and an additional 4 000 people in processing. In New Zealand the fishing industry employs about 5 000 persons in the catching and an additional 4 000 in processing.

1.3 The role of regional fisheries in world fisheries

Figure 1
Total marine and inland production from 
capture fisheries and aquaculture by year with a division for regions Although the South Pacific is a major region of the world in terms of its geographical area, the region provides only about 2 percent of the total world fishery production in terms of weight. Figure 1 shows this situation, excluding the catches taken by DWFN tuna fleets.10

Fisheries production from the South Pacific region increased at a rate well above the global average throughout the 1980s. It reached a peak in 1992 and then, declined, mainly due to restructuring in the Australian commercial fisheries. Similar events, particularly the introduction of individual transferable quota (ITQ) systems, have greatly slowed down the pace of fishery expansion in New Zealand, the largest commercial fisheries producer in the South Pacific region.

Figure 2 Figure 3
figure 2 figure 3 Marine fisheries contribute most of total production, followed by marine aquaculture, inland fisheries and inland aquaculture (Figure 2). The contribution of different species categories to the production is shown in Figure 3. Half of the region's fishery production comes from tuna fisheries of the western tropical Pacific, but this tuna production is underestimated in Figure 3 due to the exclusion of DWFN catches. The region has a large proportion of the world's coral reefs. The fisheries that they support, whilst they are minor in global terms, are very important, both nutritionally and economically, to the human populations of the region.

Figure 4
Total production of States and territories
of the South Pacific region by year with a division for fishing countries The catches, by year, for States and territories of South Pacific are given in, Figure 4.

The vast majority of non-tuna catches (more than 80 percent) come from waters associated with the major land-masses of Australia and New Zealand. This is not because the South Pacific is unproductive, or is grossly under-exploited, but because most of the harvestable productivity is only available on the continental margins of the ocean in the Pacific Rim regions of Asia and the Americas.

Figure 5
Figure 5

Figure 5 shows portions of total production of States and territories of the South Pacific that are taken in the different FAO statistical areas.
Fisheries conservation, management and development form one of the most important items on the political agenda in the South Pacific.

Part 2. The fisheries sector: Situation and trends

2.1 Marine fisheries 

In the Pacific islands, there are three main types of fisheries distinguished by their pattern of operation and the way they are administered by States and territories.

Figure 6
Figure 7
figure 7
Figure 8
figure 8
Figure 9
figure 9

 Industrial fisheries: Tuna are the target of the only significant industrial fisheries (purse seine, longline, pole and line, troll and in the past, driftnet) off small islands in the South Pacific (Figure 6 ). They operate especially off Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands and Kiribati, but also off Vanuatu and Fiji ( Figure 7 ). The fishing is carried out mainly by DWFNs such as China, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Philippines, Taiwan (Province of China) and USA (Figure 8 ), which pay fees to gain access to Pacific islands' EEZs. In the 1970s and 1980s, few Pacific island nations (Fiji, Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands having the principal exceptions) were fishing for cannery quality skipjack and albacore. However, recently the participation of island states and territories in tuna fishing has increased with the advent of small-scale longline fisheries for sashimi-quality yellowfin and bigeye tuna (Figure 8). These fisheries operate mainly off Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, French Polynesia, Guam, Marshall Islands, New Caledonia, Palau, and Tonga. However, Pacific island national fleets still take only 6.5 percent of the weight of tuna caught in the South Pacific Commission statistical area. The species composition of tuna catches is given in Figure 9.

The western tropical Pacific tuna fisheries could probably sustain an increase over the current total catch (just over 1 million tonnes in 1994 for the South Pacific Commission statistical area) by at least one third, provided fishing effort is well managed. However, at present, it may not be optimally distributed, particularly for small longliners targeting sashimi-quality fish, where effort is concentrated in the Micronesian sub-region, close to the main markets, and flag States. Interactions between industrial and small-scale tuna fisheries are a major focus of management-oriented research at the present time.

There is also another small industrial fishery (trawl) catching around 2 000 tonnes (whole weight) of shrimps in Papua New Guinea's Gulf of Papua.

Figure 10 Figure 11
Coastal small-scale fisheries for export products: Pacific island States and territories do not export a great deal of fishery products from their coastal zones, and those exported are predominantly in the category of commodities aimed at very specific markets. Important among these, in terms of volume (Figure 10), are dried sea-cucumbers (known as "bêche-de-mer"in Melanesia and "trepang"in Micronesia), of which most majority are consumed by Chinese-speaking people. Mother-of-pearl shells (Trochus niloticus, Pinctada margaritifera, Turbo marmoratus, in decreasing order of volume) are also exported for natural buttons and, to a lesser extent, traditional furniture inlays (Figure 11). Recently, with improving transport, the export of certain species of chilled and live fish is becoming important, at least in terms of value and impact on stocks, although the deep-slope snapper fishery has given way, in most cases, to small-scale tuna longlining.

Another valuable export product, resulting from the cultivation of primarily wild stocks, is black pearl. However, they are important only to the economies of French Polynesia and the Cook Islands. Pearl farming is still the only commercially significant application of aquaculture in the Pacific islands and the success of shrimp farming in a number of Melanesian countries continues to vary. 

Most small-scale export-orientated coastal fishing is carried out by Pacific islanders who sell their catches to middlemen or exporters of often foreign origin and capitalization. Exploitation is often driven by the occasional availability of commercial exporters in the area, resulting in a characteristic pulse fishing. Some organisms (such as trochus, smaller aquarium fish and shallow-water holothurian species) are resilient enough to adapt to such pulse-fishing, but other species (such as grouper, giant clam, green snail and pearl oyster) are often fished far beyond their sustainability for short-term recovery.

Most Pacific island governments appreciate that reef fishery resources are not an inexhaustible attractant for foreign investment, and that traditional resource custodianship alone cannot cope with the conflicting values of the cash economy. Stock assessments and controls are gradually being instituted, albeit far too late in some cases. The most appropriate way of managing these export-orientated fisheries that is evolving appears to be island-wide or nation-wide moratoria interspersed by short open seasons.

In general, throughout the Pacific islands, little is known about the volumes of fish being extracted let alone the status of stocks. Export categorization is often confused, coastal fishery stock assessment is virtually non-existent, and most of the information used in policy-making is anecdotal in origin. Table 1 shows current estimated annual production for selected export products.

Coastal small-scale fisheries for domestic consumption: Fisheries for export and for domestic consumption in the Pacific islands region do not interact as much as they perhaps do in other regions. Much of the small range of high-value products that are taken for export, such as deepwater snapper and sea-cucumbers, are not traditional local food-sources. Some of the export species that are locally used, such as giant clam, have generally been scarce enough to be considered a traditional luxury, and the Pacific islands have not yet started to export their staple marine food-sources, although this could now be changing with the advent of very high-value live market possibilities for certain reef fishes.

Apart from Australia, New Zealand and mainland Papua New Guinea, virtually all Pacific islanders live within the coastal zone. In rural areas, virtually every person fishes. Women (who do most of the shoreline fishing and reef-gleaning) are often more important than men in putting food regularly on the family table. A great variety of marine organisms are consumed. For example, over 100 species of fin-fish and 50 species of invertebrates are included in the fish market statistics in Fiji, and the number of species consumed in the subsistence fishery is nearly twice this.

The domestic coastal fisheries production in Table 2 is estimated from data from a wide range of sources with a range of reliability. Many values are based on an average of several estimates for recent years, and some subsistence estimates are based on only one survey. It would be impossible to construct a meaningful time series of data for most of them.

2.2 Inland fisheries

Significant inland fisheries are restricted to the larger land masses of the region (i.e. Australia, New Zealand and Papua New Guinea), because of the necessity for adequate supplies of freshwater. However, in Australia and New Zealand the value of inland fisheries is as a recreational resource and not as a source of food security. In Papua New Guinea, inland fisheries are important because of limited access to coastal areas for many highland people and difficulties in producing other sources of animal protein.

Some States and territories support inland fishing and related specialized fisheries (e.g., Fiji harvested 2 852 tonnes of freshwater molluscs in 1994). Total inland capture fishery harvest in the South Pacific in 1994 was 25 102 tonnes, which represents 89 percent of total inland production, but only 3 percent of overall (marine plus inland) production. The largest inland capture harvest came from Papua New Guinea (12 125 tonnes), followed by Australia (8 274 tonnes), Fiji (2 982 tonnes), New Zealand (2 442 tonnes), Micronesia (4 tonnes), and Tonga (1 tonne). Other States and territories reported no inland capture fishery production.

The data for inland fisheries does not include sport and recreational fisheries that are important Australia and New Zealand. Although data on recreational fishing throughout Australia are limited, anglers now appear to be the dominant harvesters of several estuarine fish species. Numbers of recreational anglers appear to be increasing in Australia, and probably elsewhere, and this situation is likely to lead to both heightened conflict between the user groups and increased exploitation of a limited resource.

Since 1984, the inland capture fishery sector has grown slowly at 2.9 percent (annual average compound rate), but since 1989 it has grown at only 1.5 percent. Australia had the highest growth rate from 1984 - 1994 at 9.0 percent, followed by New Zealand (3.1 percent), Federated States of Micronesia (2.9 percent), Fiji (1.7 percent), and Papua New Guinea (0.4 percent). Tonga has a high compound growth rate of over 200 percent because there was no harvest reported until 1990. Over the last five years, Papua New Guinea and Fiji have shown growth of -0.01 and -7.6 percent, respectively.

