FAO Home>Fisheries & Aquaculture
Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nationsfor a world without hunger
EspañolFrançaisРусский
The designations employed and the presentation of material in the map(s) are for illustration only and do not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of FAO concerning the legal or constitutional status of any country, territory or sea area, or concerning the delimitation of frontiers or boundaries.

Part I Overview and main indicators

  1. Country brief
  2. General geographic and economic indicators
  3. FAO Fisheries statistics

Part II Narrative (2017)

  1. Production sector
    • Marine sub-sector
      • Catch profile
      • Landing sites
      • Fishing practices/systems
      • Main resources
      • Management applied to main fisheries
      • Fishing communities
    • Inland sub-sector
    • Aquaculture sub-sector
    • Recreational sub-sector
  2. Post-harvest sector
    • Fish utilization
    • Fish markets
  3. Socio-economic contribution of the fishery sector
    • Role of fisheries in the national economy
    • Trade
    • Food security
    • Employment
  4. Trends, issues and development
    • Constraints and opportunities
    • Government and non-government sector policies and development strategies
    • Research, education and training
      • Research
      • Education and training
    • Foreign aid
  5. Institutional framework
  6. Legal framework
  7. Annexes
  8. References

Additional information

  1. FAO Thematic data bases
  2. Publications
  3. Meetings & News archive

Part I Overview and main indicators

Part I of the Fishery and Aquaculture Country Profile is compiled using the most up-to-date information available from the FAO Country briefs and Statistics programmes at the time of publication. The Country Brief and the FAO Fisheries Statistics provided in Part I may, however, have been prepared at different times, which would explain any inconsistencies.

Country briefPrepared: March 2018

Solomon Islands has a population of 599 419 in 2016, a land area of 28 370 km2, a coastline of 4 270 km and the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) of 1.34 million km2. Fisheries contribution to GDP in 2014 was estimated as USD 25.5 million, corresponding to 2.5 percent of the national GDP. In 2015, fisheries exports were worth USD 50.3 million while imports were worth USD 2.1 million. In 2016 5 752 subsistence fishers were estimated with a further 660 women and 5 076 men working in marine fisheries. In total, including deep sea fisheries 11 752 people were estimated to be engaged in the sector.

The fisheries situation of the country is characterized by the large importance of both subsistence fisheries and offshore industrial fisheries. Because 90 percent of the Solomon Islands population is living in remote rural areas, subsistence fishing activities are of great importance for nutrition. Total fisheries production was 66 400 tonnes in 2016 with tuna and tuna-like fishes accounting for over 85 percent of total catch. Currently aquaculture production of food fish is limited to Mozambique tilapia grown on subsistence scale with a total production estimated to 10 tonnes in recent years. However, farming of the seaweed, Kappaphycus alvarezii at the eastern tip of Guadalcanal has been successful and steadily growing. Around 11 000 tonnes of farmed seaweeds (wet weight) was harvested annually and dried for export market during 2013-2016. Solomon Islands continued to be the largest seaweed farming countries in the Pacific.

Annual per capita consumption was 33.5 kg in 2013. The offshore fisheries are responsible for a large percentage of formal jobs in the country, while both processed and raw tuna are major exports. The licensing of foreign vessels for offshore fishing in the Solomon Islands’ EEZ is a substantial source of revenue for the government.

The annual catch from locally-based offshore fisheries has ranged in recent years between about 14 000 and 22 000 tonnes. Purse seining is responsible for about 75 percent of the catch, with pole-and-line fishing and longlining supplying the balance. About 90 percent of the catch is tuna, with various species of bycatch making up 10 percent. The foreign offshore fleets catch much more than local vessels.

Solomon Islands is a signatory to the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, the UN Fish Stocks Agreement and the Convention on the Conservation and Management of Highly Migratory Fish Stocks in the Western and central Pacific Ocean. Solomon Islands hosts the Secretariat of the Pacific Islands Forum Fisheries Agency in Honiara. Solomon Islands is also a party to a number of treaties and agreements relating to the management of regional fisheries.
 
General geographic and economic indicators

Table 1 -General Geographic and Economic Data - Solomon Islands

    Source
Shelf area:

33 196 km²

Sea Around US:

www.seaaroundus.org

Length of continental coastline: 5 313 km

World by Map

www.world.bymap.org

Fisheries GDP (2014): 2.5 % National GDP

Gillet, 20161

*Value converted by FAO as per UN currency exchange rate(1) Gillett, R. D. Fisheries in the Economies of Pacific Island Countries and Territories. Pacific Community (SPC), 2016

Key statistics

Source
Country area28 900km2FAOSTAT. Expert sources from FAO (including other divisions), 2013
Land area27 990km2FAOSTAT. Expert sources from FAO (including other divisions), 2013
Inland water area910km2Computed. Calculated, 2013
Population - Est. & Proj.0.654millionsFAOSTAT. Official data, 2018
Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) area1 611 839km2VLIZ
GDP (current US$)1 202millionsWorld Bank. 2016
GDP per capita (current US$)2 005US$World Bank. 2016
Agriculture, value added35.65% of GDPWorld Bank. 2006

Source: FAO Country Profile

FAO Fisheries statisticsTable 2 in this section is based on statistics prepared by the FAO Fishery Information, Data and Statistics Unit and disseminated in 2018. The charts are based on the same source but these are automatically updated every year with the most recent statistics.



Table 2 — FAO fisheries statistics – Solomon Islands

      1980 1990 2000 2010 2013 2014 2015
EMPLOYMENT (thousands) 65.11 51.54
  Aquaculture
  Capture 65.11 51.54          
    Inland
    Marine 65.11 51.54
                   
FLEET(thousands boats)
                   
                   
Source: FAO Fishery and Aquaculture Statistics
1) Due to roundings total may not sum up


Please Note:Fishery statistical data here presented exclude the production for marine mammals, crocodiles, corals, sponges, pearls, mother-of-pearl and aquatic plants.

:
:
:
:
:
:
:
:
:

Updated 2017Part II Narrative

Part II of the Fishery and Aquaculture Country Profile provides supplementary information that is based on national and other sources and that is valid at the time of compilation (see update year above). References to these sources are provided as far as possible.

Production sectorMost of the people of the Solomon Islands depend on agriculture, fishing and forestry for part of their livelihood. Most manufactured goods and petroleum products are imported. Natural resources include fish, forests, gold, bauxite, phosphates, lead, zinc and nickel. Agriculture products include cocoa beans, coconuts, palm kernels, rice, potatoes, vegetables, fruit, timber, cattle, pigs and fish. The main industries are based on fish (tuna), mining, timber, palm oil and tourism. Approximately 75 percent of the labour force in 2000 worked in agriculture, 20 percent in services and 5 percent in industry (Pinca et al., 2009).

The fisheries situation of the country is characterized by the importance of both subsistence fisheries and offshore industrial fisheries. Because 90 percent of the Solomon Islands population lives in remote rural areas, subsistence fishing is of great importance for nutrition. The offshore fisheries are responsible for a large percentage of formal jobs in the country, while both processed and raw tuna are major export commodities. The licence fee for foreign vessels to fish in the Solomon Islands exclusive economic zone (EEZ) is a substantial source of revenue for the government.

Fisheries statistics can be presented in different forms to cater for different purposes. In the Solomon Islands statistics published by FAO (Part 1 of this profile), the presentation follows the international conventions and standards used by FAO and its Member States for reporting catches, which are given by the flag of the catching vessel. Accordingly, the fishery and aquaculture production of the Solomon Islands in 2014 published by FAO (as given in Part 1) was 73 620 tonnes.

In Table 3 below, the Solomon Islands fishery production statistics include the catch by Solomon Islands-flagged vessels, the catch by small boats operated by Solomon nationals and the catch from fishing activities that do not involve a vessel (e.g. reef gleaning). The offshore category in the table is defined as the catch from Solomon Islands-flagged, industrial-scale fishing operations that are carried out anywhere in the western and central Pacific Ocean (i.e. inside or outside Solomon Islands waters).



Table 3: Solomon Islands fisheries production (as per FAO reporting standards)

2014AquacultureFreshwater

Coastal

commercial

Coastal

subsistence

Solomon Islands- flagged offshore
Volume (tonnes)

1530 tonnes and

20 000 pieces

2 3006 46820 00041 523

Value

(USD)

773 263 3 800 78612 848 29633 027 523n/a
Units: tonnes unless otherwise stated



The amounts of production given in the above table differ from those shown in Part 1. The table consists of production estimated from a variety of sources (see SPC study below), whereas the quantities in Part 1 are generally those reported to FAO by the Solomon Islands Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources (MFMR). The major difference between the above table and Part 1 is in the category “Solomon Islands-flagged offshore”. The amount listed in Table 3 for this category is from the official report of the Solomon Islands (MFMR, 2015) to the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC).

A recent study by the Pacific Community (SPC) presents the fishery statistics of the Solomon Islands in a different way from that of FAO. The SPC study reports the amount of catch in the Solomon Islands fishery waters, regardless of vessel flag. In the study, the catches are placed in different categories, which is useful for other purposes, such as administration of the foreign fishing that occurs in the fishery waters of the Solomon Islands. A summary of fishery production from the SPC study is given in Table 4 below.



Table 4: Fisheries production in Solomon Islands waters, 2014

 AquacultureFreshwater

Coastal

commercial

Coastal

subsistence

Offshore

locally based2

Offshore

foreign-based3

     Both Solomon Islands- and foreign-flagged vessels
Volume (tonnes)

1 530 tonnes and

20 000 pieces

2 3006 46820 00041 52336 573
Value (USD)773 2633 800 78612 848 29633 027 52357 520 26379 228 378
Source: Gillett (2016)

Some comment is required to explain the difference between the information in this table and that in Part 1 of this profile:

  • Catches can be given by the flag of the catching vessel (as in the FAO statistics given in Part 1), or by the zone where the catch is made (the “offshore foreign-based” and “offshore locally based” columns in the table above). These two different ways of allocating catches each have their purposes. Attribution by flag is important for consistency with international conventions, while attribution by zone is important for determining fishing contributions to GDP, and managing revenue from licence fees for foreign fishing in a country’s zone.


  • There is no fisheries statistical system covering the categories of aquaculture and coastal subsistence/commercial fishing. The estimates above were made by a study carried out by SPC in 2015 in which a large number of fishery and economic studies covering the last two decades were examined.


  • Aquaculture production in the Solomon Islands includes non-food items, such as coral for the aquarium trade, which are not included in the FAO statistics.

