In order to fulfil our mandate in promoting responsible fisheries in the Pacific as well as work done more extensively in Asia, the Asia-Pacific Fishery Commission (APFIC) has commissioned a study on the contribution of fisheries to food security in the Oceania which was issued in 2000 (RAP Publication: 2000/23). It was reported that, despite high production of tunas by foreign fishing fleets, there would be a gap in demand and supply of fish for local consumption by 2010. With an increase in population and limited coastal resources of most Pacific Island States, fish consumption per caput from coastal resources will decline and thus resulting in increasing dependency on non-local foods and a decreasing diet quality of people in the Pacific Islands.
Recognizing the vast area covered by the Pacific region which includes 22 Island States that contain about 200 high islands and 2,500 low islands and atolls, assistance required for fisheries and aquaculture development is enormous. As a first step, there is a need to review current status of fisheries and aquaculture development in the main Island States. In addition, potentials for further development needed to be assessed to guide development effort of all organizations concerned. To achieve these objectives, APFIC has collaborated with the FAO Fisheries Department to compile information available as a regional and country review which is presented in this publication. It would serve as a basic reference on Pacific fisheries for all individuals and organizations with keen interest on fisheries in the region.
The APFIC Secretariat wishes to express our appreciation to Robert Gillett for his effort in conducting the review; to Ulf Wijkstrom and Jan Orzesko of the Fishery Policy Division (FIPP) and to Jorge Csirke-Barcelli and Jacek Majkowski of the Fishery Resources Division. (FIRM), FAO Fisheries Department, for their cooperation in preparing the review. In addition, support by Vili Fuavao and Masanami Izumi of the FAO Subregional Office for the Pacific Islands in much appreciated.