Source: South Pacific Commission, 1995

The composition of the inland harvest is diverse in the region, reflecting a diversity of habitats from the temperate areas of Australia and New Zealand to the tropical habitats of most of the SIDS. The catch is often not identified to species. Of the catch identified, river eels (Anguilla spp.) are important in Australia, New Zealand and Papua New Guinea. Barramundi (Lates calcarifer) is taken in Australia and Papua New Guinea. Freshwater molluscs and crustacea (Macrobrachium rosenbergii) compose the majority of the inland catch from Fiji, and tilapia (Oreochromis mossambicus) and gudgeons and sleepers (Elotridae) are taken from Papua New Guinea. Salmonids, such as rainbow (Oncorhynchus mykiss) and brown trout (Salvelinus trutta) are important inland sport fish in Australia and New Zealand.

2.3 Aquaculture

Aquaculture production statistics are available for 12 States and territories (Australia, Cook Islands, Fiji, French Polynesia, Guam, Kiribati, Federated States of Micronesia, New Zealand, New Caledonia, Papua New Guinea, Samoa and Solomon Islands) in the South Pacific.

Aquaculture production has increased from 19 931 tonnes in 1984 to 74 858 tonnes in 1994, mainly due to increases in New Zealand (51 740 tonnes in 1994, with a five-fold increase in ten years) and Australia (20 622 tonnes in 1994, more than doubling its production in a decade). The major increase with a single species resulted from mussel cultivation in New Zealand, which grew from 9 800 tonnes in 1984 to 47 000 tonnes in 1994. Other significant, rapid increases have been observed in the culture of salmon (Onchorhynchus tshawytscha) in New Zealand (92 tonnes in 1984 to 2 600 tonnes in 1994) and of Salmo salar in Australia (10 tonnes in 1986 to 4 000 tonnes in 1994).

Excluding the two major producers, the remainder of the Pacific islands contributed a total of 2 496 tonnes in 1994 to aquaculture production in the region: New Caledonia reached a production of 700-800 tonnes for the 1991 to 1994 period; French Polynesia reported a steady growth from about 300 to 600 tonnes in the ten-year set of data; Kiribati stabilized production at 300 to 400 tonnes from 1987 to 1994 and Cook Islands showed an interesting increase in the last five years of records, mainly concerning pearl oysters.

A characteristic of the Pacific islands region is that most of the aquaculture production is derived from coastal aquaculture, even though, in the larger countries, the physical potential for freshwater aquaculture development could be considerable.

In terms of value, in 1984 the recorded aquaculture production in the South Pacific was valued at US$ 37.2 million, which increased rapidly to a value estimated at approximately US$ 209 million in 1994. Again, the dominant countries were Australia (US$ 118 million), with an average value of US$ 5.7/kg of aquaculture products, and New Zealand (US$ 68 million), with an average value of US$1.26/kg.

The ranking of commercially important species for 1994 was as first group, the salmonids, with a value of US$ 58.2 million, followed by mussels (US$ 53.5 million), oysters (US$ 38 million) and pearl oysters (US$ 15.7 million). Although in the Pacific islands production levels is low, the selection of high-value products such as pearl oysters has represented a boom for some local economies (e.g. French Polynesia and Cook Islands). In the remainder of the SIDS, the contribution of aquaculture to the general economy is marginal.

2.4 Fish utilization, distribution and marketing

The situation in Australia and New Zealand differs completely from that in the Pacific islands. These two States have sophisticated fish processing industries geared to export of high valued products to discriminating markets. In recent years attitudes have shown a significant change towards quality consciousness and the need for high-value addition. Australia and New Zealand lead the world in the adoption of the principles of Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) theory to produce products meeting the increasingly exacting standards of regulatory authorities in the European Union, North America and Japan. There is less concern for quality on domestic markets but indications that consumers are becoming more demanding as they increasingly choose fish as a healthy alternative to traditional red meat. Australia exports much of its national production while importing much of what is consumed, often from New Zealand. The above trends look set to continue.

In addition to the improvement of infrastructure and canning, freezing and processing facilities, there is an urgent need to develop a positive attitude towards quality in the Pacific islands. Products from the Pacific islands must meet the quality standards of the importers, which implies the need for a cadre of well trained quality controllers and inspectors.

2.5 Domestic consumption and nutrition 

With the exception of Australia and New Zealand fish is a culturally and nutritionally important source of food in the region. The diet of the Pacific island States and territories is heavily dependent on fish as a source of protein and essential fatty acids. Most States and territories obtain a high proportion of their animal protein supplies from fish, ranging from a high of 69 percent for Kiribati, with almost all States deriving over 25 percent from this source rather than animal meat, eggs and milk. Actual fish consumption is difficult to estimate due to limited statistics and an unknown contribution from unrecorded household catches. The figures for per caput availability provided by FAO probably underestimate overall consumption. These figures have shown a steady upward trend over the years and range up to 100 kg per caput per year for Tokelau. The Marshall Islands, Northern Mariana Islands and American Samoa are relatively low, at less than 5 kg per caput per year, which needs further investigation, but all other States have fish availability above 20 kg per caput per year, which is high by world standards.

2.6 International trade of fishery products

Australia and New Zealand are speciality product exporters to Japan, USA and Europe. Exports have expanded in recent years, especially for New Zealand fishery products (e.g. mussel exports). In 1994 export earning from green mussels was NZ$ 70 million, for 1995 it is somewhere between US$ 58 and US$ 60 million. It is forecast that the industry could get perhaps US$ 135 million by 2000. Hoki and orange roughy are two species for which export has boomed in recent years. New Zealand has set up a trade office in Madrid, which was very successful and was able to more than double export earnings in just two years. The forecast for New Zealand's and - to a lesser extent - Australian seafood exports is positive, provided sound management practices are enforced for the deep-water species, hoki and orange roughy, which are slow in growth.

For the South Pacific States and territories the situation is less encouraging than for Australia and New Zealand. DWFN tuna fleets from all major tuna catching countries fish in the South Pacific, without any noticeable benefit for the local industry. Only in two States (Fiji and Solomon Islands) and one territory (American Samoa) are tuna canneries producing canned tuna for export. Tuna from Fiji and Solomon Islands is a little higher in price than tuna from South-East Asia, but they have the benefit of ACP status for the EU market (i.e. canned product can enter the EU market duty-free). Papua New Guinea is presently setting up tuna and mackerel canneries, with some delays encountered. While the tuna canneries are forecast to produce for export markets, the mackerel cannery is expected to produce for the domestic market.

At present, Papua New Guinea is a main importing country of canned small pelagics, mainly mackerel, but also some sardines. In 1988, Papua New Guinean imports of canned mackerel from Japan reached almost 20 000 tonnes, declining to 6 000 tonnes in 1994. Canned mackerel and sardines are almost a stable food item for many part of Papua New Guinea. The country's mackerel cannery will be supplied by imports of raw material (Papua New Guinea does not have mackerel resources of canning quality), mainly from Europe.

The forecast is for a contraction of fish imports by Pacific island States and territories, and a small increase in exports, mainly tuna. Fresh sashimi-grade tuna are already now air-shipped to the Japanese market, but the distance to the market and other logistics will continue to hamper access to this lucrative market. Papua New Guinea could become an important exporter of canned tuna to the European market, once its cannery is fully operational. The advantage of the Papua New Guinea industry is the fact that they are close to the resource and the quality of the tuna is excellent.

2.7 Technology and infrastructure

As would be expected in developed States, the fishing technology and infrastructure in Australia and New Zealand are not only quite advanced, but appropriate to the industry. In the trawl fisheries, these two States lead the world in deep water trawling technology. In the nearshore fisheries, harvesting methods and small vessel design also use extremely high technology. In many cases this is assisted by the extensive small boat leisure industry, which requires similar technologies and services. Both countries have well equipped comprehensive fisheries training and educational institutions, which are able to extend their assistance to the wider region in addition to meeting their national requirements. In the wider field of marine biology, universities generally have advanced research centres which attract many students, probably far more than can be employed by state or national fisheries research bodies.

Recent historical developments in general tend to have occurred in areas where there were natural harbours available, so that generally good sheltered harbour facilities for larger vessels are available. The prawn fishing fleet in Australia's Gulf of Carpentaria is probably an exception, where the vessels have to be very self sufficient, in order to remain at sea for extended periods. Nevertheless, the occasional typhoon in the north of Australia can cause extensive destruction.

Technology in the Pacific islands States and territories has tended to be of an intermediate technology development because of the realization that it would be very difficult to develop trained manpower and the infrastructure, in the short term, to support the type of sophisticated foreign vessels at present harvesting the offshore marine resources. There is also a pragmatic approach in that some countries feel that, given the foreign fleets are already in place, the policy of raising revenue from licensing foreign vessels is the best policy for the country, avoiding costly investment and assuring themselves of a guaranteed revenue. On the other hand, some states and territories see the possibility of industrial development in the processing of fish caught by foreign vessels, and the possibility of increasing revenues through value added product. This has led to development of processing plant (canning plant, in particular) where foreign vessels are required to land their catch, or part of their catch locally, as one of the conditions of their licence.