(2) In the SPC study, “offshore locally based” is the catch in Solomon Islands waters from industrial-scale tuna fishing operations that are (a) based at a port in the Solomon Islands, and (b) generally harvested more than 12 nautical miles offshore.
(3) “Offshore foreign-based” is the catch in the Solomon Islands zone from catch from industrial-scale tuna fishing operations that are based at ports outside the Solomon Islands. Under the international standardized System of National Accounts (SNA, 2009), those catches do not contribute to the GDP of Solomon Islands.

Marine sub-sector

Catch profileIn the offshore fishery, the domestic fleet4 in 2014 consisted of purse-seine vessels and pole-and-line vessels (MFMR, 2015; E. Honiwalu, personal communication, August 2015). Estimates of the volume and value of catches of the four main commercial species of tuna in the WCPFC area have been made by the Forum Fisheries Agency (FFA) using data sourced from SPC’s Oceanic Fisheries Programme. Using the “catch by national fleet” and “value by national fleet” spreadsheets of FFA (2015) the volumes and values5 can be determined (Table 5).





Table 5: Volume and value of the tuna catch by the Solomon Islands domestic fleet

 20102011201220132014

Volume of national

purse-seine catch (tonnes)

12 96525 56126 50024 76940 874

Value of national

purse-seine catch (USD)

14 764 41439 666 71749 987 17945 308 81556 538 410

Volume of national

pole-and-line catch (tonnes)

-8712 1351 666649

Value of national

pole-and-line catch (USD)

-1 303 9273 908 9322 988 541834 575.1
Source: Gillett (2016)

For 2014, the combined purse-seine and pole-and-line catch of 41 523 tonnes was worth USD 57 520 263 or SBD 438 879 607 (Gillett, 2016).

The FFA spreadsheet (FFA, 2015) can be used to estimate the volume and value of the foreign tuna fleet catches in Solomon Islands waters (Table 6).

Table 6: Volume and value of the catch by foreign tuna fleets

 20102011201220132014
Total volume in national waters195 995173 48295 523127 993107 999
National fleet volume in national waters

26 907

28 192

28 635

26 418

71 425

Foreign fleet volume in national waters

169 087.79

145 289

66 888

101 574

36 573

Total value in national waters (USD)

388 656 357

377 391 745

291 167 750

309 980 334

322 210 525

National fleet value in national waters (USD)

80 265 435

57 113 221

63 407 189

56 785 179

229 000 668

Foreign fleet value in national waters (USD)

308 390 921

320 278 524

227 760 561

253 195 155

93 209 856

Foreign fleet value in national waters adjusted for bycatch sales and transhipment costs (USD)

262 132 283

272 236 745

193 596 477

215 215 882

79 228 378

Source: Gillett (2016)

In 2014, the volume of the catch by foreign tuna vessels in Solomon Islands waters was 36 573 tonnes, with a Solomon Islands dockside value of USD 79 228 378 or SBD 604 512 524 (Gillett, 2016).

It appears that 2014 was not a typical year for offshore fishing in the Solomon Islands zone. It was a strong El Niño year and foreign-based purse-seine catches characteristically move eastward from Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands towards Kiribati, Tuvalu and Tokelau during El Niño periods. The increase in catch by the domestic offshore fleet between 2013 and 2014 (almost doubling) could have been due to the increase in the number of purse seiners or to counting some of the catch of the locally based foreign fleet as domestic catch.

Estimates of the catches of the coastal fisheries vary widely. SPC recently examined a large number of Solomon Islands fisheries studies on coastal fishing and used the information selectively to make catch estimates (Gillett, 2016):

  • Baitfish for pole-and-line tuna fishing: 32.5 tonnes


  • Exported, coastal fishery products: 1 435 tonnes


  • Domestically consumed, coastal commercial fishery products: 5 000 tonnes


  • Coastal subsistence catch: 20 000 tonnes.


The lack of a fisheries statistical system for coastal fisheries prevents the identification of quantitative trends in these fisheries. There is, however, a general perception that the important coastal resources are increasingly subject to over-exploitation close to urban areas.

A recent study of fishing in four villages in Solomon Islands (Albert et al., 2015) presents evidence showing that, to some degree, fishers compensate for falling catches of reef fish from shallow coral reefs by visiting fishing sites further away, diversifying fishing methods, and targeting pelagic species through trolling.
(4) In some recent government publications (e.g. MFMR, 2016) the “national fleet” appears to include foreign-flagged, locally based vessels (i.e. a large number of foreign-flagged longliners). In this report, the “national fleet” and “domestic fleet” are considered to consist solely of Solomon Islands-flagged vessels.
(5) The values from the FFA (2015) spreadsheet have been reduced by 15 percent to adjust the Bangkok price to a Solomon Islands dockside price.
Landing sitesLanding sites for the offshore fishery are diverse. All landings by the local pole-and-line vessels are made at the cannery at Noro in the Western Province. The local purse-seine vessels mostly offload at Noro, either for processing at the local tuna cannery or for transshipment to overseas canneries. Foreign purse-seine vessels either transship out of Honiara, or deliver to a foreign port. When locally based longliners operate, the catches are unloaded in Honiara for air freighting overseas.

Landings from the coastal commercial fishery are made mostly at population centres. Most small-scale commercial fisheries are located near the main urban area of Honiara, and to a much lesser extent, around the towns of Auki on Malaita Island and Gizo in the west.

Subsistence fishery landings occur at villages throughout the coastal areas of the country, roughly in proportion to the distribution of the population.

Fishing practices/systemsThe number of Solomon Islands-flagged vessels in the offshore fisheries is given in Table 7. The purse seiners are responsible for well over 90 percent of the catch of Solomon Islands-flagged vessels.

Table 7: Number of Solomon Islands-flagged vessels, 2011–2015

Gear type

Number of vessels by year
 20112012201320142015
Longline00201
Purse seine55678
Pole-and-line33332
Total88111011
Source: MFMR (2016)

No discussion of offshore fishing in the Solomon Islands would be complete without some mention of the rise and fall of the Solomon Taiyo Fishing Company. Box 1 below summarizes the company’s story. The Japanese partner pulled out in 2000 during a period known in the Solomon Islands as the “ethnic tensions”. Shortly after, the company restructured itself as Soltai Fishing and Processing Ltd but has struggled to survive to the present.

Box 1: Solomon Taiyo Fishing Company

Before the ethnic tensions, Solomon Islands had the most vibrant domestic tuna fishery of any country in the Pacific: the long-running Solomon Taiyo Ltd, established in 1973 as a joint venture between the Solomon Islands Government (Investment Corporation of Solomon Islands had a 51 percent shareholding since the mid-1980s) and the large Japanese fishing multinational Taiyo Gyogyo (which changed its name to Maruha Corporation in 1993). Solomon Taiyo had a fleet of 21 pole-and-line vessels employing about 900 Solomon Islanders, of which seven were completely localized, the rest with just the positions of Fishing Master and Chief Engineer (sometimes also Captain) held by expatriates. Around 2 200 permanent staff and 800 casuals were employed by Solomon Taiyo. The base at Noro included a large cannery, arabushi smoking factory and a fishmeal plant.
Source: Barclay (2008)

In July 2016, the Solomon Islands skipjack and yellowfin purse-seine and pole-and-line fisheries achieved Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certification (Blaha, 2016). The MSC sets standards for sustainable fishing and supply chain traceability. Organizations meet these standards to demonstrate to consumers that their products are sustainable.

The coastal commercial fisheries produce finfish and invertebrates to supply the urban markets and for export. The vessels fish in lagoons, on reefs, and in coastal pelagic areas by handlining, trolling, spearing (both spear guns and weighted spears), netting and hand collection. Small outboard-powered vessels are mainly used, but some commercial fishing (i.e. for beche-de-mer) is done from non-powered canoes, or without a vessel (i.e. spearfishing or trochus collection from shore). There is sporadic fishing for live reef fish employing hook/line, holding tanks, and large transport vessels with live wells. Fishing for live bait for pole-and-line tuna fishing occurs in lagoons using underwater lights and a large lift-net, with the baitfish kept alive on vessels in bait wells.

Commercial fishing for finfish, which are highly perishable, is largely confined to urban areas and locations with direct transport links to urban areas. Many export products (e.g. beche-de-mer, trochus) are non-perishable and the fisheries they support are found in most areas of the Solomon Islands. In an attempt to overcome the constraints of transportation on coastal commercial fishing, fisheries centres were established in a number of rural areas in the late 1980s and early 1990s, but for various reasons many have not survived.

Two of the important coastal commercial fisheries are trolling for pelagic fish around fish aggregation devices (FADs) and diving for sea cucumber.

  • McCoy (2013) describes the FAD fishery at Fishing Village near Honiara: Fishing activities are limited primarily by the weather and currently focus on a FAD that is about two to three hours steaming time from Honiara, depending on ocean conditions. The vessels used are shallow-draft fibreglass “canoes” built locally in Honiara with specifications that have evolved over time. Most are 6.5 to 7 m in length, with a small shelter in the bow. The relatively narrow beam enables them to move efficiently through the water with a 40 horsepower outboard motor in calm seas. Limited carrying capacity is sacrificed to enable easy beaching and haul-out of the water since there are no real protected anchorages along the coast in or near Honiara. Typical fishing trips depart from Honiara at 2 a.m. and arrive back at 2 or 3 p.m. in time to catch the late afternoon consumer rush. The head of the MFMR marketing division noted that histamine problems are not unknown. The amount of ice that might be carried is limited by the small size of the vessels. Ice chests commonly used for marketing are large and heavy, and would be difficult to carry without hindering fishing activities. According to some fishermen at the Fishing Village market, fuel costs for a day’s round-trip to the FAD with a 40 horsepower outboard are currently about SBD 1 500 (USD 219).


  • Pakoa (2014) describes fishing for sea cucumber at an isolated atoll of the Solomon Islands: Solomon Islands has been one of the leading sea cucumber exporting countries in the previous two decades. The people of Ontong Java were first taught how to catch and process sea cucumbers into beche-de-mer by the Japanese prior to World War II. Ontong Java then became the largest producer of beche-de-mer in Solomon Islands. Traditional outrigger sailing canoes were used to reach distant fishing areas, and sea cucumbers were collected by hand and free diving. Weighted spears (bomb or torpedo) on lines or long spears were used to harvest sea cucumbers in deep water. A sea cucumber bomb or torpedo spear consists of a weighted harpoon with a monofilament line attached to it and then dropped into deep water. A long spear is a long bamboo or wooden pole with a metal barb attached at one end. Young males around the ages of 12 to 24 were considered to be the best sea cucumber divers, and were capable of freediving to depths greater than 20 meters. The use of underwater breathing apparatus to collect sea cucumber is prohibited in Solomon Islands although illegal use has been reported.


