Coastal Fisheries Programme

Number 142 (September–December 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.


In the Pacific Islands region, domestic tuna fleets targeting albacore are in trouble and many boats are at anchor because of low catches and lack of profitability (see PITIA’s article - pdf: ). In 2012, scientific studies, based on data collected through 2010, showed that South Pacific albacore stocks were healthy and the level of fishing sustainable. But, as Graham Pilling explains in his article (pdf: ), there was one more essential component in the conclusions of this assessment: “despite the health of the albacore population, any increase in catches (even within sustainable levels) is predicted to have a significant impact on the catch rates in the longline fishery.” Despite the warning, more boats have been allowed to enter the fishery and albacore catches have increased by more than 30% between the periods 2001–2008 and 2009–2012. Consequently, many domestic fleets, which are not heavily subsidised, are now in trouble. An obvious remark can be drawn from this situation: without proper management, healthy stocks don’t necessarily mean healthy fisheries.

As shown in several articles of this issue, scientists keep exploring many corners of the tuna world: they read in their entrails (pdf: ), they use forensics to unlock their mysteries (pdf: ), they tag them by the hundreds of thousands (pdf: ) and they study the possible impacts of the predicted increased ocean acidification levels on their population (pdf: ). The better a resource is known, the better it can be managed. But it will only be well managed if the will to do so is genuine.

Aymeric Desurmont
Fisheries Information Specialist





Atauro fishers, in Timor-Leste, start their relationship
with the sea at a very young age (image: Michel Blanc).

In this issue


  • Is aquaponics viable in the Pacific Islands? (pdf: )

  • Oracles read climate impact in tuna entrails (pdf: )

  • Conservation forensics help unlock tuna mysteries (pdf: )

  • A scientific perspective on current challenges for PICT domestic tuna longline fleets that are dependent on South Pacific albacore (pdf: )

  • 100,000 tuna tagged by one individual – A world record (pdf: )

  • New species of deepwater snapper identified from shape of ear bones (pdf: )

  • Standardising sea cucumber resource assessments in PICTs (pdf: )

  • Community-based ecosystem approach to fisheries management (CEAFM) and climate change adaptation in the state of Yap, FSM (pdf: )

  • SPC and Fiji Fisheries organise practical training on microalgae production for mariculture species (pdf: )

  • Kiribati participates in international animal disease reporting system (pdf: )

  • Spearfishing best practices training in Timor-Leste (pdf: )

  • Kiribati: towards major development in small-scale tuna fisheries? (pdf: )


  • A small-scale tuna longliner for Kiribati (pdf: )

  • Longlining for South Pacific albacore: The ship has sailed and the domestic industry is left to sink (pdf: )

  • Unlocking the secrets of South Pacific tropical freshwater eels (pdf: )

  • International workshop on “Different survey methods for coral reef fish, including methods based on underwater video” (pdf: )

  • Juvenile reef fish can survive without mangroves on Mayotte (pdf: )

  • Building better pearl aquaculture businesses in Fiji (pdf: )


  • Roadmap for inshore fisheries management and sustainable development 2014–2023 (pdf: )

  • Assessing the impacts of ocean acidification upon tropical tuna
    by Don Bromhead et al. (pdf: )

Download the complete publication:

Fisheries Newsletter #142 (pdf: )


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