13 Aug 2013

Pacific needs better fisheries management and data, says SPC

7:11 pm on 13 August 2013

The secretariat of the Pacific Community says there needs to be better management and more monitoring of coastal fisheries resources across all of the Pacific.

A new SPC report into Pacific reef and near-shore fisheries shows that they are under strain, some fished to the brink of extinction, many are mis-managed and there is a lack of data available.

SPC's coastal fisheries programme manager, Lindsay Chapman says for example, sea-cucumbers have been overfished because they are not managed sustainably.

He says coastal fisheries are important because it provides most of the food security in Pacific countries.

"We know that many of the main centres around the Pacific, the main urban centres, there is a shortage of fish and people are needing to go further to catch fish, or in some countries they are trying to bring in fish from other locations in the country, so we know there is over-fishing occurring, it's just there is no actual physical data to support that."

Lindsay Chapman says there needs to be more monitoring so countries can adapt their management to what is happening in the fishery.