Coastal Fisheries Programme

Number 147 (May–August 2015)

Produced by the Information Section, Division of Fisheries, Aquaculture and Marine Ecosystems, SPC, 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


Tuna fisheries in the western and central Pacific Ocean broke another record in 2014 with an estimated total catch of 2.86 million tonnes, which represents 60% of the global tuna production; but this is not sustainable for many of the target and non-target species (see Hampton’s article).

At the same time, and at the other end of the fisheries spectrum, farmers dig holes by hand in their backyard to raise tilapia fish that will help them to put dietary protein on the family table. This type of aquaculture, which requires very basic technology and minimal financial investment, is slowly but steadily developing in our region. In Papua New Guinea, it is estimated that more than 50,000 tilapia farms are now in operation, and in one location ‘former warriors now work together to farm fish after 38 years of tribal war’ (see Sammut’s article).

However, a trend has developed where farmers rush to build farms without seeking expert advice. As a result, these farms are difficult to operate. A strategy has been applied in Espiritu Santo, Vanuatu, where the Vanuatu Fisheries Department, SPC and WorldFish have joined forces to encourage the forming of farm clusters. This involves using successful ‘lead farms’ as examples so that farmers can learn from them and meet agreed target specifications (see Pickering’s article).

Pacific Island tilapia farmers will never produce 2.86 million tonnes in a year, as the tuna fisheries did, but their contribution to food security, especially in places where communities do not have regular access to animal protein, may become increasingly important.

Aymeric Desurmont
Fisheries Information Specialist




Tilapia fish from farms of Espiritu Santo, Vanuatu
(Image: Tim Pickering)

In this issue


  • South Santo tilapia farmers gear up to increase production (pdf: )

  • Tilapia incubator trials to increase seed production in Fiji (pdf: )

  • Tuna in focus – SPC scientists provide the latest information to WCPFC 11th Scientific Committee meeting (pdf: )

  • We want more! – 10 successful tagging seasons +1: CP11 to be launched (pdf: )

  • Was this tuna caught around a FAD or not? (pdf: )

  • Deployment of subsurface FADs from small vessels for fishing communities in Choiseul (pdf: )


  • Vatuika FADs survive category 5 cyclone Pam in Vanuatu (pdf: )

  • Project launch: Improving technologies for inland aquaculture in Papua New Guinea (pdf: )

  • Public expenditure of Pacific Island countries and territories fisheries agencies (pdf: )

  • Alternative futures for the Pacific food system (pdf: )

  • Assessing the vulnerability of fish spawning aggregations in the Great Barrier Reef: A new approach for fishery managers? (pdf: )


  • New Caledonian Offshore Fishers Federation launches ‘Responsible Fisheries’ ecolabel
    by Jean_François Huglo (pdf: )

  • Bycatch is troublesome – Deal with it!
    by Shelley Clarke (pdf: )

pdfDownload the complete publication:

Fisheries Newsletter #147 (pdf: )



   SPC Homepage | Copyright © SPC 2021