2.8 Investments in the fishery sector

The investment in the Australian and New Zealand fishing industry has maintained steady growth, notwithstanding the tight controls in catching power. The increased investment has been prompted by the ever increasing added value product from these two countries both for local consumption and for export. The export of live product to the markets of Japan and South-East Asia has meant that the average price per kilo paid to the fishermen has increased. In many cases, the increases in revenue from the export price flows through to the individual fishermen by contract selling to a cooperative, in which the final price paid is related to the process obtained in the other country. The only bleak point in the fisheries of the two South-East States is the decreased quotas given for orange roughy which is now thought to have a very long life cycle and hence the reassessment of the total allowable catch (TAC). Despite new fishing grounds being found on seamounts outside national jurisdiction, both countries have reduced their TACs to try to obtain a long-term sustainable yield.

In the Pacific islands there continues to be limited new investment in the fisheries sector, though a number of investment initiatives are planned. An estimate of total annual investment in the sector is not available.

In coastal fisheries investment tends to be of a replacement nature (outboard motors, small craft and fishing gear). There is little new investment in shore-based facilities such as refrigeration plants, landing docks and marketing facilities.11 Given the highly exploited state of many of the region's inshore fisheries resources there is limited scope for new investment in coastal fisheries. In an effort to reduce fishing pressure on inshore stocks some States and territories (e.g. Fiji) are investigating the possibility of implementing arrangements to re-located inshore fishermen to near-shore areas where resources are less heavily exploited. This re-location of effort will require investment, yet to be determined, in vessels, gear and landing facilities. 

Most recent investment in the industrial fisheries sector has centred around investment in the tuna industry. There has not been new investment in pole-and-line vessels for about a decade, and most recent investment has been in purse seine and long-line vessels. Most commonly, investment is in existing vessels rather than the construction of new vessels.12 Some of the long-line vessels now operating in nationally controlled or owned ventures targeting sashimi grade tuna are on charter arrangements. Moves to strengthen national or joint-venture fishing companies in the South Pacific will most likely involve the transfer of existing foreign-owned capital rather than investment in new vessels.13

Investment in shore-based facilities principally involves the maintenance and replacement of tuna processing plants in American Samoa, Fiji and Solomon Islands.14 Planned investment in tuna processing in Papua New Guinea is well behind schedule, although a facility for the canning of imported mackerel in that country is now on stream. Beyond the scheduled investment in Papua New Guinea for a tuna cannery it is not anticipated that there will be major investment in processing in the near future in the South Pacific. However, further investment in facilities to support fleet operations, and the receiving and air-transhipment of sashimi grade tuna is anticipated. Already there are important investments of this nature in American Samoa, Guam and Fiji, and further investment in some other States and territories is likely to eventuate.

There is important investment in Cook Islands and French Polynesia associated with pearl culture, but major investment associated with aquaculture in other States and territories is not anticipated. Investment in fish farming (e.g. salmon) in Australia and New Zealand is likely to strengthen.

Part 3. Policy and institutional framework

3.1 Macroeconomic and fisheries sector policies

For many South Pacific States and territories their social and economic development is closely tied to the fortunes of the region's fisheries sector. Indeed, in this connection the importance of fish, and in particular tuna, in the South Pacific, has been likened to the importance of petroleum for the States in the Near East. This situation is especially true for those South Pacific States and territories that are composed largely of clusters of atolls and which, as a result, are severely limited in terms of land-based development. Through the strengthening and development of their involvement in the fisheries sector South Pacific States and territories seek to generate direct and indirect paid- and self-employment, maximize financial returns from licensing arrangements and from fish exports, encourage shore-based development, facilitate technology transfer, and generally exercise more effective control over fishing operations within their EEZs.  

In South Pacific States and territories national development strategies and planning invariably involve plans for developing and or strengthening participation in the fisheries sector. Some States and territories such as American Samoa, Fiji, French Polynesia and Solomon Islands already have important domestic fishing fleets and processing facilities, ranking as major sectors of the economy. Through these facilities, these States and territories are in a position to maximize value-added benefits from their fisheries. Other States such as Tonga, Kiribati, Vanuatu, and Papua New Guinea have ambitious plans for fisheries development, including in some instances, the privatization of some State-owned industries.

As part of the planning process most South Pacific States seek to diversify activities in the fisheries sector, encouraging the establishment of new industries (e.g. longline fishing for the airshipment of tuna to Japan and other niché markets in the region) and trying to integrate the fisheries sector more closely into the expanding tourist industry (e.g. environmentally-friendly water sports and sport fishing), and where possible, the promotion of inland fisheries and aquaculture.

While acknowledging the importance of distant-water fishing activity in the region, South Pacific States and territories aspire to develop some or all of their fisheries resources themselves, and to this extent they view the high level of participation of foreign fleets in the exploitation of their fisheries resources as being an intermediate step in the development process. The strengthening and development of national industry, either through private investment or joint-venture arrangements, is a primary economic consideration for fishery policy in the region.

With respect to licensing arrangement for DWFN tuna fleets, Pacific Island States and territories seek to achieve a minimum rate of return (which might also be interpreted as resource rent) of 6 percent of the value of the fish harvested.15 However, with the exception of the revenue received under the fisheries treaty with the United States of America (10 percent of the value of fish harvested), no other DWFN is currently paying 6 percent. For the South Pacific States and territories the objective of securing what they consider to be a more reasonable financial return from the exploitation of their resources, independent of any development assistance that might be provided by DWFNs, is a fundamental fisheries policy consideration.

For economic security reasons South Pacific States and territories place high priority on the development of national industries (fleet and processing) as they consider that domestic industry affords them a greater degree of control over the sector. The same degree of security does not exist with DWFN operations. As part of strengthening and developing their industries the States and territories seek to bring fish taken in their EEZs into their ports, or ashore, for transshipment, handling and processing as the value-added created by these activities, both in terms of primary and secondary benefits, are substantial. The value of secondary benefits, where they are substantial, can in some cases, rival in economic importance the value of the fish harvested.

3.2 Current national policies for fisheries conservation and management

South Pacific islands States and territories have a wide range of policies on fisheries conservation and management. Following the Conference that led to the 1982 United Nations Conferences on the Law of the Sea, South Pacific States pooled their effective capacity for managing tuna fisheries probably to a greater extent than any other region. The Forum Fisheries Agency, utilizing the scientific advice of the South Pacific Commission (SPC), has a major role in harmonizing national decisions and in assisting its member countries in negotiations on the access of foreign vessels to its EEZs. The Forum Fisheries Agency is also involved in the administration of a multilateral access treaty, the operation of registers for distant water fishing vessels, and the evolution of region-wide management arrangements. In part of economic reasons, but also for reasons of management, the Pacific islands States, which generally lack any capacity for distant water fishing, have consistently taken a more conservationist than exploitative approach to the management of highly migratory species.

National policies regarding the management and conservation of coastal fisheries vary among States and territories of the South Pacific region since, unlike the tuna fishery, there is lacking an effective or formal regional level of expression. Notwithstanding, there is a great deal of commonality in Pacific islands coastal fisheries, particularly for high value invertebrate fisheries for export. The South Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) is assisting members in conservation, especially in the protection of species that have been adversely affected by human activity beyond the scope of mere fisheries management, whilst the South Pacific Commission's Coastal Fisheries Programme is presently attempting to develop a mechanism for greater harmonization of national policy regarding the management of reef and lagoon fisheries. 

The concept of local resource ownership is a common principle across most Pacific islands. Although, there have been government attempts to suppress this tradition in the past in some states, most governments now accept that recognition of, and support for, community management responsibility is one of the strategies most likely to be successful in managing coastal fisheries. Traditional concepts of resource use do not necessarily coincide exactly with western concepts of continuous sustainability, and in some communities the cash economy has severely eroded traditional authority. But in most States and territories, the basic framework of fishing rights has been in place for centuries, and is keeping much of the pressure off government resource managers. Although there are sustainability problems with invertebrate fisheries targeting at export products and also with subsistence fisheries in densely populated islands, Pacific island coastal fisheries are generally capable of supporting local nutritional needs, and this is generally because of tradition of local resource ownership.

3.3 Regional fisheries organizations and arrangements 

Regional fisheries cooperation in the South Pacific is well established and has achieved a high degree of success and is, in many cases, a cornerstone of national foreign policy. States recognize that individually they are weak because of their small size, and alone they can be easily manipulated in fisheries matters. Indeed, it was this recognition that primarily led to the establishment, in 1989, of the Forum Fisheries Agency16 which is mandated to assist its member States coordinate fisheries policies and activities.17 

Whereas the Forum Fisheries Agency assists its member States coordinate and harmonize conservation and management activities for offshore resources, the fisheries programme of the South Pacific Commission,18 the oldest organization in the region, has responsibility for promoting and assisting its members conserve and manage inshore fisheries resources.19 The Commission also compiles offshore fisheries data and provides scientific assessments (including the convening of regular consultation with DWFN scientists concerning the tuna species taken in the South Pacific and collaboration with FAO on its tuna interaction programme) in support of the conservation and management work undertaken by the Forum Fisheries Agency.20 The respective roles of the two South Pacific organizations are clearly delineated to avoid duplication of effort and to ensure that there is harmony and complementary between their respective activities.

