Coastal Fisheries Programme

Number 141 (May–August 2013)

Produced by the Information Section, Division of Fisheries, Aquaculture and Marine Ecosystems, SPC, B.P. D5, 98848 Noumea Cedex, New Caledonia. Fax: (687) 263818.

Produced with financial assistance from France, Australia, New Zealand and the European Union.


Overall, tuna catches in the waters surrounding Pacific Island countries (the exclusive economic zones) have increased by 150% since 1990. And, according to data gathered and analysed by SPC’s Oceanic Fisheries Programme, a significant portion of this catch is taken less than 100 nautical miles from the shores of individual countries. At the same time, tuna numbers are estimated to have significantly decreased in the last 30 years, by up to 65% in the case of yellowfin tuna.

While tuna stocks are still considered to be in relatively good shape, or at least, above the level required for a maximum sustainable yield, this decline in stocks might not affect industrial and artisanal fishers the same way. The reduction in stocks is not evenly distributed throughout the Pacific Ocean and some localised depletion may occur, mainly affecting local artisanal fleets that are not capable of chasing tunas over great distances the way that industrial fleets can.

Several solutions have been proposed to reduce the impact of industrial tuna fishing on artisanal fisheries (see article "Balancing the needs"). And several articles in this issue are related to the solutions proposed: gaining a better knowledge of tuna and their stocks; promoting management measures that specifically address the needs of artisanal fisheries, both at national and international levels; and setting fish aggregating devices close to shore to give artisanal fishers easier access to offshore species.

“Balancing the needs” seems to be as difficult to do in fisheries management as it is in our everyday life, doesn’t it?

Aymeric Desurmont
Fisheries Information Specialist





FAD fishing in Tahiti, French Polynesia
(image: Mainui Tanetoa).

In this issue


  • Understanding the vertical movement of tropical tunas (pdf: )

  • Last PNG tagging cruise concludes the end of an era (pdf: )

  • Balancing the needs (pdf: )

  • Giant squid trials in the Cook Islands (pdf: )

  • Sea safety “grab bags” for PNG maritime safety officers (pdf: )

  • Learning about biosecurity to better protect natural resources (pdf: )

  • The future of Pacific fisheries: The stakes and
    the prospects (pdf: )


  • Reviewing Fiji’s fisheries laws (pdf: )

  • Tuvalu releases the first inventory of its vital marine resources (pdf: )

  • Commercial marine ornamental fish surveys in Kavieng, Papua New Guinea (pdf: )

  • Mangroves can cope with sea level rise by increasing soil height (pdf: )

  • Local focus may maximize Hawaii’s yellowfin tuna stock (pdf: )

  • The Western Pacific Regional Fishery Management Council offers options to end bigeye tuna overfishing (pdf: )


  • Pacific Islands Region FAD Issues and Priorities Workshop (pdf: 360 KB)

  • Economic monitoring study: The fisheries sector in New Caledonia
    by Gontard T. and de Courdenove G. (pdf: )

  • The marine aquarium trade in Papua New Guinea: Historical context and current activities
    by Dandava-Oli L. et al. (pdf: )

Download the complete publication:

Fisheries Newsletter #141 (pdf: )


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