In the Solomon Islands, there is a large variety of subsistence fishing techniques. Fishers mainly use non-powered canoes or swim from the shore, with common fishing methods including hook/line, hand collection, various types of traditional netting, and spearing by both wading and diving. Typical characteristics of subsistence fisheries are: specialized knowledge often passed down through generations; labour-intensive operations sometimes involving the entire community; sharing of the catch amongst the community; social restrictions/prohibitions; and gender-specific activities. The traditional fishing lore of the country (i.e. knowledge and practices) is extremely diverse and varies considerably between islands and ethnic groups.

Buga and Vuki (2012) describe kite fishing, a very interesting subsistence fishing technique of the Solomon Islands:

This method of fishing uses the principles of trolling. The largest fish caught using this method are the garfish and barracuda. A kite is made from sago palm leaves. Attached to the edge of the kite is a string made of braided bush strings or from modern nylon strings. At the end of the string is a lure made of spider web with no hooks attached to it. The kite is then flown by paddling across the water. The spider web lure drags on the water’s surface and when the fish see it they attack it. Their teeth stick to the wet, sticky spider web. The fisher knows a fish is caught when the line is tight and the kite falls into the water.
Main resourcesThe composition of the 2015 tuna catch (for all gear types) in the waters of the Solomon Islands is given in Table 8. Groups that are common in the purse-seine catch other than tunas are sharks, billfish, rainbow runner and triggerfish. Groups that are common in the longline catch other than tunas are sharks, billfish, opah, wahoo and dolphinfish.



Table 8: Composition of the 2015 tuna catch in Solomon Islands waters (all gear)

 AlbacoreBigeyeSkipjack YellowfinTotal
Catch (tonnes)12 3355 62279 64438 764136 365
Percentage of catch9.0%4.1%58.4%28.4%100.0%
Source: FFA (2015)

In terms of the status of the fish resources given in the above tables, the four major species of tuna in the Solomon Islands mix freely with those of the neighboring countries in the western and central Pacific. Recent information from the Scientific Committee of the WCPFC (WCPFC, 2016) shows that for:

  • skipjack the stock is currently only moderately exploited and fishing mortality levels are sustainable;


  • bigeye recent analysis indicates that overfishing is occurring for the bigeye tuna stock and that to reduce fishing mortality to that at maximum sustainable yield, a large reduction in fishing mortality is required;


  • yellowfin the current total biomass and spawning biomass are higher than at levels associated with maximum sustainable yields. Therefore, yellowfin tuna is not considered to be in an overfished state;


  • South Pacific albacore there is no indication that current levels of catch are causing recruitment overfishing, particularly given the age selectivity of the fisheries. It should be noted that longline catch rates are declining, and catches over the last 10 years have been at historically high levels and are increasing.


The coastal fisheries catch a large variety of finfish and invertebrate species. A study by FFA (Richards et al., 1994) showed that approximately 180 species of reef finfish from 30 families are caught from shallow-water by the domestic fishery. Catches are dominated by the families Lutjanidae (snappers), Serranidae (groupers and rock cods), Lethrinidae (emperors), Scombridae (mackerels) and Carangidae (trevallies). Important commercial invertebrate species are beche-de-mer, trochus, green snail, giant clams, crabs and lobsters. The subsistence fisheries take a much larger diversity of marine animals and plants, with the most important groups being finfish and molluscs.

A study in Roviana Lagoon in the Solomon Islands (Albert et al., 2015) gives the composition of the catch in 2011 (Table 9).



Table 9: Composition of the catch of a Solomon Islands coastal fishery

 DroplineTrollingNetHandlineAll methods
Acanthuridae0.00.00.00.00.0
Balistidae0.00.00.08.52.2
Carangidae32.756.124.56.931.4
Chaetodontidae0.00.00.00.30.1
Chanidae0.00.04.10.01.1
Clupeidae0.00.018.40.34.9
Haemulidae0.00.00.00.60.2
Holocentridae0.01.20.00.60.5
Labridae0.90.00.05.01.6
Lethrinidae2.71.20.042.012.0
Lutjanidae5.50.04.119.97.7
Monodactylidae20.00.08.21.67.8
Mullidae0.00.022.40.35.9
Nemipteridae0.00.00.00.60.2
Scaridae0.00.02.00.00.5
Scombridae4.530.58.20.311.4
Serranidae2.70.00.010.43.4
Sphyraenidae21.87.34.11.69.1
Teraponidae0.90.00.00.00.2
Other8.33.74.01.17.6
Source: Albert et al. (2015)

In the Solomon Islands, there are 22 known species of sea cucumber (Holothuria atra, H. fuscogilva, H. nobilis, H. fuscopunctata, H. coluber, H. scabra, H. pervicax, H. edulis, Actinopyga mauritiana, A. lecanora, A. palauensis, Stichopus chloronotus, S. hermanni, S. vastus, S. horrens, Pearsonothuria graeffei, Bohadschia vitiensis, B. argus, B. similis, Thelenota rubrolineata, T. ananas and T. anax), along with a few undescribed species that are being exploited in various provinces in the Solomon Islands (Ramofafia, 2005, cited in Pinca et al., 2009)

In terms of the status of coastal fishery resources, there has been little new stock assessment information in the last 20 years, with the exception of recent work on invertebrates (e.g. sea cucumbers (Box 2)). In general, fish and invertebrate species that are sought after, and located in areas readily accessible to many fishers, tend to be heavily exploited or over-exploited.



Box 2: Condition of sea cucumbers in the Solomon Islands

The health of sea cucumber stocks in the Solomon Islands has steadily declined over time. Average sizes for most species are small, indicating that most sea cucumbers recorded are likely to be below the size at reproductive maturity. This means that most of the population is unable to reproduce and that stocks will continue to decline unless these small individuals are protected from fishing and left on the reef to contribute to population replenishment. Mean densities are low, with several species not recorded at some sites. Sea cucumbers are relatively sedentary animals, with males and females needing to be in close proximity to one another for successful reproduction. Low density effectively reduces the chances of successful fertilization of gametes, which leads to breeding failure. A sea cucumber population that consists of primarily immature individuals and young adults will have a reduced recruitment potential compared to a population that consists of many large adults. Weakened breeding capacity of stocks leads to population declines and local extinctions. At this point, the sea cucumber stocks at the sites assessed across Solomon Islands are considered to be threatened and vulnerable to extinction.
Source: Pakoa (2014)

Management applied to main fisheriesThe offshore fisheries in the Solomon Islands are managed on national, subregional, and regional levels:

  • On the national level, the management measures for the offshore fisheries of the Solomon Islands are detailed in the Solomon Islands Tuna Management and Development Plan 2015, which was prepared pursuant to Section 17 of the Fisheries Management Act 2015.


  • On the subregional level, the Solomon Islands cooperates with the other countries that are members of the Parties to the Nauru Agreement, which is described below.


  • On the regional level, the Solomon Islands is a member of the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC) that was established by the Convention for the Conservation and Management of Highly Migratory Fish Stocks in the Western and Central Pacific Ocean. The Solomon Islands and the other 26 members of the commission enact tuna management measures at the annual WCPFC meeting. From the Solomon Islands perspective, the most important recent measure is the Conservation and Management Measure for Bigeye, Yellowfin and Skipjack Tuna in the Western and Central Pacific Ocean.


A crucial aspect of the management of the offshore fisheries in the Solomon Islands is the Parties to the Nauru Agreement (PNA) and its Vessel Day Scheme. The early history of the PNA is given by Tarte (2002):

In February 1982 the Nauru Agreement Concerning Cooperation in the Management of Fisheries of Common Interest was opened for signature. The Nauru Agreement had been negotiated by seven Pacific island states – Federated States of Micronesia (FSM), Kiribati, Solomon Islands, Nauru, Palau, Papua New Guinea (PNG) and Solomon Islands. This group of countries (later joined by Tuvalu) is known collectively as the Parties to the Nauru Agreement (PNA). The conclusion of the Nauru Agreement marked the beginning of a new era in Pacific Island cooperation in the management of the region’s tuna stocks. It was an important milestone in the exercise of coastal states’ sovereign rights over their 200-mile EEZs. The PNA group accounts for much of the tuna catch in the Pacific island region. In 1999, it produced 98 percent of the tuna catch taken from the EEZs of Pacific Island Forum Fisheries Agency members; 70 percent came from three PNA members: PNG, FSM and Kiribati. The group also accounted for 94 percent of the access fees paid to the FFA Pacific Island states. By controlling access to these fishing grounds, the PNA group collectively wields enormous influence and power.

The most important fishery management tool of the PNA is the Vessel Day Scheme (VDS). which is described in Box 3.

Box 3: PNA Vessel Day Scheme

In 2000, a study suggested that the PNA purse-seine management scheme that was then based on vessel numbers be replaced by a scheme based on purse-seine fishing days. The transition was actually made seven years later. In 2007, the Parties to the Nauru Agreement began implementing the Vessel Day Scheme (VDS), transitioning from permitting a total number of purse-seine vessels in the region (205) to permitting a total allowable effort (TAE) in number of purse-seine fishing days (44 703 days for 2012, 44 890 for 2016). Given the volume, value and multi-jurisdictional nature of the fishery, it is arguably one of the most complex fishery management arrangement ever put in place. Its key features are as follows:

  • System of tradable fishing effort (days) allocated to the 8 Parties
  • Limit on total effort (TAE) ~ 45,000 days
  • TAE is allocated to Parties based on zonal biomass and historical effort as PAEs (Party Allowable Effort)
  • Fishing days are sold to fleets for fishing in each EEZ
  • Minimum benchmark price for VDS days sold to foreign vessels
  • Fishing days are monitored by a satellite-based Vessel Monitoring System (VMS)
  • VMS monitoring is supported by observers on board all vessels
  • Days are tradable between Parties
  • Scheme costs are financed by levies on vessels

Due to the complicated nature of the new VDS system, and the various constraints of the government fisheries agencies of the region (e.g. under-funded, under-staffed), it was expected there would be problems in the introduction of the scheme. This is not to say that the VDS has not produced substantial benefits for PNA countries. The system is creating competition for a limited number of days, thereby increasing the value of each day. In practice, the value of a fishing day before the VDS was roughly USD 1 350 but it increased to about USD 5 000 in July 2011 and days were being sold in 2016 for over USD 12 000.

