Coastal Fisheries Programme

Number 159 (May–August 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


Stocks of the four main tuna species fished in Oceania are in relatively good health. This is one of the conclusions of the studies conducted by SPC’s Ocean Fisheries Programme and presented at the 15th meeting of the Scientific Committee of the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (see Graham Pilling’s article). But things aren’t completely rosy: overall catches keep increasing; the side effects of certain techniques, including drifting FADs, need to be better controlled and limited; and the impact of fishing on non-target species, particularly on sharks and rays, remains too great and it is urgent to impose stricter rules to reverse the trend. This concern for sharks and rays is shared by many, including the World Wildlife Fund for Nature (see Andy Cornish’s article).

Unlike tuna fisheries, whose major importance for the region’s economies is undisputed, coastal fisheries often suffer from a lack of recognition. The creation of an annual Regional Fisheries Ministers Meeting, endorsed during the 50th Pacific Islands Forum in Tuvalu, will certainly assist in making the voice of coastal fisheries better heard at the ministerial level (see Andrew Smith’s article).

The 18th CITES Conference of Parties has decided to ‘list’ three species of tropical sea cucumbers. This will mean that in order to be allowed to export these species, countries that are parties to CITES will need to prove that their stocks are healthy, and will remain so at the current level of fishing effort. Two of these species, white teatfish and black teatfish, are high-value species present in the Pacific Islands region. George Shedrawi and colleagues believe that this binding decision provides opportunities for the better management of the beche-de-mer trade in general (see their article).

Aymeric Desurmont
Fisheries Information Specialist




A short break during tuna transshipment work, Majuro, Marshall Islands. (Image: Francisco Blaha)

In this issue


  • Ground-breaking science at the 15th meeting of the WCPFC Scientific Committe (pdf: )

  • Help us find out how tuna age and how fast they grow and win USD 100! (pdf: )

  • CITES listing of sea cucumber species provides opportunities to improve management of the beche-de-mer trade (pdf: )

  • ReefLex: An app for coastal fisheries and aquaculture legislation (pdf: )

  • Fiji’s Muanaira Women’s Group sees promise in pilot mangrove oyster farm (pdf: )

  • Tilapia farmers in Fiji learn to make floating feed (pdf: )

  • Promoting exchange of knowledge on aquatic biosecurity in the Pacific (pdf: )

  • Annual Regional Fisheries Ministers Meeting established to consider coastal fisheries, aquaculture and broader ocean issues affecting fisheries (pdf: )

  • Solomon Islands firmly supports aquaculture through policy framework (pdf: )

  • The development of a semi-quantitative guideline for monitoring nearshore fish aggregating devices (pdf: )

  • Enhancing coastal fisheries monitoring, control, surveillance and enforcement (pdf: )


  • Fiji’s development of effective coastal fisheries compliance (pdf: )

  • Ecosystem-based management in Fiji to support healthy fisheries (pdf: )

  • New tools for shark and ray data collection and management (pdf: )

  • Working towards improving educational and training programmes for marine resource management in the Pacific Islands Region (pdf: )


  • Future Pacific Ocean managers: Scoping skills and knowledge needs (pdf: )

  • Socioeconomic aspects of oyster harvesting in the Rewa River delta area, Fiji (pdf: )

  • Rugby players, fish boards, Facebook and more as Fiji reimagines conservation campaigns to shift social norms and create durable change (pdf: )

pdfDownload the complete publication:

Fisheries Newsletter #159 (pdf: )


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