With respect to regional fisheries cooperation South Pacific States the most notable successes have been in managing national tuna fisheries on a collective basis for their own interest. Regionally for conservation and management purposes, the Forum Fisheries Agency member States have adopted minimum terms and conditions (MTCs) of access governing the operation of tuna fishing fleets (covering important fisheries conservation and management information such as uniform vessel identification, transhipment of catches, catch and effort logsheets, observers, appointments of in-country agents, foreign fishing vessels in transit and flag State or fishermen's associations responsibilities), and have established a regional vessel of foreign fishing vessels. In support of conservation and management efforts for inshore and offshore fisheries the South Pacific Commission provides a range of technical assistance, most notably through resource assessments and information concerning the status of stocks.

In addition to the MTCs and the regional register, sub-regional and regional initiatives have been agreed with respect to the Nauru Agreement Concerning Cooperation in the Management of Fisheries of Common Interest, the Treaty on Fisheries Between the Governments of Certain Pacific Island States and the Government of the United States of America (US Agreement), Treaty on Cooperation in Fisheries Surveillance and Law Enforcement in the South Pacific Region (Niue Treaty), Arrangement for the Management of the Western Pacific Purse Seine Fishery (Palau Arrangement), and the Federated States of Micronesia Arrangement for Regional Fisheries Access (FSM Arrangement).

Under the auspices of the Forum Fisheries Agency its members collaborate closely on a range of other fisheries conservation and management matters including, inter alia, information exchange, harmonization of national legislation, formal definition of maritime zones, port State enforcement and monitoring of vessels, and observer programmes. South Pacific States and territories have also established fisheries collaboration, particularly with respect to tuna, with the United States Western Pacific Regional Fishery Management Council, and given the complementary of interests of these States and the US territories in the South Pacific, this cooperation should be strengthened.

With respect to regional collaboration in fisheries matters of a commercial nature, such collaboration among South Pacific States has advanced at a slower pace than for other types of regional cooperation. This is primarily because national priorities and opportunities for commercial development do not coincide for all States and territories, nor do the interests of national, foreign and joint-venture investors. Indeed, there are instances where the foreign partners in national tuna industries have refused to cooperate with industries in other South Pacific States on the grounds that such cooperation would be inconsistent with market competition.

Through the Forum Fisheries Agency some member States have investigated the establishment of a regionally-owned tuna processing facility and have sought closer cooperation in marketing. However, commercial considerations generally mitigate against closer commercial cooperation, though its is recognized by the smaller South Pacific States that dialogue on commercial cooperation should be maintained.

3.4 National fisheries administrations

Most, if not all, national fishery administrations in the Pacific Islands are small and fragile, having only a limited range of technical expertise. Often these administrations do not have more than 10 professional staff, many of whom are required to perform a variety of tasks of both an administrative and technical nature. Moreover, high rates of staff turnover are characteristic, and well trained fisheries personnel often find themselves being called upon by their governments to take up higher-level duties of a non-fisheries nature, being recruited by the private sector, or in some cases, migrating overseas. These considerations, which may be beneficial to the economy of State of territory overall, undermine the effectiveness of national fishery administrations to conserve and manage resources and to promote other fisheries related activities such as improved post-harvest handling and domestic and international marketing of fish and fishery products.

Strong administrative and technical capacity is a pre-requisite for effective fisheries conservation, management, development and utilization. States and territories in the Pacific islands therefore assign high priority to policies and strategies aimed institutional strengthening and capacity building in the fisheries sector because of its fundamental importance for conservation and management, food security, and broader national social and economic development.

In Australia, New Zealand and Papua New Guinea action was taken in the early 1990s to restructure the national fisheries administrations in these States and to reorganize the manner in which fisheries were conserved and managed. In each case national fisheries authorities with semi-commercial status were established. The Australian Fisheries Management Authority and the New Zealand Fishing Industry Board are responsible, generally, for fisheries conservation, management and utilization of EEZ resources, while the responsible government departments retain responsibly for policy and related matters.21 These administrative restructurings have enabled more flexible and effective fisheries administration to be adopted Moreover, they have facilitated a more prominent participatory role for the private sector in fisheries administration, including having the private sector contribute financially to the costs of administration and research.

3.5 Fisheries research and training

Both Australia and New Zealand have world class fisheries research institutions to backstop fisheries development and to provide scientific information to fishery managers as the basis for management decisions. With the establishment of fisheries management authorities in both countries the industry is being brought into the research process and is now expected to bear part of the costs of conducting research. Training opportunities are available for fishers and fishworkers, from vocational training through certificate courses up to tertiary level.

Conversely, distance and low population, coupled with the high costs, have prevented the Pacific island States from establishing the type of research apparatus which would be necessary to support management of coastal and offshore resources. The Forum Fisheries Agency and the South Pacific Commission provide some regional focus for specific research programmes but a more cohesive regional approach would be beneficial. The States and territories should not rely on long-term donor funding for the research required to protect the future earnings from fisheries but there is merit in pursuing twinning arrangements to develop capacity. The School of Marine Studies at the University of the South Pacific provides tertiary level training and could provide the focal point for a regional research initiative. Training opportunities in the Pacific islands at other levels are limited. In the past Australia and New Zealand have offered training but an islands capacity would be an advantage.

3.6 Economic and technical cooperation in fisheries 

Economic and technical cooperation among South Pacific States and territories is well established, particularly among the developing island States and territories. Technical exchanges concerning fisheries matters, computer development, industry development and other commercial activities, etc. are common. The Forum Fisheries Agency and the South Pacific Commission are called upon frequently by their members to facilitate such fellowship exchanges both at the headquarters of these organizations and in other States where there are matters of particular technical interest. States view economic and technical cooperation as an important means of furthering their self-reliance in fisheries.

With respect to economic and technical assessments undertaken nationally or on a regional basis in the Pacific islands by organizations from within and outside the region, there is usually an informal requirement to involve technical expertise from the region. Consequently, it is common for teams of consultants undertaking such assessments to have one or two Pacific Island consultants. The involvement of these consultants frequently enables experts from outside the region, or consultants with little experience in the South Pacific, to avoid pitfalls in their work. In addition, there is often a higher degree of acceptability of economic and technical assessments by Pacific island States and territories when there have been local technical inputs.

Through the Forum Fisheries Agency, South Pacific States have cooperated with small island developing States from the Indian Ocean in the provision of technical advice concerning the establishment of the Western Indian Ocean Tuna Organization (WIOTO). Technical advice has also been provided to States in the Caribbean region concerning regional cooperation in fisheries conservation and management. In addition, the Agency has made staff available to the Asian Development Bank to participate in fisheries missions to States in the Indian Ocean. In cooperation with FAO the South Pacific Commission has also invited participants from the Caribbean and Indian Ocean regions to participate in technical exchanges concerning coastal fisheries conservation and management. Ad-hoc requests for technical advice from other regions of the world (e.g. concerning such matters as resource management, marketing, product development and fisheries monitoring, control and surveillance) are also received regularly by the South Pacific organizations.


 4.1 National institutional strengthening and capacity building

South Pacific States and territories give high priority to national institutional strengthening and capacity building in the fisheries sector because of its fundamental importance to the conservation, management, development and utilization of their fisheries resources. The States and territories recognize that in the absence of strong and effective national fisheries capacity the contribution of the fisheries sector to broader social and economic national development is likely to be prejudiced.

Strategies aimed at strengthening national institutions and building capacity in the fisheries sector in South Pacific States and territories figure significantly in policy formulation and development planning at the national level, and regionally, through cooperative fisheries arrangements. However, many of the region's States and territories, and in particular the smaller and more economically disadvantaged ones, face personnel and financial constraints in attempting to implement many of the measures necessary for strengthening administrative and technical capacity. Moreover, since most of the region's fisheries administrations are small in size most staff tend to be generalists, having responsibility for both administrative and technical functions. Consequently, the range of technical skills available to national fishery administrations is limited.

The restricted range and level of fisheries skills available to fisheries administrations in South Pacific States and territories requires that they rely on support and assistance from external sources. In this connection a number of development assistance agencies provide technical and financial support to national capacity.22

States and territories actively promote fisheries education and training for new and continuing staff as a means of minimizing the negative impacts of staff 'leakage' on their programmes and in an effort to maintain their existing institutional capabilities.

The achievement of sustainability in resource use is essential if the fisheries sector in the South Pacific region is to continue to make a long-term contribution to food security, and to social and economic development in these States and territories. However, to further strengthen and enhance national capacity in fisheries it is likely to be necessary to review these administrations to determine, inter-alia, if their mandates are realistic and they are appropriately structured, to assess whether there is a reasonable balance in professional and administrative personnel and grades, evaluate whether the 'correct' types of professionals are employed, review post descriptions and recruitment procedures, prepare staff development plans and staff development profiles and propose measures for a sustained effort in staff development and training. It might also be appropriate, in the larger island States, to assess whether some functions currently undertaken by the fisheries administration should be transferred to an organization outside the public services, as has been done in Australia, New Zealand and Papua New Guinea. Such restructuring would give these new organizations added flexibility and accountability in the execution of their mandates.