On a different and less tangible level, another benefit is that the VDS moves fisheries management in the region to a desirable rights-based system. That is, fishing rights (such as vessel days) can be defined, allocated and traded. Consistent with this transition to a rights-based approach, a VDS-style arrangement for management of the tropical longline fishery is being implemented by PNA.

Source: Havice (2013); Campling (2013); Gillett (2014); Clark and Clark (2014)

Management arrangements for the coastal commercial export fisheries consist mainly of temporary and long-term bans, mostly enforced at the point of export.

In general, the areas where coastal subsistence fishing is undertaken are covered by traditional management arrangements. Most of the inshore marine areas in the Solomon Islands are customarily owned and managed by local villages, tribal groupings and communities. There is a wide diversity of fishery management provisions between areas, but most involve traditional authorities, often a hereditary chief, who make management decisions after considering the views of their resident stakeholders. In the last 20 years, many communities have been assisted by an external management partner, such as the local branch of an international NGO.


Management objectivesThe objectives of fisheries management in the Solomon Islands must be consistent with those of the Fisheries Management Act 2015. The objectives of that act are “to ensure the long-term management, conservation, development and sustainable use of Solomon Islands fisheries and marine ecosystems for the benefit of the people of Solomon Islands”.

The Solomon Islands Tuna Management and Development Plan 2015 states: “In pursuit of the overall objectives of the National Tuna Fisheries Management Plan, six specific goals have been identified. These goals provide the MFMR and allied stakeholders with practical and achievable management targets and represent how all the support institutions may contribute, in whole or in part, to realizing national and municipal expectations of the benefits that the resources can provide. Each specific goal has a clear and deliberate purpose and the achievement of each will contribute directly to the overall objectives of tuna fisheries management as set out in the Plan. The essential purpose of each of the six goals is outlined below (with further details in section 7.2):

  • To ensure that fish stocks are maintained at sustainable levels to support profitable fisheries.


  • To manage fisheries within recognized principles of the ecosystem approach to fisheries management.


  • To maximize employment opportunities for Solomon Islanders.


  • To increase investment in fisheries and government income from the tuna fishery sector.


  • To ensure good governance, management and compliance systems are in place.


  • To enhance Solomon Islands’ influence in regional and international management organizations.


For the various coastal commercial fisheries, the objective of management interventions by MFMR is generally to guard against over-exploitation of the resources.

The management of subsistence fisheries is mostly by traditional reef custodians through customary marine tenure. The management objectives vary considerably from area to area, but many include the goal of assuring the continued flow of fishery foods to coastal communities.

Management measures and institutional arrangementsThe Solomon Islands Tuna Management and Development Plan 2015 has several types of management measures. The two main measures are the limiting of fishing days by the Vessel Day Scheme (Box 3) and closing of areas (Table 10).



Table 10: Area-based management of the Solomon Islands Tuna Management and Development Plan

Area Permitted methods and licence types
Shore – 3 nautical miles (NM) Artisanal fishers and small-scale fishing operations supplying local markets
3 NM – 12 NM

Permitted methods and licence types as above, plus:

  • small-scale industrial fishing, pole-and-line, troll and handline
Archipelagic waters

Permitted methods and licence types as above, plus:

  • locally registered fishing vessels landing their catch for onshore processing and using the following methods: purse seine, pole-and-line, troll and handline

12 – 30 NM

Permitted methods and licence types as above, plus:

  • foreign vessels chartered by local companies landing their catch for onshore processing and using the fishing methods listed above.
30 – 60 NM

Permitted methods and licence types as above, plus:

  • foreign longline vessels, including those chartered by locally based foreign, not landing catch to onshore processing
  • foreign purse-seine vessels operating under the FSM Arrangement and foreign vessels operating under bilateral agreements using the fishing methods described above
60 – 200 NM

Permitted methods and licence types as above, plus:

  • purse-seine vessels operating under the US Treaty


The management arrangements for the coastal commercial export fisheries consist mainly of temporary and long-term bans. The 2006 national closure of the beche-de-mer fishery is an example of a national temporary ban. Gold-lip pearl shell, turtle shell and crocodiles are under a long-term ban. The MFMR typically formulates the measures and enforcement is done by non-fishery government officials at the point of export. Some coastal communities have other management arrangements for managing the coastal commercial fisheries that occur in their areas. The residents of Ontong Java atoll, for example, have alternating annual closures for beche-de-mer fishing and trochus fishing.

For coastal subsistence fisheries, there is a wide diversity of fishery management provisions across the country. The measures often involve limiting access by outsiders to the fishing areas, and various types of input restrictions on the fishing activities of local residents. Common restrictions include periodic harvesting bans in specific areas and bans on gear types. The management arrangements at Foueda Island off Malaita (Box 4) are an example of traditional management (Buga and Vuki, 2012).

Box 4: Management measures at Foueda Island

The barrier reef, which covers about 10 square kilometres, is owned by different people in the village. The different tribes own different sections of the reef, the boundaries of which are marked by rocks, lagoon passages or deep pools. In order to manage the reef sustainably and to provide food security for the people, past generations put in place regulations governing the utilization of reefs. From mid-July to September, a deeper area of the barrier reef is banned to all fishers. It is said that a killer shark often visits this area and can kill people, although the story could also be a way to ensure that people respect the fishing ban. If there is going to be a feast, the owners of the different reef sections usually ban fishing in their areas. The ban may begin 5 to 6 months before the feast to ensure that there will be fish when the feast takes place. Fishers are occasionally caught night diving at these areas, and are either warned not to re-offend or are made to pay compensation. During the taboo period, people fish in the lagoon and offshore. The different tribes also have totems that are sea creatures such as sharks, giant clams, stingrays and moray eels. The totem of the people of Foueda is the octopus. The Foueda people believe that octopus was a favourite food of their ancestors, who were brave warriors and gained victory over their enemies. It is believed that when these ancestors died they turned into octopuses. Octopuses have special protection on Foueda reefs, and because of these ancient beliefs the people will not eat octopus. Because of these restrictions, there is an abundance of octopus on reefs around the artificial island of Foueda. The owners of reefs on Foueda have ultimate authority over the reef and its surrounding waters. The owners decide who may fish in the area and what types of fishing gear and methods may be used. When people fish in the area with nets, the owners of the reef sections check the nets to ensure that the fishers only catch enough for themselves. If the owner of the reef finds that a fisher has caught too many fish, the owner will lift the bottom of the net to free the fish trapped in it.
Source: Buga and Vuki (2012)

The main institutions in the Solomon Islands involved in fisheries management are covered in section 8 below.
Fishing communitiesThe concept of “fishing communities” has limited applicability to the Solomon Islands. Nearly all households in coastal villages are involved in coastal fishing activities. It could therefore be stated that all coastal villages in the Solomon Islands are “fishing communities”.
Inland sub-sectorThe Solomon Islands includes many large islands. There is, therefore, a relatively large inland population with no direct access to marine food resources. This results in the Solomon Islands having a significant subsistence freshwater fishery, albeit much smaller than the marine fishery.

Although there is no official report, recent studies have estimated annual inland fishery production to be about 2 300 tonnes per year, valued at about USD 3.8 million. Some of the catch may be sold, but the vast majority is for subsistence purposes.

The main fishing and landing areas are small streams near villages and the banks of the larger rivers, mainly on the larger islands. The smaller islands and atolls generally have no sizeable freshwater bodies and consequently no freshwater fishing activity.

All inland fishing is carried out using very small-scale gear such as baited lines, spears, a variety of traditional woven traps, hollow poles, snares and knives.

Information is scarce on the resources that support the inland fisheries as no comprehensive survey has been carried out. Anecdotal information and survey reports focused on single islands suggest that flagtails, gobies, eels and freshwater shrimps are important native species.

Mozambique tilapia, an introduced species, presently inhabits many rivers, streams and swamps in the Solomon Islands. Many people have become accustomed to eating it and enjoy its taste. On Rennell Island, communities have come to depend heavily on the tilapia in Lake Tegano as their main source of dietary protein (MFMR, 2010).

The management applied to inland fisheries in the Solomon Islands is poorly documented. In general, it could be considered similar to that for coastal subsistence fisheries, which is oriented to protecting village food supplies. Decisions are characteristically taken by traditional authorities and involve exclusion of outsiders, and various types of bans on community members.
Aquaculture sub-sectorA New Zealand-sponsored project summarized the aquaculture situation in the Solomon Islands (Lindsay, 2007):

There has been a wide range of species cultured within the Solomon Islands, including giant clams, penaeid shrimps, freshwater prawns, pearl oysters, sea weed, sea cucumbers, hard and soft corals, milkfish, sponges and the capture/culture of post-larval animals. To date, the aquaculture industry has had limited contribution to the livelihoods of the rural sector. Since the political unrest within the nation the commercial aquaculture operations have been closed with little private sector interest in restarting operations. Coral culture (hard and soft) has provided small-scale sustained economic benefits through the successful development of community based farms that service the private sector aquarium companies. Similarly, seaweed, although still in its development stage, has provided positive indications that the industry may become viable in the long term.

At present aquaculture is limited to mariculture activities in seaweed and some culture for the marine ornamental trade. There was a small amount of prawn production in the 1980s and 1990s (Macrobrachium and penaeid prawn), but farms have since been inactive.

The production of seaweed and the value (farm-gate prices) are given in Table 11.



Table 11: Solomon Islands seaweed production6

YearWeight (tonnes)Value (SBD)Value (USD)
2010888.03 244 032.00413 252
2011902.22 323 763.63320 961
2012873.83 191 128.40451 361
20131476.55 167 868.50718 757
20141520.35 611 457.96735 446
Source: MFMR (unpublished data)

According to a recent SPC study (Gillett, 2016):

  • the CITES export database has some information on the export of live (presumably cultured) coral – 20 947 pieces of live coral were exported in 2013;


  • there are reports of minor amounts of other types of aquaculture activities in 2014, including tilapia, milkfish, giant clams and freshwater prawns;


  • the total aquaculture production of the Solomon Islands in 2014 was estimated to be 1 530 tonnes plus 20 000 pieces worth USD 773 263 at the farm gate.


The most significant attempt to promote aquaculture in the Solomon Islands was the establishment of the Coastal Aquaculture Centre in a joint project between the Government of the Solomon Islands and the International Centre for Living Aquatic Resource Management (ICLARM, now WorldFish). It promoted mainly the culture of juvenile giant clams for the live aquarium trade. The clams were grown out by small-scale farmers who then sold their production to exporters. In the late 1990s, efforts were made to explore markets for giant clam sashimi in Taiwan and Hong Kong. The Centre also initiated a black-lipped pearl oyster collection programme with a view to investigating pearl culture, experimental culture of beche-de-mer, and a project to investigate green snail and trochus resources, the latter with Japanese assistance. The Centre ceased operation in early 2000 due to violence associated with the ethnic tensions.

