FAO Fisheries Department
The Pacific Islands region consists of 14 independent countries and 8 territories located in the western and central Pacific Ocean. The regionís fishery resources can be broadly split into two main categories: oceanic (offshore) and coastal (inshore). Oceanic or offshore resources include tunas, billfish and allied species and are characterized by an open-water pelagic habitat and potentially extensive individual movements. Coastal or inshore resources include a wide range of finfish and invertebrates and are characterized by their shallow-water habitats or demersal life-styles and restriction of individual movements to coastal areas. A recently published FAO Fisheries and Aquaculture Technical Paper, Marine fishery resources of the Pacific Islands, discusses these two resource categories, updating and expanding an earlier review by FAO of the marine fishery resources of the Pacific Islands. Information is provided on the major types of fishing, the important species, the status of those resources and the fisheries management that occurs. In general, the coastal fishery resources are heavily fished and often show signs of overexploitation, especially in areas close to population centres and for fishery products in demand by the rapidly-growing Asian economies.