4.2 Regional fisheries cooperation and coordination of relations with DWFNs 

Regional fisheries cooperation is strongly established in the South Pacific, both between the island States and territories themselves, and in their relations with DWFNs. Island States and territories regard regional fisheries cooperation as a basic tenant in their respective national foreign policies.

Cooperation between South Pacific States and territories and DWFNs is recognized for the effective conservation and management of the region's tuna resources, and to this end the South Pacific Commission has established a number of standing committees to annually review the status of the various tuna stocks of commercial significance. Scientists and technicians from South Pacific States and territories and DWFNs participate fully in these reviews, and the decisions of these standing committees form the basis for the coordinated stock management recommendations by the Forum Fisheries Agency members within their respective EEZs.

The member States of the Forum Fisheries Agency concluded a regional fisheries Treaty with the United States in 1987 for a period of five years, and subsequently after that period it was renewed for a further 10 years.23 This Treaty is highly successful and all provisions have been effectively implemented. It provides for, and has facilitated, closer economic relations in fisheries between US industry and South Pacific States. 

Members of the Forum Fisheries Agency have also sought regional fisheries arrangements with other major DWFNs operating in the South Pacific. Japan has been reluctant to enter into a multilateral fisheries arrangement, primarily on the grounds that it is administratively difficult for Japan to enter into such arrangements and that bilateral agreements serve Japanese interests better. Korea and Taiwan, Province of China, have been more receptive to multilateral fisheries initiatives. From the point of view of South Pacific States, multilateral agreements with DWFNs have numerous advantages principally in terms of reduced transaction costs associated with fisheries access and a more balanced position in negotiations. Multilateral access arrangements would also benefit DWFNs by providing a greater degree of stability for access to the region's tuna resources.

Despite periodic difficulties associated with the level of fees for fisheries access and the compliance with terms and conditions of bilateral access agreements, South Pacific States and territories and DWFNs generally have cordial, but realistic, relations and mutual respect that has been built up over many years.

4.3 Problems facing fishery management organizations and arrangements

The technical interface between the two regional organizations in the South Pacific responsible for fishery management is well demarcated and the working relationship between the Forum Fisheries Agency and the South Pacific Commission are clearly established. Problems facing these two organizations are therefore not jurisdictional in nature, but rather are of a technical and administrative nature.

While ensuring that their respective interests are protected, relations between DWFNs operating in the South Pacific and the Forum Fisheries Agency and the South Pacific Commission have improved in the 1990s, moving from a confrontational approach in fisheries conservation and management to genuine and sustained cooperation. On the one hand DWFNs protect and support the interests of national fishing industries while the two organizations ensure that the national and collective interests of their members are not prejudiced in their fisheries relations with DWFNs, particularly in view of the social and economic importance of fisheries to all States and territories of the region.

Financial constraints facing the Forum Fisheries Agency and the South Pacific Commission affect their technical capacity to deliver services to their members. While members contribute to the support of work programmes, extra-budgetary funding is also required from developed member States and non-members to implement approved work programmes. However, donor fatigue, government down-sizing (or right sizing) and re-organization in many developed States that have supported the activities of these two regional organizations has impacted their work.

A related problem concerns the ability to attract well qualified and experienced Pacific islanders to staff the two organizations. Both organizations seek to maximize the employment of professionals from the region while maintaining technical standards at a high level. These professionals are required both to provide technical support at the national level in the conservation, management and development of inshore and offshore fisheries and to effectively implement regional programmes.

The major fisheries challenge facing the Forum Fisheries Agency and the South Pacific Commission is to assist their members put rational conservation and management programmes in place to facilitate the sustainable utilization of individual and shared fish stocks. Failure to implement such programmes will mean that resources will be depleted and the future food security and the social and economic development of the region's States and territories will face severe constraints.

4.4 Traditional fisheries management practice

The South Pacific region is a major study area for those interested in traditional management practices. There is an extensive literature on traditional fisheries management practices in the South Pacific. The South Pacific Commission has a regional coordinating role in this area of research. In many islands, community tenure of nearshore marine areas and fisheries has been unbroken for centuries, and forms varied examples of how marine resource ownership works in different situations. In other places, traditional management systems have been eroded by the States and territories assuming rights over resource allocation.

Currently, there is a general revival in the authority of traditional marine tenure and resource-allocation systems in the South Pacific islands region. Unfortunately, most of the intimate knowledge that Pacific island fishing clans had developed about the behaviour and seasonality of reef fishes and invertebrates is unwritten, and much has been lost over the course of the 20th century. In addition, the pace of social change is currently so rapid that much of the justification for traditional management - the preservation of fishable resources for the next generation - is undermined by the expectation that most of the next generation will be urban wage-earners. On the other hand, the need to export marine resources to generate the cash to pay the school fees, for example, is immediate.

If effective traditional management practices are to be maintained or revived, then Pacific island governments and institutions are faced with the tasks both of supplementing the traditional knowledge lost, and compensating for the erosion of traditional motivation for conservative resource management.

4.5 Improved international marketing for fish and fisheries products

Australia and New Zealand are speciality product exporters, primarily to Japan, USA and Europe. Exports have expanded in recent years, especially for New Zealand fishery products (e.g. mussel exports). Hoki and orange roughly are two species for which export has boomed in recent years. New Zealand has set up a trade office in Madrid, which was very successful and was able to more than double export earnings in just two years. The forecast for New Zealand's, and to a lesser extent for Australian seafood exports is positive, provided sound management practices are enforced for the deep-water species, hoki and orange roughy, which are slow in growth.

For the Pacific Island States and territories the situation is somewhat to that of Australia and New Zealand. Tuna fleets from many tuna DWFNs operate in the waters of the Pacific Islands, without any noticeable benefit for the local industry. Only two States, Fiji and Solomon Islands, and one territory, American Samoa, have tuna canneries are processing for export markets. Tuna from Fiji and Solomon Islands is higher priced and generally of a higher quality than tuna from South-East Asia, but canned product from these two South Pacific States of entering the European Union market, duty-free, on account of their ACP status. Papua New Guinea is presently setting up tuna and mackerel canneries, with some delays encountered. While the tuna canneries are forecast to produce for export markets, the mackerel cannery is expected to produce for the domestic market.

At present, Papua New Guinea is a main importing country of canned small pelagics, mainly mackerel, but also some sardines. In 1988, Papua New Guinean imports of canned mackerel from Japan reached almost 20 000 tonnes, declining to 6 000 tonnes in 1994. Canned mackerel and sardines are almost a stable food in Papua New Guinea, particularly in the populous highlands region. The cannery will be supplied by imports of raw material, coming mainly from Europe.

The forecast is for a contraction of fish imports by Pacific Island States and territories, and a small increase in exports, mainly tuna. Fresh tuna is now air-shipped to the Japanese sashimi market and other niché markets from several States and territories in the region, but the distance to Japan, and other considerations such as limited freight space on aircraft, constrain expansion. Papua New Guinea has the potential of becoming an important exporter of canned tuna to the European market, once the tuna cannery is established. The advantage of the Papua New Guinea industry is that it is very close to the resource and the quality of the tuna is excellent.

Other than tuna, Pacific States and territories will continue to export significant quantities of low-volume, high-value products such as bêche-de-mer, trochus, pearls, etc. However, internal transportation difficulties for some of these products could act as a constraint to the realization of the full export potential for some products.

4.6 Fisheries monitoring, control and surveillance

Monitoring, control and surveillance (MCS) in Australia and New Zealand is now the most technically advanced in the world. The introduction of vessel monitoring systems (VMS) and the growing number of fisheries that these are applied to, are evidence of this. The VMS schemes are based on satellite communications systems which relay the position automatically at periodic intervals to a central control point. In addition to the fisheries which have been subject to compulsory fitting of these systems, Australia's Gulf of Carpentaria prawn trawling fleet has recently voluntarily adopted VMS systems within the wider concept of fisheries conservation and management. Under this system the individual vessels will report back on the size of shrimp at the beginning of the season by VMS. If the central authorities feel that the shrimp are too small, they will postpone the opening of the fishery by an appropriate period to allow the shrimp to reach an optimum size.

Both these countries require land shipments of fish or shellfish to carry a certificate of origin, which indicates the vessel and details of its capture. This can supplement the monitoring of fisheries and detect illegal landings of non quota fish.

The functions of MCS for the South Pacific island States and territories, which have traditionally relied on foreign aid, have always presented a unique problem in the large area to be covered compared to the relatively low government budgets with which to tackle MCS. This is a relatively new problem originating in 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (1982 Convention) which gave the island States and territories dramatically increased areas of oceans under their jurisdiction. At the time of implementation of the 1982 Convention, these States and territories did not have the investment or the technology to harvest their own resources. This resulted in a continuation of the status quo, in which a high proportion of foreign vessels operating sophisticated technology harvested the available resources. These vessels rarely land their catch in the host country, but merely report when entering or leaving a countries EEZ and their catch on board at these times. At the other end of the scale low technology vessels from Asia, often violate the EEZs and are caught, leading to problems of the arresting countries in deporting the crew to their own countries and the disposal of vessels for which the owners are unwilling to pay the fines for.