The Solomon Islands Tilapia Aquaculture Action Plan 2009–2014 gives the aquaculture goals of Solomon Islands:

  • Identify and prioritize the aquaculture commodities required to meet the national need for food and livelihood.


  • Establish viable aquaculture enterprises and provide the training necessary to expand the sector.


  • Strengthen the national capacity to establish and manage aquaculture at all levels.


  • Attract investment in aquaculture.


  • Develop competition (especially for export markets).


  • Provide technical support for key industry stakeholders, e.g. farmers, the private sector, NGOs and donors.


  • Develop responsible policies for aquaculture and gazette the supporting regulations.


Other than the above efforts to promote its development, there is no active management of the aquaculture sub-sector in the Solomon Islands.

(6) Weight reported in this table refers to dry weights.
Recreational sub-sectorAlthough subsistence fishing may have a large social component and be enjoyed by the participants, there is little recreational fishing as a leisure activity for local residents. Several of the resorts offer fishing activities for their overseas guests, and some local expatriates in Honiara occasionally go fishing on the weekends – mainly trolling for coastal pelagic fish, such as Spanish mackerel, barracuda and tunas.

There is no active management of the recreational sub-sector.
Post-harvest sector

Fish utilizationIn general, offshore fishing is export oriented. The local purse seiners and pole-and-line vessels supply the cannery in the Solomon Islands, with less than 5 percent of their catch being exported unprocessed. Catches taken by foreign-based purse seining are exported to overseas canneries. Longlining (presently all foreign based) is oriented to producing sashimi for Asia and North America.

A considerable amount of tuna caught by foreign-based seiners is transshipped in the Solomon Islands. McCoy (2013) states that Honiara is one of the major purse-seine transshipment ports for distant-water purse-seiners in the Pacific Islands region. In 2011, 148 560 tonnes, or nearly 10 percent of the total catch by all purse seiners in the western Pacific, was transshipped by vessels at the anchorage fronting Honiara. The presence of transshipping vessels results in an extensive trade in non-target bycatch, smashed or damaged target tuna that are otherwise unmarketable, and some small target tuna. The fish are termed salt fish in English by Solomon Islanders due to their preservation in refrigerated brine and the resulting taste and texture (Box 5).

Box 5: Salt fish trade in Honiara

In Honiara, most of the salt fish is purchased or bartered onboard the purse seiners and brought ashore for sale. Subsequent transactions may occur between the initial buyer onboard and vendors onshore before reaching the retail consumer, typically at the Honiara Central Market. A guesstimate can be made of the annual amounts of salt fish for sale at the Central Market based on the average number of vendors and the high-volume months from the transshipment data. Using an average of 40 vendors selling an aggregate 280 sacks per day, the annual market supply is estimated to be from 440–500 tonnes. The figures may be somewhat understated as they do not account for unknown quantities of salt fish that are delivered directly from the transshipping vessels to roadside markets. The 440–500 tonnes represent a possible retail market value of around SBD 3.53 million to SBD 3.82 million (USD 515 000–USD 560 000). These very rough figures indicate that the retail price of salt fish is from SBD 7.60 to SBD 8.00 per kilogram. In US dollar terms, this is currently slightly less than half the current estimated market price for cannery-grade frozen skipjack. Using the average number of transshipments in Honiara, it is estimated that each transshipment results in around 2 tonnes of salt fish delivered onshore. This figure may be somewhat less if an estimated 30–35 tonnes of salt fish sourced from National Fisheries Development Company vessels in Noro is included in the annual market supply.
Source: Modified from McCoy (2013)

Coastal commercial fishing produces mainly fresh products (finfish, invertebrates) for urban consumption, and non-perishable products (beche-de-mer, trochus) for export. Box 6 gives information on the processing and sale of sea cucumbers in the Solomon Islands. Some perishable fishery products (e.g. lobster tails) are sporadically exported, while aquarium items are exported much more regularly.

As the name implies, subsistence fisheries (both coastal and inland) are focused on production of food for household consumption. Significant amounts of fish are, however, given away to friends and relatives. Often attempts are made to market any valuable species captured if a market exists (e.g. lobster to a resort). In some communities, production in excess of immediate needs is salted or dried for future use.

Box 6: Processing/sale of sea cucumbers in the Solomon Islands

Processing sea cucumbers into beche-de-mer involves gutting, boiling and drying, and is done by fishers, middlemen and also exporters. Dedicated sea cucumber processors process all their catch to a fully dried stage. Processing campsites are often set up near fishing grounds, sometimes on uninhabited islands where families can be based for some time to complete the processing of beche-de-mer products. In recent times, agents (i.e. middlemen) in rural areas prefer to purchase unprocessed sea cucumbers from fishers and process these themselves to a final stage. The link between processors and middlemen has ensured production of good quality products as opposed to products processed by fishers themselves. On Ontong Java, sea cucumber processors operate small retail outlets that provide credit to sea cucumber fishers so that they can purchase basic necessities; cost is recovered from the value of the next sea cucumber catch. These arrangements lock the fisher and the processor together into a continuous cycle of fishing to pay off the credit. Dried products are packed in copra sacks and sold to agents or shipped to an exporter based in Honiara. Well-processed beche-de-mer has a relatively long storage life and the product may be stockpiled before being sold or exported. In areas near the main commercial centres of Honiara, Gizo, Munda and Auki, fresh or partly processed products are sold directly to processing and exporting companies.
Fish marketsFish canned in the Solomon Islands is exported to regional markets (e.g. Fiji, Kiribati). Currently, the Solomon Islands has duty-free access to the European Union (EU) market for its canned tuna. The loins that are produced in the SolTuna processing plant are sent to Europe and the USA.

The non-processed tuna that is exported has as its final market (after processing, mainly in South East Asia or American Samoa) mostly the United States and Europe, with small amounts going to a large number of countries.

The main domestic market for fish is in Honiara, but other markets exist in the towns of Gizo, Buala, Tulagi, Auki, Kirakira and Lata.

The Honiara Central Market is a large public market built with Japanese aid in the mid-1990s and administered by the City Council. The market extends beyond its original modern shed structures and concrete flooring to encompass vendors offering a variety of agricultural produce, reef and pelagic fish, prepared food, building materials and other products. Another more informal fish market is located about 5 km to the east of the Central Market at Fishing Village. The Fishing Village market is convenient for people on the many mini-buses, taxis, and private vehicles that use the highway fronting the market area. The market has grown in recent years to include vegetable and prepared food vendors (McCoy, 2013).

The market for beche-de-mer is in China, with smaller amounts going to South East Asian countries. The markets for trochus shell are the processing plants in Solomon Islands, Europe and Asia, with the processed buttons going to fashion manufacture for consumers in Europe, North America and Japan. Lobster tails are primarily for Australia and the aquarium products for North America.

Socio-economic contribution of the fishery sectorA recent SPC study (Gillett, 2016) attempted to quantify the fishery-related benefits received by the Solomon Islands and other Pacific Island countries. The study gave the available information on the contribution of fishing to GDP, exports, government revenue, employment and nutrition. Unless otherwise noted, the information in this section is from that study.

Role of fisheries in the national economyThe Statistics Division of the Ministry of Finance and Treasury calculates the official GDP of the Solomon Islands. The SPC study examined the official methodology and, using its independent estimate of the value of fisheries production, re-estimated the fishing contribution.

  • The official estimate showed a 2014 fishing contribution to GDP of USD 25.5 million, or 2.5 percent of GDP.


  • The contribution of fishing to GDP was re-estimated by the SPC study for the year 2014. It showed a contribution of USD 73.3 million, or 7.2 percent of GDP.


  • The SPC study examined the methodology used to make the official estimate and concluded that the value of the catch used in the official estimate was very low.


Using unpublished data from the Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources and the Ministry of Finance, the SPC study showed that in 2014 the Government of Solomon Islands received about USD 28 million in access fees for foreign fishing. Access fees represented about 7.2 percent of government revenue for that year.
TradeAccording to Solomon Islands customs data, exports of fishery products in 2014 were worth SBD 168.6 million (USD 54.7 million), which represented about 12 percent of all the country’s exports. The vast majority of fishery exports were tuna products. The major non-tuna commodities were trochus, items for the aquarium trade, seaweed and shark fins.

For FAO data reported in Part 1 of this profile, the value of fishery exports for 2014 was USD 48.5 million and fishery imports was USD 2.4 million.
Food securityBell et al. (2009) used information from household income and expenditure surveys (HIES) conducted between 2001 and 2006 to estimate patterns of fish consumption in Pacific Island countries. The HIES were designed to enumerate consumption based on both subsistence and cash acquisitions. For the Solomon Islands, the per capita fish consumption (whole weight equivalent) was 45.5 kg per capita per year in urban areas (fresh fish made up 80 percent of this amount) and 31.2 kg per capita per year in rural areas (90 percent fresh fish). The national fish consumption rate was 33.0 kg per capita per year.

Two older estimates show annual per capita consumption of fish in the Solomon Islands in the 1990s:

  • A 1992 survey found that 31 percent of households consumed fresh fish each day and that 82.4 percent of meals containing animal protein were based on fish. The consumption of fish was estimated to be 45.5 kg (Skewes, 1990);


  • Preston (2000) estimated 32.7 kg for 1995.


The vast majority of fish consumed in the Solomon Islands comes from the country’s coastal fisheries. Some information is available on fish supplies that originate from elsewhere:

  • Based on the 2005/2006 HIES, both in urban and in rural areas, processed fish, particularly Second Grade Taiyo canned tuna, represents almost 50 percent of all expenditure on fish (Weeratunge et al., 2011).


  • The salt-fish trade in Honiara (described in Box 5) is estimated to put about 440–500 tonnes of fish annually on the Honiara market. That is equivalent to each of the 70 000 residents of Honiara consuming about 6.7 kg of salt fish per year (McCoy, 2013).
EmploymentThere were two recent national censuses: 1999 and 2009. The report of the 2009 census (NSO, 2010) showed the following “changes in paid employment” in the 10 years between the two surveys:

  • 1999: total jobs in fishing 3 367 (2 935 males and 432 females)


  • 2009: total jobs in fishing 5 736 (5 076 males and 660 females)


  • Changes during the period: 70.4 percent increase in paid employment in fishing (72.9 percent increase for males and 52.8 percent increase for females).


