13 Aug 2013

Pacific coastal fisheries stressed, says SPC report

1:22 pm on 13 August 2013

A new report into coastal fisheries resources in the Pacific shows that they are under strain, some fished to the brink of extinction, and many are not managed.

The Secretariat of the Pacific Community report looks at how much is known about coastal reef fish resources, and invertebrates - like sea-cucumber, in the Pacific.

The SPC's coastal fisheries programme manager, Lindsay Chapman, says while 90 - 95 percent of these fish are caught for local consumption, there is a large lack of data about coastal fisheries.

He says more is known about sea-cucumber as they have been over-fished in quite a few countries, with four countries having moratoria in place to allow their stocks to rebuild.

"We're trying to raise the profile of the importance of coastal fisheries data because costal fisheries is what's providing most of the food, the food security in the countries, and for small scale livelihood. And with the sea-cucumber fishery being closed in the four countries, that's a big money earner that's being lost to the countries because the fishery wasn't managed sustainably."

Lindsay Chapman says there needs to be better management, and data in place to inform the management of coastal fisheries.