Fortunately the defense and economic security priorities of Australia and New Zealand are very compatible with providing South Pacific States and territories with technical assistance and infrastructure to carry out surveillance within their EEZs. Australia has provided 20 vessels to 11 countries under its Patrol Boat Services which is directly administered under its Defense Cooperation Programme, but with strong fisheries MCS inputs. The Agreement also establishes National Surveillance Centres, stations naval officers from Australia and New Zealand in the beneficiary countries and provides for the counterpart training of nationals. In addition to floating plant, there is a trilateral coordination of the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF), the Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF) and French aerial surveillance programmes conducted on behalf of the South Pacific States and territories.

4.7 Fishing on the high seas

Only about 20 percent of the South Pacific region is covered by high seas areas and no fleets from States or territories in the region target high seas resource as a primary fishery. An important proportion of the region's high seas areas are surrounded by zones of national jurisdiction forming enclaves by two or more States and territories.

As a general rule DWFN fleets operating in the South Pacific do not fish only on the high seas, but rather they operate concurrently under license in zones of national jurisdiction and on the high seas. However, according to DWFN industry sources the high seas area in the enclave bounded by the EEZs of the Federated States of Micronesia, Palau and Papua New Guinea, for example, is highly productive and one of the richest purse-seine fishing areas in the region.

South Pacific States and territories are vitally concerned about the extent and level of fishing operations on the region's high seas as it is integrally related to, and directly impacts on, fishing operations in their respective EEZs. It is for this reason that these States and territories give such high priority to the coordination of tuna fishing activities and management policy in the region and seek to actively cooperate with DWFNs concerning their activities in the South Pacific.

At the 1993-95 United Nations Conference on Straddling Fish Stocks and Highly Migratory Fish Stocks, South Pacific States as a regional grouping played an important and substantive role in debate and negotiation of the outcome of the Conference. The position of these States reflected clearly the importance of highly migratory fish stocks to the South Pacific region.

4.8 Management of excess fishing capacity

In Australia and New Zealand, the management of excess capacity does not arise to any extent. Most fisheries are managed by licenses and/or quotas and the import of vessels from abroad is controlled, hence the fleet is at, or around, the optimum size for harvesting the resources. This is greatly aided by the industry involvement in fisheries management. There has been evidence of fleet reductions particularly in Australia's Gulf of Carpentaria prawn fleet which has been reduced from 292 vessels in 1977 to 125 vessels in 1993. This reduction in the fleet has mainly been brought about by buyback of existing licenses by existing license holders.

The orange roughy fishery has had to come to terms with harvesting a resource which is now believed to live for 100 years. This has led to reductions of quotas to the vessels already licensed to participate in the fishery, however the fleet have tended to resolve this problem by fishing on seamounts outside national jurisdiction. This of course raises problems of a different nature, that of excess fishing capacity on the high seas, which is beyond the competence of national jurisdictions to solve.

In the SIDS, in the wider context of the EEZs, the excess capacity in industrial fisheries belongs to foreign vessels which are exploiting their zones, and the control of this fleet is taken up by the Fisheries Forum Agency through a number of activities, including a regional cap on the number of purse-seines permitted to operate.

There are localized problems with excess capacity close to atolls and reefs that can only provide a limited marine resources for harvesting. However these areas are controlled more by traditional community management rather than centralized fisheries management. Nevertheless in areas of high population concentration or of high tourist activity such traditional management systems may have broken down.

4.9 Discards

In their artisanal and subsistence fisheries, Pacific islanders discard, or return, very little of their catch, except tabu fish (such as remora or shark in certain islands) and fish that are known to have a high probability of conferring ciguatera or some other toxin. Of the fish that are eaten, there is also a very high recovery rate of edible material; only the bones, scales, gills and some of the viscera are discarded. Mollusc shells (apart from mother-of-pearl) and crustacean carapaces are normally considered waste, and middens of such fishery waste are the prime source of archaeological information about pre-contact Pacific island populations.

Discard of by-catches are a consideration for the distant-water albacore longline fisheries and, to a lesser extent, the skipjack and yellowfin purse-seine fisheries. Small-scale longliners running short trip-times out of Pacific island ports generally discard only sharks, and this to a lesser extent as demand is created. Any unsaleable fish from Pacific island pole and line tuna fisheries are taken home by the crew or, in previous years in Fiji, given to coastal villages to compensate for bait-fishing access. In Honiara, these are non important sales skipjack to the local fish market.

Trawl fisheries, which often generate large unwanted by-catches, are only found in the Pacific islands in Papua New Guinea's Gulf of Papua (shrimp) and very recently in the Lagon Nord off New Caledonia (scallop). By-catches from the Gulf of Papua shrimp-trawl fishery are around 80 to 90 percent of the total catch, whilst the New Caledonia scallop trawl fishery is still experimental (and most of the by-catch is likely to be marketable). As a general rule, Pacific island shallow-water substrates are too coral-strewn for trawling, and no fisheries (apart from very localized beds of precious coral) have been identified in abyssal substrates.

4.10 Promotion of sustainable aquaculture

In spite of the potential of the region for aquaculture development as a provider of food and income and of the numerous attempts to establish all sorts of aquaculture projects in the islands, this development has been confined to a few States and territories and is actually picking up only lately. There are several issues in the region to be addressed by aquaculture development which could be grouped into several, often interrelated, categories, such as physical, bio-technical, economic and institutional issues and those concerning information and distribution of knowledge.

Physical issues: For some of the States- smaller islands in particular - the incidence of natural calamities (cyclones) is very high and these represent a menace for the aquaculture facilities which could be envisaged. The devastation brought about by the storms is such that even reef restocking programmes could be seriously affected. 

Bio-technical issues: The fact that some of the species which could be cultured at a larger scale would have limited marketability due to restrictions imposed by the CITES agreement is an example of bio-technical issue. Other such issues relate to the lack of production packages for some of the local species, which orient the sector towards the introduction of exotic species for which there are technology packages, with the consequent risk of impacts on biodiversity and local species.

Economic issues: On the economic side there are a number of issues which have to be considered when planning aquaculture projects in the region. An important one is that, with the exception of the larger States and territories, it is difficult to reach an important economy of scale, a problem which is related to the relatively limited size of many local markets and the difficulty to market abroad due to the distance from the main markets and the limited possibilities for transport of perishable products. In this connection, the farmers are often met with the problem of selecting financially viable, as well as environmentally sustainable, aquaculture production technologies.

Institutional issues: Of the institutional issues, the first and most important one relates to economics. With the exception of the larger States and territories, the region possesses very limited institutional and financial capability to promote development of the public sector, and research and development efforts thus depend in many cases from external assistance. Such limited capacity, in addition to aquaculture being a non-traditional activity, has resulted in a serious dearth of properly trained personnel for research and development of aquaculture.

Although the number of aquaculture projects which have been tried in the South Pacific is vast, properly-focused external assistance has been scarce, and initiatives of a regional nature which could have led to the creation of networks and the utilization of the higher capacity of the larger countries have been insufficient and largely underfunded. Horizontal cooperation among States and territories in the region has been poor.

Among the aquaculture forms whose potential in the South Pacific needs to be explored, the extensive forms (ranching), which would - at least in theory - permit a better management of inshore resource by contributing to a recuperation of stocks where they have been depleted by overfishing, appear to be among the most interesting. However, for proper aquaculture management of reefs, extensive research is required to analyze the baseline levels and measure the impacts of the actions taken. Such research is, in most cases, beyond the reach, in terms of time, expertise and funding required, of the local institutions or of the externally-assisted projects and is thus seldom included in local programmes. The matter is complex, as it also requires monitoring of the access to the resource, once the stocking programmes have been determined, and is only possible in situations where the government and the local communities maintain a good control of this access.

Information issues: The scarcity of information on aquaculture technology, marketing of aquaculture products and expertise available in the region must be mentioned as an additional problem.  

Future strategy: In proposing a strategy for promotion of sustainable aquaculture, all the issues indicated should be examined. In the light of the present circumstances, a sound approach would be to facilitate the use of existing resources and knowledge through the establishment of networks of national institutions and the linkage of these networks to similar institutions in the industrialized world. This linkage would also facilitate the participation of bilateral donors from developed countries, if their institutions are part of a regional programme.

Such a strategy would have as objectives the expansion and consolidation of existing unofficial networks started by the FAO South Pacific Aquaculture Development Project. It would also permit the adaptation of technical packages for species for which production technologies exist elsewhere and the implementation of regional research programmes to develop technology packages for the local species. Important elements would be the establishment of protocols and guidelines for studies of reef and inshore area ecology for the evaluation of impact of ranching programmes and the coordination with the FAO and regional organizations for normalization and adoption by the governments of activities and for the procurement of additional support and guidance.

4.11 National and regional development assistance for the fisheries sector

In Australia and New Zealand little development assistance is required as the fisheries are generating enough revenue and profits to undertake the funding of their own development. Government involvement is usually restricted to the biological advice and administration of fisheries. Some fishing gear research is carried out by governmental agencies, but this tends to be aimed at environmental concerns with regard to the precautionary approach, rather than increasing the efficiency of the fishing gear.

In the other States and territories of the South Pacific, development assistance has tended to be towards the conservation and management of fisheries. Not surprisingly Australia and New Zealand have been particularly active in the activities of the South Pacific Commission and the Forum Fisheries Agency, being the only members that are developed States. The assistance has tended to be aimed at a coherent comprehensive approach to the common problems of the island States and territories, which are those of managing EEZs.