Non-formal employment in the fisheries sector is extremely important in the Solomon Islands, but the available data is fragmented. One of the most comprehensive statements is contained in a report by the Asian Development Bank:

The number of subsistence fishers in the Solomon Islands can be crudely estimated by looking at the total population – about 570 000 in 2012 – and assuming 82 percent as the rural population. By dividing this by the average number of household members in rural households (5.2 persons), the minimum number of subsistence fishers can be derived. A minimum of 88 000 people are estimated to be engaged in fishing, assuming one household member is a fisher. This, however, is a conservative estimate. If the inputs of women and other adult men are considered in the estimate, the number of subsistence fishers would double to 175 000 (ADB, 2014).

Men and women have very different roles in their participation in the fisheries sector. Citing numerous references, Weeratunge et al. (2011) give information on the gender aspects of fisheries employment in the country (Box 7).

Box 7: Gender aspects of fisheries employment in the Solomon Islands

Fishing is a predominantly male activity (90 percent of men) with at least one female household member (50 percent of women) engaged in fishing. However, there can be significant variations among provinces and villages. Women are engaged in trading of garden and fish products, including cooked food, as well as weaving, production of shell money, and employment in industrial fish-processing plants. In the main fish-canning factory in Noro, 80 percent of the 500 workers are women. In many fishing communities, men are involved in logging, fish trading, and stone and wood carving as well as other employment such as running small businesses (such as grocery stores, fuel depots, copra mills) and pastors. Home-based tasks, such as household chores, child care, gathering firewood and fetching water are largely women’s work while house repair and maintenance, canoe building and repair, and cutting firewood (except firewood collection from mangroves) are predominantly male tasks. In rural Solomon Islands the gender division of labour in fisheries is bounded to some extent by space — men fish in the reefs and offshore, while women and children predominantly fish the nearshore zone on reefs close to villages, lagoons and mangroves. Men are also engaged in diving and spear fishing; women glean for invertebrates and harvest mangrove fruit and seaweed. Mariculture activities are conducted by both men and women. In some Western Province villages, mariculture includes farming giant clams and corals and both women and men can be engaged in the cultivation of seaweed. In terms of fishing assets, a qualitative assessment in the Western Province showed that men predominate in canoe ownership; however, some women own canoes and others access canoes of kin. Both men and women own their fishing lines and hooks, although men tend to own a larger number of lines. Ownership of fishing spears, engines, nets, boats, sails and diving gear (masks and fins) is largely confined to men. Some women own swimming goggles and use these for gleaning.
Source: Weeratunge et al. (2011)

FFA tracks tuna-related employment in the region, including for the Solomon Islands. Unpublished FFA data shows the number and type of jobs in the Solomon Islands’ major tuna fishing and processing companies in early 2015 (Table 12).

Table 12: Tuna-related jobs in 2015

Type of jobNumber
Local crew274
Foreign crew21
Processing / packing1 470
Other448
Total 2 213
Trends, issues and development

Constraints and opportunitiesMajor constraints for the fisheries sector include the following:

  • Many of the inshore fishery resources, especially those close to the urban markets, are fully or overexploited.


  • Small-scale fishers have difficulty in economically accessing the relatively abundant offshore fishery resources.


  • Although the tuna cannery and tuna fleet are vitally important for the national economy and for the welfare of the people employed, those operations are at times unprofitable.


  • There are considerable difficulties associated with marketing fishery products from the remote producing areas to the urban areas with the best marketing opportunities.


Opportunities in the fisheries sector include:

  • upgrading the cannery to meet EU sanitary requirements for fish;


  • increasing domestication of the purse-seine fishery;


  • in-country processing of a greater proportion of the tuna catch taken by foreign fleets within the Solomon Islands’ EEZ;


  • expansion of the marine aquarium fishery;


  • greater use of management partnerships (community, government, NGO) in the management of coastal fisheries;


  • increasing the effectiveness of MFMR by enhancing staff capability.


The tuna industry is a crucial aspect of the fisheries-related development opportunities of the Solomon Islands. The Solomon Islands Tuna Management and Development Plan 2015 contains an analysis of the challenges and opportunities that affect the tuna sector:



Challenges:

  • Limited, expensive infrastructure – Infrastructure, such as ports, roads and transport services, is limited, and consumables such as electricity, water and fuel are expensive and supply is unreliable.


  • Poor communications – Phone networks and internet service are poor by developed world standards.


  • Low volumes, high prices for fuel and other inputs – Many industry inputs are imported, and in relatively low volumes.


  • Dependent on shared stocks – Tuna stocks in the EEZ are highly migratory and shared with other countries, so cooperative management is required. Difficulties in reaching consensus can arise when countries have differing objectives when utilizing the same stocks.




  • Climate impacts – Fish catchability varies somewhat in El Niño/La Niña events. Climate change is expected to impact Solomon Islands fisheries.


  • Perception of governance – There are perceptions among potential investors of inadequate governance and inconsistencies in the application of government policy.




Fisheries-specific opportunities:

  • International requirement for food security – Increasing international demand for food is resulting in high demand for fish such as tuna from the Solomon Islands and for long-term access to fisheries.


  • Key fish stocks in good shape – Scientific advice confirms that stocks of most of the main species of tuna are all considered to be healthy and not overfished at current fishing levels.


  • Significant catches available – Solomon Islands has generally reliable, moderately large tuna fisheries with good catch rates. It is close to the main fishing grounds in the WCPO.


  • Onshore development opportunities – Unlike some PNA members Solomon Islands has good potential ports and abundant land, water, and low wage labour available to support onshore developments such as fish processing.


  • Market access – As a least-developed country, the Solomon Islands is exempt from the 24 percent duty on imports into the EU under the “Everything but Arms” initiative.
Government and non-government sector policies and development strategiesWith respect to strategies, the Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources Corporate Plan for 2015–2018 articulates four focal areas and related goals for MFMR:

  • Focal area 1: Resource and ecosystem management. Goal: Sustainable fisheries resource management and promote livelihood opportunities through effective conservation and management of oceanic and coastal ecosystems.


  • Focal area 2: Private sector development and investment. Goal: Promote private sector development, investment and secure market access to achieve higher economic returns and social benefits from the use of marine resources.


  • Focal area 3: Fisheries compliance (the operational arm of fisheries management). Goal: The effective management of national and shared fish stocks through a strengthening of fisheries compliance and enforcement.


  • Focal area 4: Governance and institutional development. Goal: Improved fisheries governance supported by a strengthening of the institutional framework of the sector


The Solomon Islands Tuna Management and Development Plan 2015 gives an indication of the policies and strategies in the offshore fisheries sector. The six specific goals cited in the plan provide some insight into MFMR’s current thinking on the policies/strategies:

  • To ensure that fish stocks are maintained at sustainable levels to support profitable fisheries. To safeguard Solomon Islands’ tuna resources against over-exploitation and the risk of biological decline, so that the Solomon Islands may continue to benefit from its tuna resources in perpetuity.


  • To manage fisheries within recognized principles of ecosystem approach to fisheries management. To address the protection of the tuna fish stocks and the ecosystem environment that supports these stocks, in line with international agreements and conventions.


  • To maximize employment opportunities for Solomon Islanders. Whilst recognizing the importance of income generation from distant water fisheries, to ensure that priority is given to employment generation and value addition from the production and processing of tuna.


  • To increase investment in fisheries and Government income from the tuna fishery sector. To ensure facilitate the generation of employment through promotion of the Solomon Islands investment strategy.


  • To ensure good governance, management and compliance systems are in place. To strengthen the efficiency and resourcing of fisheries compliance activities that can help to eliminate piracy, reduce illegal fishing and effectively support the implementation of the harvest control rules.


  • To enhance Solomon Islands’ influence at regional and international management organizations. To endorse the principles of regional cooperation by participating in relevant RFMOs and ensure that required data and information is provided according to requirements of respective RFMOs for the benefit of sound tuna fisheries management.


For the inshore fisheries, the Solomon Islands National Development Strategy (NDS) 2011–2020 contains several relevant provisions. Govan et al. (2013) summarized the provisions:

  • Development: Calls for sustainable enhancement of fisheries productivity to address food security and sustainable economic development of inshore fisheries while reducing reliance on coastal capture fisheries.


  • Resource management: Calls for effective coordination between national, provincial and community levels to facilitate sustainable development of inshore fisheries and shift from "open access" to "managed" fisheries in partnership with resource owners and fishing communities to improve food security, sustainable marine resource management and economic productivity.


  • Ecosystem and integrated management approaches: In collaboration with the Ministry of Environment, seeks a sustainable approach to natural resources management addressing biodiversity, forestry, fisheries and marine resources and waste management, including through community governance regimes, and sensitizing the population on the dangers of environmental degradation through awareness campaigns.


At their summit in March 2012, the leaders of the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) of countries (Fiji, New Caledonia, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu) agreed to develop a roadmap for the protection of inshore fisheries (Box 9). That roadmap gives some insight into the Solomon Islands’ future policies and strategies in inshore fisheries management.



Box 9: MSG Roadmap for inshore fisheries

The “Melanesian Spearhead Group Roadmap for Inshore Fisheries Management and Sustainable Development 20152024” is a management framework and subregional roadmap for sustainable inshore fisheries, developed by the MSG Secretariat in cooperation with representatives of the fisheries departments of its members and with technical assistance from SPC. The regional roadmap provides overarching guidance for MSG members and enumerates the actions they have agreed to take to address the management of inshore fisheries in Melanesia.

The vision of the roadmap is “sustainable inshore fisheries, well managed using community-based approaches that provide long-term economic, social, ecological and food security benefits to our communities”.

The objectives of the road map are: 1. Development of an effective policy, legislation and management framework for the management of inshore resources, in accordance with other relevant international agreements, to empower coastal communities to manage their marine resources. 2. Education, awareness raising and the provision of information on the importance and management of inshore fisheries. 3. Capacity building to sustainably develop and manage inshore resources with particular reference to experience in MSG members. 4. Adequate resources to support inshore fisheries management and best available science and research. 5. Secure long-term economic and social benefits to coastal communities from the sustainable use of inshore resources. 6. Establishment of effective collaboration with stakeholders and partners. 7. Restoration and maintenance of beche-de-mer stocks to maximize long-term economic value to coastal communities.

The roadmap was adopted by the leaders of Fiji, New Caledonia, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu in June 2015.

