Coastal Fisheries Programme

Number 158 (January–April 2019)

Produced by the Pacific Community, Division of Fisheries, Aquaculture and Marine Ecosystems, Information Section, BP D5, 98848 Noumea Cedex, New Caledonia

Produced with financial assistance from the Australian Government, the European Union, France and the New Zealand Aid Programme


Two of the three feature articles in this issue relate to coastal marine resource assessments, and they, not surprisingly, ring alarm bells.

In Fiji, Jeremy Prince and colleagues assessed the spawning potential of 29 reef fish species using a new technique called the length-based spawning potential ratio. The methodology involves community members who are trained to measure fish length and assess fish maturity stages. The training gives them a glimpse of the science ‘hiding’ behind management decisions. With a better understanding of why stocks need to be managed, community members should better accept regulations when these are put in place. And, regulations will be needed, as the researchers’ findings show that many of the stocks studied are in crisis.

In Pohnpei, Federated States of Micronesia, Andrew Halford, Pauline Bosserelle and their research team have collected data on mangrove crab stocks. They found a resource clearly in need of a new management plan but note that the real challenge will be its effective implementation.

Considerable effort has been made to develop coastal fisheries management plans in the Pacific Islands region, but lack of enforcement capacity has made their implementation difficult. Transferring some of the enforcement responsibility to communities could help but, as noted in the first article of this issue: ‘... it is difficult for community members to monitor each other’. Placing more emphasis on education and awareness, to ensure that resource users understand the need for regulations, is one of many ways to address the lack of enforcement capacity.

Aymeric Desurmont
Fisheries Information Specialist




Selling fish by the roadside, Tarawa, Kiribati. (image: Johann Bell)

In this issue


  • Scaling up Tonga special management areas through community-to-community exchange (pdf: )

  • Electronic reporting logsheet systems: Beauty and the beast (pdf: )

  • PROTEGE takes off (pdf: )

  • Strengthening small aquaculture businesses through improved financial literacy (pdf: )


  • Golden sandfish farming in Tonga – initial trials underway (pdf: )

  • Mozuku farming in Tonga: Treasure under the sea! (pdf: )

  • 2018 Market price update for beche-de-mer in Melanesian countries (pdf: )

  • Scientists collect the world’s deepest mesophotic coral: A hope for rescuing shallow-water corals (pdf: )

  • Mainstreaming gender into fisheries and aquaculture in Samoa (pdf: )

  • A roadmap for managing Vanuatu’s coastal fisheries in the future (pdf: )

  • Obituary: Fiji’s most successful pioneer tilapia farmer (pdf: )


  • Spawning potential surveys reveal an urgent need for effective management (pdf: )

  • Size, species, capture location: What makes tuna get high on mercury? (pdf: )

  • The mangrove crabs of Pohnpei Island, Federated States of Micronesia: A timely intervention to ensure sustainability of a favoured resource (pdf: )

pdfDownload the complete publication:

Fisheries Newsletter #158 (pdf: )


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