Both Australia and New Zealand award many scholarships to trainees from the South Pacific countries to study fisheries subjects at professional and technical levels.

In some cases donor agencies find difficulty in defining appropriate projects for assistance and a high proportion of donor aid goes to running regional training courses and workshops. With each of the States and territories having a limited number of staff, they then find it difficult to nominate staff to attend these courses.

4.12 Enhancement and rehabilitation of inshore fisheries

Many of the inshore and inland aquatic resources of the region have declined as a result of overfishing and habitat degradation around urban or industrial areas. Overfishing inshore and lagoon areas was identified as a significant issue in nearly every State and territory in the South Pacific. Efforts to increase production or profit from inland and inshore fisheries in the region have included the construction of artificial reefs, stocking of water bodies and coastal reef areas, habitat improvement, and the introduction of exotic species. Nearly 30 exotic species of aquatic species have been introduced to Australia, and nearly 20 have been introduced to New Zealand. In Papua New Guinea, over 30 species have been introduced and there is still an active programme in stocking the Sepik River with exotic fishes. Smaller island States have transferred or introduced tilapia (Oreochromis spp.) and the molluscs trochus (Trochus niloticus) and green snail (Turbo spp.). States and territories realize the potential dangers of inappropriate introductions and are or have adopted legislation or guidelines to regulate the use of exotic species.

Many species of commercially important molluscs are prone to over-exploitation because of slow recruitment and ease of harvest. The giant clam and its relatives (Tridacna spp. and Hippopus hippopus) have been classified as threatened species by IUCN for many of the islands. Thus, stocking and transplantation projects have been attempted for species of giant clam (Tridacnidea) and for trochus on Australia's Great Barrier Reef, in Cook Islands, French Polynesia, Federated States of Micronesia, and other Pacific islands. The largest hatcheries for Tridacna enhancement are the Coastal Aquaculture Center in the Solomon Islands, the Micronesian Mariculture Development Center in Palau, and at James Cook University in Australia. The Ministry of Fisheries in Tonga is also producing approximately 50 000 seed clams for release annually in the hope of re-establishing wild broodstock. Replenishment of tridacna clams involves both the stocking of juveniles and the establishment of protected nursery areas, which may include 'clam circles' (i.e. many translocated adults in a small area to maximize spawning potential). Green snail, which has been introduced to French Polynesia from Vanuatu, is being considered for translocation to other areas within the region and as a candidate for stocking coral reefs with hatchery raised juveniles. Transplantation of trochus was started by the Japanese in Micronesia during the 1920s and has been successfully introduced to many Pacific islands.

Artificial reefs have been used to increase habitat diversity and therefore, either increase or congregate species of commercially important fish and shell fish in areas such as South Australia and Queensland. Using materials of convenience such as old tires and derelict vessels, the artificial reefs have increased catch for recreational fishermen and sport divers.

4.13 Environmental concerns

As a result of increased population growth, movement of people to urban areas, and limited space and resources, aquatic environments, especially those close to shore around urban centers, have been stressed and degraded. All States participating in the South Pacific Regional Environment Programme listed marine pollution as a significant issue, and nearly all listed coastal degradation, loss of biodiversity, mangrove destruction, beach mining, overfishing, destructive fishing, and protected area establishment as significant issues.

Historically, in all States and territories in the South Pacific fish and marine species have provided the main source of animal protein. Now however, the catch is declining as a result of overfishing, destructive fishing practices and habitat loss (e.g. destruction of mangroves and coral reefs), and habitat degradation (e.g. pollution and siltation from urban, logging and mining centres). Island ecosystems are often fragile and slow to recover from human induced stresses. In recognition of the value and sensitivity of environment, most States and territories in the region have established environmental units and environmental impact assessments are becoming mandatory in development plans. Furthermore, most South Pacific States were active participants in the 1982 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development process and many have now ratified the Convention on Biological Diversity.

In spite of prohibiting legislation, destructive fishing practices such as explosives on coral reefs continues in areas such as American Samoa, Fiji, Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia and Western Samoa. Fish poisons, including cyanide and bleach which are easier to use and less risky than explosives, are also used in some areas. Deliberate coral destruction in order to drive out and catch desired fish species or for an ornamental coral trade market is also a problem in certain areas, and has been encouraged, in some instances, by national and foreign investors. Enforcement of fishing regulations is often difficult throughout island States.

The spread of exotic species, often in the name of fisheries and aquaculture development, has also contributed to environmental problems in many parts of the region. In Australia, tilapia are considered a pest fish and threaten many native resources. In New Zealand, introduced salmonids have threatened native galaxid fishes, and in Kiribati tilapia and mosquito fish (Gambusia spp.) constrain the aquaculture of milkfish (Chanos chanos). Marine organisms transported by ships as fouling organisms or in ballast water are changing the community structure of many coastal areas in Australia.

A natural environmental problem in many South Pacific reef fisheries is that of ciguatera disease (fish poisoning). Ciguatera results from eating certain species of reef fish that have accumulated a toxin from a blue-green alga found in shallow reef areas. Local fishers are aware of the problem and have learned what species to avoid and at what times of year to avoid them. However, there is anecdotal evidence from Tokelau that ciguatera may be increased in areas where corals have been destroyed.

The IUCN lists several marine species from the region as endangered, e.g. species of sea turtles, and threatened,24 e.g. tridacna clams, dolphins, the dugong, estuarine crocodile. Over 40 species of inland fishes are listed as threatened in Papua New Guinea and over 70 are listed from Australia. In many of the island States and territories, monitoring of fishing activities and catch is inadequate and ecosystem profiles are lacking. Therefore, information on marine degradation and loss of aquatic biodiversity is difficult to quantify. Many States and territories in the region recognize the need for surveys and monitoring, as well as the need to establish marine reserves or protected areas.


Fish and fishery products will continue to play a fundamental social and economic role in the South Pacific. Fish for human consumption will remain the most important source of animal protein for many Pacific island communities, and in particular for those communities that are most isolated and disadvantaged in the region. The fisheries sector will be one of the primary vehicles for promoting economic development in the South Pacific, and for some States and territories, the sector will be main engine of economic development. Few areas or regions of the world will be more dependent on the fisheries sector for development than the South Pacific.

Population projections for the Pacific Islands for 2010 indicate that the population will be 8.9 million.25 Assuming a constant per caput consumption, it is projected that approximately 170 000 tonnes of fish (or 34 percent more than in 1990) will be required in 2010 to feed the region's population.

The region's fisheries resources are certainly capable of meeting a regional demand of 170 000 tonnes of fish, though it is likely that additional amount of pelagic species will have to consumed, particularly in urban areas and in other areas of high population concentration. However, marketing systems will need to be strengthened in order to move fish more quickly and efficiently both among States and territories in the region, and within States and territories themselves.26

Nearly all Pacific islands have the sustainable resource capacity to feed their populations, even at the present high rates of consumption. Those territories that are importers of reef food-fish, like Guam and the Northern Marianas Islands, are so largely because of the high-quality food demands of an unusually large tourism industry.

The promotion of sustainable fisheries and the implementation of regional and national arrangements to ensure that fisheries resources are utilized in a rational manner are major social and economic policy issues in the South Pacific. Most States and territories are attempting to deal with over fishing of inshore resources, and the Forum Fisheries Agency, the South Pacific Commission, FAO and other organizations have been providing technical assistance to this end. At the regional level, initiatives put in place over the past decade are effective in regulating industrial fishing activity in the EEZs of the member States of the Forum Fisheries Agency. For example, under regional agreement states have taken steps have to limit purse-seine fishing effort in the region. States and territories in the South Pacific recognize that effective and sustainable regulation of both inshore and offshore fisheries resources is essential for long-term food, social and economic security.