Source: SPC (2013)

In terms of strategies used by non-government organizations (NGOs) involved in fisheries in the Solomon Islands, NGOs experienced a slow learning curve starting from the conservation and protected area approaches in the 1990s, of which the Arnavons Marine Conservation Area is perhaps the only surviving example (Govan et al., 2013). Early conservation approaches in the Solomon Islands do not seem to have found constructive ground for collaboration between government and civil society, with failures attributed to both government and NGO-only approaches. From 2003, the NGOs adopted a modified approach based on community involvement and meeting community aspirations, which combined with the growing local capacity to work in a participatory fashion. Anthropological and community development work dating back to the 1990s in the Roviana Lagoon also showed early results, with a network of village closed areas emerging in 2001. In the last 8 years, there has been much greater collaboration between government and non-government stakeholders as suggested by memorandums of understanding and joint government/NGO field teams.
Research, education and trainingResearchHistorical fisheries research is given in a bibliography of Solomon Islands fisheries (Gillett, 1987). Research specific to particular fisheries appears in profiles of Solomon Islands fishery resources (Skewes, 1990) and of inshore fisheries resources (Richards et al., 1994). Most of the recent fisheries research carried out in the Solomon Islands has been undertaken through cooperation with overseas partners. Research priorities tend to be oriented to economically important export commodities, protected species, marine protected areas, and those resources deemed important by donors. Some of recent fishery-related research subjects and the associated partners include:

  • aquaculture – with WorldFish and NGOs


  • tuna – with SPC’s Oceanic Fisheries Programme


  • reef fish and invertebrates – with SPC’s Coastal Fisheries Programme


  • fish marketing – with the New Zealand-sponsored “Hapi Fis, Hapi Pipol” programme


  • aquaculture and its role in food security in the Solomon Islands – the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research


  • spearfishing – with FAO


  • assessment of the biodiversity and status of coral reefs, seagrass beds, oceanic cetaceans, reef food fish, commercial invertebrates and associated habitats – with The Nature Conservancy.
Education and trainingEducation and training related to fisheries in the Solomon Islands is undertaken in a variety of institutions:

  • Academic training in biological, economic and other aspects of fisheries is given at the University of the South Pacific in Suva, Fiji, and to a lesser extent at the University of Papua New Guinea.


  • Training in the practical aspects of fisheries and certification of vessel officers are provided at the Solomon Islands College of Higher Education.


  • Training courses, workshops and attachments are frequently organized by the regional organizations: SPC in New Caledonia and FFA in the Solomon Islands. The subject matter has included such diverse topics as fish-quality grading, stock assessment, seaweed culture, fisheries surveillance and on-vessel observing.


  • Regional workshops (e.g. Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries, IUU fishing, coastal fisheries management, the ecosystem approach to coastal fisheries management, fishery statistics, an annual roundtable meeting on World Trade Organization agreements, etc.) are conducted by FAO.


  • Courses and workshops are also given by NGOs and by bilateral donors, such as those by Japan.


  • Some Solomon Islanders have received advanced degrees in fishery-related subjects at overseas universities, especially those in Australia.
Foreign aidBy far the largest fisheries-oriented foreign aid initiative in the Solomon Islands in recent years is the “Mekem Strong Solomon Islands Fisheries” programme (Box 10).

Box 10: Mekem Strong Solomon Islands Fisheries programme

The Mekem Strong Solomon Islands Fisheries (MSSIF) programme is a partnership between New Zealand and Solomon Islands. It is implemented by the Solomon Islands Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources, with support from the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade. The partnership arrangement signed in 2009 noted that New Zealand’s support is expected to continue until at least 2018. The goal of MSSIF is ‘the sustainable development and management of fisheries resources to ensure long-term benefits for the people of Solomon Islands’. To achieve this goal, the objective of MSSIF is ‘to strengthen the capacity of Solomon Islands fisheries sector to achieve improved livelihood, food security, and economic benefits’. Key focus areas include offshore fisheries development, inshore fisheries development and institutional capacity development. New Zealand’s support for Solomon Islands fisheries is considered a long-term partnership approach. Support is delivered via the following modalities:

  • Financial support for MFMR operations (provided by way of a grant funding arrangement).

  • Advisors working in-country to assist with capacity development and programme implementation.

  • Technical specialists retained and funded through MSSIF, providing input on specific issues, e.g. seaweed industry development, or monitoring and evaluation.

  • Funding for non-government organizations and community-based organizations to implement programmes that support MFMR priorities, also arranged and funded by MSSIF.
Source: MFAT (2014)
Other important donors in the fisheries sector (and major initiatives) are the World Bank (Solomon Islands component of the Pacific Regional Oceanscape Programme); EU (rural fisheries enterprises, seaweed culture, the wharf at Noro); Overseas Fishery Cooperation Foundation (renovation of fisheries centres); Japan International Cooperation Agency (fisheries wharf, cold storage and social facilities); and The Nature Conservancy (fisheries centre and live reef fish management plan).
Institutional frameworkUnder the authority of the Fisheries Management Act 2015, the main government institution in the fisheries sector is the Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources (MFMR). According to the Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources Corporate Plan for 2015–2018, its role is to regulate the orderly development and quality management of Solomon Islands fisheries and marine resources and to ensure the Solomon Islands receives maximum economic and social benefits from the sustainable use of its fisheries and marine resources. MFMR currently has 157 staff and is organized and managed based on a number of technically focused divisions, each headed by a deputy director:

  • The head of the ministry is the Minister who is mandated by the constitution to oversee all things concerning the fisheries and marine resources of the country.


  • The Executive Management (the Permanent Secretary, Director of Fisheries, Under­secretary Technical and Under-secretary Corporate Services) are responsible for the administration, human resources and financial matters of the ministry.


  • The Inshore Fisheries Division is responsible for research, marketing and community-based resource management of all inshore and coastal fisheries and marine resources and for the development of aquaculture.


  • The Provincial Fisheries Division is responsible for development of fisheries in all provinces, providing support to provincial fisheries officers and administration of all fisheries centres in the provinces.


  • The Policy, Planning and Project Management Division is made up of the policy and planning section and the project management section and is responsible for development of fisheries policy and management and implementation of fisheries investment projects.


  • The Corporate Services Division includes the accounts and administration sections and is responsible for administration, human resources and financial matters.


  • The New Zealand Aid-funded programme, Mekem Strong Solomon Islands Fisheries, and the World Bank-funded Pacific Regional Oceanscape Programme are support programmes that sit within the ministry to support targeted activities and capacity development in MFMR.


Apart from MFMR, the institutional framework of organizations and agencies involved with fisheries is complex. Cohen (2011) states that a vast array of agencies can be involved in facilitating and supporting on-the-ground action. In the Solomon Islands, 10 such agencies have been identified as providing direct support to co‐management of marine resources. They interact in a national network of agencies called the Solomon Islands Locally Managed Marine Area network (SILMMA). SILMMA is a group of projects and practitioners, including NGOs, government and communities, who have joined together and are working to improve the success of their conservation and fisheries management efforts. At least another 33 agencies are involved in providing scientific and technical support for marine resource management and conservation in Solomon Islands. They include four national NGOs, seven universities, four regional organizations, nine provincial governments, six international NGOs, four national government agencies, two development agencies and three private enterprises.

The major regional institutions involved with fisheries are the Forum Fisheries Agency (FFA), located in Honiara and the Pacific Community (SPC) in Noumea. Other players are the Parties to the Nauru Agreement (PNA) Office in Majuro, the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat (PIFS) in Suva, the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) in Apia, and the University of the South Pacific (USP) in Suva. The characteristics of those institutions are given in Table 13.

Table 13: Pacific Island regional organizations involved in fisheries

  FFA SPC Other regional organizations with fishery involvement
Main area of emphasis Providing management advice on tuna fisheries and increasing benefits to Pacific Island countries from tuna fishing activities. Most aspects of coastal fisheries and scientific research on tuna. Fisheries are only one aspect of SPC’s work programme, which also covers such issues as health, demography, and agriculture.

PNA – subregional grouping of countries where most of the purse seining occurs;

SPREP – environmental aspects of fisheries;

USP – School of Marine Studies (SMS) is involved in a wide range of training;

PIFS – major political initiatives, some natural resource economics; leads trade negotiations with the EU, which have a major fisheries component.

Inter-regional relationships

The FFA/SPC relationship has had ups/downs over the years. It has been most difficult in early 1990s, tremendous improvement in mid/late 1990s.

An annual colloquium has helped the relationship. Staff who have moved between the two organizations have made a noticeable improvement in understanding.

Much of the success/benefits achieved by FFA/SPC cooperation depends on the personalities of FFA’s Director/Deputy and SPC’s Director of the Division of Fisheries, Aquaculture and Marine Ecosystems.

At least in theory, all regional organizations come under the umbrella of PIFS. Their activities are coordinated to some degree by the Council of Regional Organisations in the Pacific (CROP) which has a Marine Sector Working Group that meets at least once per year, but is limited by lack of resources for follow-up.

FFA originally provided secretariat services to the PNA, but the PNA broke away from FFA in 2010. Currently, there are some sensitivities in the relationship – but it appears to be improving.

Main strengths Direct contact with its governing body many times per year results in a high degree of accountability. Mandate of tight focus on tuna eliminates considerable dissipation of effort. Noumea being a pleasant place to work, there is considerable staff continuity. The Oceanic Fisheries Programme often sets the standard for tuna research in the world. Documentation of work is very good.

Because PIFS is under the national leaders, it is considered the premier regional organization.

PNA has achieved considerable success and credibility in such areas as raising access fees, 100 percent observer coverage, eco-certification, high seas closures, and controls on FADs.

USP is centrally located in the region and its SMS has substantial infrastructure.

SPREP has close ties to NGOs active in the marine sector.

Membership Australia and New Zealand, plus Cook Is., FSM, Fiji Kiribati, Marshall Is., Nauru, New Zealand, Niue, Palau, PNG, Samoa, Solomon Is., Tokelau, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu Includes the major metropolitan countries, all Pacific Island countries, and the French/UK/US territories; the most inclusive of any regional organization.

PNA: Federated States of Micronesia, Kiribati, Marshall Is., Nauru, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Is. and Tuvalu.

USP: Cook Is., Fiji, Kiribati, Marshall Is., Nauru, Niue, Samoa, Solomon Is., Tokelau, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu.

SPREP: 21 Pacific Island countries and territories, plus Australia, France, New Zealand and USA.

PIFS: same as FFA

Source: Adapted from Gillett (2014)


The Convention on the Conservation and Management of Highly Migratory Fish Stocks in the Western and Central Pacific Ocean entered into force in June 2004, and established the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC). The Solomon Islands is a member of the commission, along with 26 other countries. The WCPFC has its headquarters in Pohnpei, Federated States of Micronesia, and has held 13 annual meetings to date.

Legal frameworkThe main law dealing with fisheries in the Solomon Islands is the Fisheries Management Act 2015, which “makes provisions for the conservation, management, development and sustainable use of fisheries and marine resources of Solomon Islands, to monitor and control fishing vessels within and beyond the fisheries waters, to repeal the Fisheries Act 1998 and to make consequential amendments to the Provincial Government Act 1997 and the Town and Country Planning Act”. The 139-page document has 13 parts:

  • Preliminary
  • Objective and principles
  • Administration
  • Fisheries conservation, management and sustainable use
  • Fisheries access and management agreements
  • Licensing
  • Requirements for fishing and other activities
  • Monitoring, control and surveillance
  • Disposal, release and forfeiture of seized items
  • Jurisdiction, procedure, fines and liabilities
  • Summary administrative proceedings
  • Evidence
  • Miscellaneous.


Some of the key provisions in the act are as follows:

  • The Director may cause to be prepared Fisheries Management Plans at national, provincial and community levels for any fishery in the fisheries waters and shall undertake consultations set out in the Second Schedule. A Fisheries Management Plan (a) at the national level shall be approved by the Minister; (b) at the provincial level shall be approved by the Director and the Provincial Executive; and (c) at the community level shall be approved by the Provincial Executive and a management committee representing the customary rights holders. In each Fisheries Management Plan, there are (i) management measures; (ii) licensing, enforcement powers and authorities: and (iii) fines, penalties and sanctions.


  • The Permanent Secretary shall ensure the development of, for transmission to the Minister, (a) a Fisheries and Marine Resources Management and Development Policy; and (b) a Corporate Plan and Annual Operational Plans.


  • A Fisheries Licensing Committee is established to make recommendations to the Director on the grant, renewal, suspension and revocation of licences and authorisations to be issued pursuant to the Act. The Permanent Secretary shall appoint to the Fisheries Licensing Committee such persons within the ministry and, as appropriate, officials from other government ministries with a complementary mandate to cooperate in the management or enforcement of matters within the scope of the act.


  • A Fisheries Advisory Council is established whose members shall be appointed by the Minister and whose function shall be to advise the Minister and make recommendations at the request of the Permanent Secretary on matters relating to fisheries conservation, management, development and sustainable use.


  • A community fisheries management plan may be drawn up for communities by or on behalf of customary rights holders for a customary rights area or areas in consultation with the Director and Provincial Executive.


Several provinces have fisheries ordinances. According to Govan et al. (2013), provincial ordinances include the:

  • Western Province Resource Management Ordinance 1994


  • Western Province Coastal and Lagoon Shipping Ordinance 1991


  • Guadalcanal Wildlife Management Area Ordinance 1990


  • Isabel Province Wildlife Sanctuary (Amendment) Ordinance 1991


  • Isabel Province Resource Management Ordinance


  • Temotu Environment Protection Ordinance 1989


  • Makira Preservation of Culture and Wildlife Ordinance


  • Choiseul Province Resource Management Ordinance 1997


  • Makira Ulawa Province Fisheries Ordinance


  • Guadalcanal Fisheries Ordinance 2009


  • Choiseul Province Fisheries and Marine Environment Ordinance 2011


  • Western Province Fisheries Ordinance 2011.
Annexes

Map courtesy of SPC
References

ADB. 2014. Economics of fisheries and aquaculture in the Coral Triangle. Asian Development Bank. Manila.
Albert, S., Aswani, S. Fisher, P. & Albert, J. 2015. Keeping food on the table: Human responses and changing coastal fisheries in Solomon Islands. PLoS ONE 10(7): e0130800. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0130800.
Bell J., Kronen, M., Vunisea, A., Nash, W., Keeble, G., Demmke, A., Pontifex, S. & Andréfouët, S. 2009. Planning the use of fish for food security in the Pacific. Marine Policy 33: 64–76.
Barclay, K. 2008. Fisheries and Aquaculture. In: Solomon Islands diagnostic trade integration study (DTIS). Ministry of Foreign Affairs and External Trade, Wellington.
Barclay, K. & Kinch, J. 2013. Local capitalism and sustainability in coastal fisheries: Cases from Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands. Research in Economic Anthropology, Vol. 33: 107–138.
Blaha, F. 2016. Solomon Islands’ tuna fishery achieves MSC certification. SPC Fisheries Newsletter #150, May–August 2016. Pacific Community, Noumea, New Caledonia. .
Buga, B. & Vuki, V. 2012. The people of the artificial island of Foueda, Lau Lagoon, Malaita, Solomon Islands: Traditional fishing methods, fisheries management and the roles of men and women in fishing. SPC Women in Fisheries Information Bulletin #22, July 2012. Secretariat of the Pacific Community, Noumea, New Caledonia. .
Campling, L. 2013. FFA Fisheries Trade News. Vol. 6: Issue 2, March–April 2013. Forum Fisheries Agency, Honiara, Solomon Islands. .
Clark, L. & S. Clark. 2014. The PNA Vessel Day Scheme. A presentation to the ANU Pacific Update 2014, Canberra, 16–17 June 2014. .
Cohen, P. 2011. Social networks to support learning for improved governance of coastal ecosystems in Solomon Islands. CRISP Coordinating Unit, Noumea, New Caledonia. .
FFA. 2015. The value and volumes of tuna catches in the WCPO. [spreadsheet]. Forum Fisheries Agency. Honiara, Solomon Islands.
Gillett, R. 2014. Pacific perspectives on fisheries and sustainable development. Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific. 50 pp.
Gillett, R. 2016. Fisheries in the economies of Pacific Island countries and territories. Pacific Community, Forum Fisheries Agency, and Australian Aid. (ISBN 978-982-00-1009-3) (also available at: http://www.spc.int/fame/en/component/content/article/237-benefish-study-2016).
Gillett, R. 1987. Solomon Islands fisheries bibliography. FAO/UNDP Regional Fishery Support Programme, Document 87/1. 60 pp.
Gillett, R. & Lightfoot, C. 2001. The contribution of fisheries to the economies of Pacific Island countries. Pacific Studies Series. Asian Development Bank, World Bank, Forum Fisheries Agency and Secretariat of the Pacific Community. Manila. .
Govan, H., Kinch, J. & Brjosniovschi, A. 2013. Strategic review of inshore fisheries and policies in Melanesia: Fiji, New Caledonia, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu. .
Havice, E. 2013. Rights-based management in the Western and Central Pacific Ocean tuna fishery: Economic and environmental change under the Vessel Day Scheme. Marine Policy 42: 259-267.
Lindsay, S. 2007. Aquaculture sector assessment, Solomon Islands. Lincoln International Pty Ltd. Marine Resource Organizational Strengthening Project, Solomon Islands.
McCoy, M. 2013. An assessment of the potentials for tuna fisheries and related small-scale businesses to contribute to food security in three Pacific Island countries. Gillett, Preston and Associates.
McCoy, M., Itano, D. & Pollard, S. 2015. A forward-looking study of development opportunities in FFA member countries in the tuna industry. Gillett, Preston and Associates for the Forum Fisheries Agency, Honiara, Solomon Islands. .
MFAT. 2014. Assessment of the Mekem Strong Solomon Islands Fisheries (MSSIF) programme 2010–2013. Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Wellington. .
MFMR. 2010. Solomon Islands Tilapia Aquaculture Action Plan: 2010–2014. Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources – Aquaculture Division. Government of Solomon Islands. Honiara, Solomon Islands.
MFMR. 2015. Solomon Islands Annual Report to the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission – Part 1: Information on fisheries, research and statistics 2014. Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources, Government of Solomon Islands. Honiara, Solomon Islands.
MFMR. 2016. Solomon Islands Annual Report to the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission – Part 1: Information on fisheries, research and statistics 2015. Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources, Government of Solomon Islands. Honiara, Solomon Islands.
NSO. 2010. 2009 Population and Housing Census: Report on economic activity and labour force. Solomon Islands National Statistics Office. Honiara, Solomon Islands.
Pakoa, K. 2014. Solomon Islands sea cucumber resource status and recommendations for management. Secretariat of the Pacific Community, Noumea, New Caledonia. .
Pinca, S., Vunisea, A., Lasi, F., Friedman, K., Kronen, M., Awira, R., Boblin, P., Tardy, E., Chapman, L. & Magron, F. 2009. Solomon Islands country report: Profiles and results from survey work at Nggela, Marau, Rarumana and Chubikopi (June to September 2006 and December 2006). Secretariat of the Pacific Community, Noumea, New Caledonia. .
Preston G. 2000. Managing the ocean. Report Prepared for the World Bank. Washington, D.C.
Ramofafia, C. 2005. The importance of banning exports of bêche-de-mer from Solomon Islands: A paper submitted for the information of cabinet by the Department of Fisheries and Marine Resources, August 2005. DFMR, Honiara, Solomon Islands.
Richards, A., Bell, L. & Bell, J. 1994. Inshore fisheries resources of Solomon Islands. Report 94/01. Forum Fisheries Agency, Honiara, Solomon Islands.
Skewes, T. 1990. Marine resource profiles: The Solomon Islands. Report 90/61. Forum Fisheries Agency, Honiara, Solomon Islands.
SNA. 2009. System of National Accounts 2008. Commission of the European Union, International Monetary Fund, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, United Nations Statistics Division and World Bank.
SPC. 2013. A review of inshore fisheries and fisheries management instruments in Papua New Guinea. Secretariat of the Pacific Community, Noumea, New Caledonia. .
Tarte, S. 2002. The Nauru Agreement Concerning Cooperation in the Management of Fisheries of Common Interest – A review of the agreement and an analysis of its future directions. A consultancy report prepared for the Forum Fisheries Agency and the Parties to the Nauru Agreement.
UNDP. 2002. Solomon Islands Human Development Report. United Nations Development Programme. (ISBN 0 9581533 0 2) (also available at http://hdr.undp.org/sites/default/files/solomon_2002_en.pdf).
WCPFC. 2016. Report of the 12th Regular Session of the Scientific Committee. Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission, Pohnpei. .
Weeratunge N., Pemsl, D., Rodriguez, P., Chen, O., Badjeck, M., Schwarz, A., Paul, C., Prange, J. & Kelling, I. 2011. Planning the use of fish for food security in Solomon Islands. Coral Triangle Support Partnership. 51 pp.

Additional information

Meetings & News archive

 

 
Powered by FIGIS