To facilitate the long-term, sustainable use of fisheries resources in the region, and to ensure that the fisheries sector continues to make an important contribution to the social and economic development of South Pacific States and territories a range of inter-connected and consistent strategies will need to be put in place. These strategies include:

Fish consumption and nutrition: Fish and fisheries products are the animal protein life support for many South Pacific States and territories. The sustainable use of coastal resources, and the rehabilitation of overfished stocks and degraded environments are necessary to ensure that coastal fisheries are well placed to continue to make an important contribution to regional food security and nutrition. States and territories should:

National institutional strengthening and capacity building: In seeking to strengthen national institutions and to build fisheries capacity South Pacific States and territories should:

Regional fisheries cooperation and relations with DWFNs: Regional fisheries cooperation forms a cornerstone of fisheries policy in the South Pacific and the maintenance of fair and equitable relations with DWFNs is required for the harvesting of tuna resources, particularly in view of the lack of industrial fishing capacity that many of the region's States and territories have at the present time to harvest their resources. States and territories should:

Problems facing fishery management organizations and arrangements: To deal more effectively with problems facing fishery management organizations and arrangements in the region States and territories should:

Traditional fisheries management practice: Conventional fisheries conservation and management practice has not been successful in many States and territories in facilitating the sustainable utilization of inshore fisheries resources. States and territories should:

Improved international marketing for fish and fisheries products: Social and economic development of the South Pacific is closely linked to strengthening international marketing for fish and fisheries products. States and territories should:

Fisheries monitoring, control and surveillance: Fisheries conservation and management requires an effective MCS system to ensure that conservation and management measures adopted nationally and regionally are implemented. States and territories should:

Fishing on the high seas: High seas areas in the South Pacific are important not because of their size but because they are generally surrounded by zones of national jurisdiction. The co-ordination of offshore, tuna fisheries between EEZs and the high seas is therefore required. To this end States and territories should 

Management of excess fishing capacity: Excess fishing capacity undermines efforts to effectively conserve and manage fish stocks. It exists in both coastal and DWFN industrial fisheries. States and territories should:

Discards: Only small quantities of fish are discarded in coastal fisheries in the South Pacific though larger quantities, sometimes of an unknown magnitude, are discarded by industrial fleets, and in particular longline vessels operating in the region. To minimize discards and waste States and territories should:

Promotion of sustainable aquaculture: Aquaculture production in the South Pacific is not great by international standards, and the potential for development varies significantly between sub-regions. Physical, bio-technical, economic, institutional and other issues generally mitigate against the development of extensive aquaculture in the South Pacific, though potential does exist for the selective and careful development of aquaculture for food and economic purposes. States and territories should:

National and regional development assistance for the fisheries sector: Lacking technical and financial resources the States and territories in the region are dependent on external source to assist with strengthening fisheries conservation and management at both the national and regional levels. States and territories should:

Rehabilitation of inshore fisheries: Over-exploited coastal fisheries require measures that will enable them to rehabilitate and regenerate. Action to restrict fishing effort is needed. This will require a high degree of fishing community participation which will be best achieved through community management practice. States and territories should:

Environmental concerns: South Pacific ecosystems are fragile and slow to recover from stress. Natural and human activity have led to environmental degradation in many States and territories, and steps must be taken to prevent further deterioration. States and territories should:

1 Australia and New Zealand have a combined land area of 8.0 million square kilometres and a combined EEZ area of 11. 1 million square kilometres. The 22 States and territories have a total land area of 550, 979 million square kilometres, 84 percent of which is accounted for by Papua New Guinea. The total EEZ area for these States and territories is 30.6 million square kilometres.
2 Gillett, R. 1995. Demand and Supply of Fish and Fish Products in the Pacific Islands Region. FAO. Rome. 15p. However, it has also been reported by the Forum Fisheries Agency that per caput consumption in some of the outer-lying atolls in Kiribati had reached 250kgs.
3 South Pacific Commission. 1993. Tuna Fishery Yearbook 1993. South Pacific Commission, Noumea.
4 The Forum Fisheries Agency has reported that, up until 1993, substantial under-reporting and non-reporting of tuna catches take place in the region by DWFN fleets. It is estimated by the Agency that for Japan there was a 15 percent under-reporting rate and 31 percent of non-reporting of catches; for the Republic of Korea there was 28 percent under-reporting and 75 percent non-reporting, and for Taiwan (Province of China) there was 79 percent under-reporting (49 percent in 1993) and 5 percent non-reporting. All US purse seine catches taken in the South Pacific are verified by US authorities at the point of unloading under the terms of the ten year multilateral fisheries treaty between the USA and South Pacific States. Consequently, under these arrangements there is no scope for non-reporting or under-reporting of catches. See Wright, Andrew. "Monitoring, control and surveillance in the South Pacific". In US Department of State. 1995. Report of the Global Fisheries Enforcement Workshop. US department of State. Washington DC. pp.144-160.
5 Maxwell J. G. H. And A. D. Owen. 1994. South Pacific Tuna Fisheries Study. Australian Agency for International Development. Canberra. 48p.
6 Maxwell J. G. H. And A. D. Owen. 1994. South Pacific Tuna Fisheries Study. Australian Agency for International Development. Canberra. 48p.It has been estimated that there are about 82 000 Islanders engaged in artisanal and small-scale commercial fisheries in the Pacific Islands. See Hamnett, M. P. 1990. Marine Resources in Pacific Island Economies. USAID. Suva. 32p. plus appendices.
7 It has been estimated that there are about 82 000 Islanders engaged in artisanal and small-scale commercial fisheries in the Pacific Islands. See Hamnett, M. P. 1990. Marine Resources in Pacific Island Economies. USAID. Suva. 32p. plus appendices.
8 For background information on these products and a review of the marketing arrangements see Philipson, P. W. (ed). 1989. The Marketing of Marine Products from the South Pacific. University of the South Pacific. Suva. 307p.
9 Demand for fish in both Australia and New Zealand is rising despite real increases in price for these products and strongly competitive protein substitutes. However, in both States fish as a proportion of animal protein consumption is less than 10 percent.
10 DWFN catches taken in the region are not shown in Figures 1 to 5.
11 There have been a number of investment in these type in shore-based facilities in the last 5-10 years, but most (e.g. Apia, Western Samoa and Honiara, Solomon Islands) have been provided under overseas development assistance.
12 Two new purse seiners were constructed for use in the Solomon Islands in the mid-1980s and new long-line vessels have been deployed in French Polynesia in the 1990s.
13 The formation of joint ventures in the region involving fleet tends to involve the foreign partner contributing existing capital (vessels) in lieu of cash contributions to such ventures.
14 The most recent investment in new processing facilities was in the Solomon Islands where the tuna cannery was relocated from Tulagi to Noro in expanded and upgraded facilities in 1990.
15 Papua New Guinea, for example, requires the payment of this percentage by law as the rate of return is specified in the country’s national fisheries legislation.
16 There is a current proposal among South Pacific States and territories to consolidate all offshore fisheries matters in the Forum Fisheries Agency. However, according to a recent press report this initiative is being opposed by France. See Islands Business, March 1996, p.33.
17 The members of the Forum Fisheries Agency are Australia, Cook Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Nauru, New Zealand, Niue, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu, and Vanuatu.
18 The members of the South Pacific Commission are American Samoa, Australia, Cook Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, France, French Polynesia, Guam, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Nauru, New Caledonia, New Zealand, Northern Marianas, Niue, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Pitcairn Island, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tokelau, Tonga, Tuvalu, United States of America, Vanuatu and Wallis and Futuna.
19 FAO has no regional fishery body dedicated to serving the interests of the South Pacific region. Although the Asia-Pacific Fishery Commission (APFIC), located in Bangkok, Thailand, has competence for the Asia-Pacific Region, only Australia and New Zealand from the region are members. France and the United Kingdom which have territories in the South Pacific, are also members of APFIC.
20 For reviews of the functions and activities of the Forum Fisheries Agency see Doulman, Herr, R. (ed). The Forum Fisheries Agency: Achievements, Challenges and Prospects. University of the South Pacific. Suva. 446p.; David J. 1990. "Fisheries Management and Cooperation in the South Pacific Region". In Ghai, Y. (ed). Public Administration and Management in Small States. University of the South Pacific. Suva. pp.209-226; Doulman, David J. 1991. "Fisheries Management in the South Pacific: The Role of the Forum Fisheries Agency". In Thakur, R. (ed). The South Pacific: Problems, Issues and Prospects. Macmillan. London. pp.81-94.
21 In Papua New Guinea the Department of Fisheries and Marine Resources was abolished and all functions transferred to the National Fisheries Authority in March 1994.
22 Some States and territories collaborate closely with international, (FAO, and notably the South Pacific Aquaculture project), regional (South Pacific Forum Fisheries Agency (FFA), South Pacific Commission (SPC), Asian Development Bank (ADB), International Centre for Living Aquatic Resources Management (ICLARM)), and national organizations (Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR), Australia's Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO), France's Institut français de recherche scientifique pour le développement en coopération (ORSTOM), Japan's Overseas Fisheries Cooperation Foundation (OFCF), Japan's International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and the US National Marine Fisheries Service (US NMFS)), which are capable of providing the specialized and high quality technical assistance that States themselves cannot provide nationally. The European Commission also provides financial and technical assistance to ACP States in the region. Since 1992 FAO has provided technical assistance to a number of South Pacific States specifically in the area of national capacity building and resource management. These States have included Fiji, Tonga, Solomon Islands, Papua New Guinea and Vanuatu.
23 Forum Fisheries Agency. 1994. Multilateral Treaty on Fisheries: Treaty on Fisheries between the Governments of certain Pacific Island States and the Government of the United States of America. Honiara. Forum Fisheries Agency. 44p.
24 The IUCN use of the term ‘threatened’ denotes a species that is in general endangered, vulnerable, rare, or probably at risk of extinction and the use is therefore, different from the more restricted usage by the USA.
25 South Pacific Commission. 1993. South Pacific Economies: Statistical Summaries Number 13. Noumea. New Caledonia.
26 Some additional allowance for increase in demand for fish and fisheries products in the South Pacific should also be made for increased incomes which are likely to translate into higher fish purchases. As lagoon and coastal resources in populated areas have probably reached maximum levels of sustainable exploitation the remaining options, apart from increased imports, would appear to be infrastructure development and improved transport from outlying areas (which has proved difficult and expensive) or a change to local consumption of some of the offshore tuna catches, presently exported. This is already happening in the Solomon Islands and the trend could be encouraged elsewhere by government policies to link fisheries development to national food security.