Coastal Fisheries Programme
Number 20 - December 2011

Editor and Group Coordinator: Tom Graham, PO Box 235, Honolulu, HI 96809 USA. Phone/fax: +1 (808) 625 8755

Production: Information Unit, Division of Fisheries, Aquaculture and Marine Ecosystems, SPC, PO BOX D5, 98848 Noumea Cedex, New Caledonia Fax (687) 263818)

Prepared with financial assistance from Australia, France and New Zealand.

Editor's note

From its inception, this bulletin has included articles looking at fisheries for live food fish and ornamental fish from just about every conceivable angle. Not being tied to any particular discipline, the bulletin has covered everything from the biology of reef fish resources to the role of consumers in ensuring that those resources remain productive. Or at least I keep thinking the bulletin has covered every angle, until another set of contributions arrives. The articles in this bulletin are good examples of new territory.

This bulletin begins with a review by Ditch Townsend of the world’s marine ornamental fish industry and its management. Although reviews look backward, their purpose is to help point us in the right direction as we move forward. Mr Townsend clearly has that purpose in mind. He categorizes the challenges facing the industry in three main areas: the sustainability of marine ecosystems, the fair treatment of ornamental fish collectors, and the welfare of the fish being traded. After reviewing recent initiatives to address these challenges, including certification schemes and legislation, he concludes that we need to look at a broader array of policy options, and that there are new analytical tools to help us do so.

Next is an analysis of the live reef food fish industry in Palawan, Philippines. Michael Fabinyi and Dante Dalabajan look deep into the social landscape in an attempt to explain why, despite active management interventions by at least three layers of government and an impressive set of laws and regulations on the books, effective on-the-ground management of live reef fish fisheries and trade in Palawan remains elusive. To me, who likes to think that devising clever management strategies is the be-all, end-all of fisheries management, this is earthshaking stuff. This isn’t about whether we understand the biology of the resource and the limits of its productivity, or whether we’re able to use that knowledge to formulate appropriate management measures. It’s about whether the basic institutions of governance are well matched to the structure of society. Back to square one!

In the next article, in a perfect segue, Gregg Yan exposes poor compliance with fisheries laws in the Philippines, including how the nominally protected humphead wrasse continues to be fished, sold and exported. The humphead wrasse is also the subject of the final article in this bulletin. Yvonne Sadovy, Syamsul Bahri Lubis and Santi Suharti report on Indonesia’s efforts to manage the trade of humphead wrasse, particularly with respect to the protected status of the species on Appendix II of CITES.

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Sustainability, equity and welfare: A review of the tropical marine ornamental fish trade
Townsend D. (pdf: 182 KB)
The policy–practice dichotomy: An analysis from Palawan, Philippines
Fabinyi M., Dalabajan D. (pdf: 123 KB)
Endangered mameng (humphead wrasse) openly traded
Yan G. (pdf: 141 KB)
Napoleon wrasse status and protection workshop
Sadovy Y., Lubis S.B., Suharti S. (pdf: 144 KB)

Download the complete publication:

Live Reef Fish #20 (pdf: )

The views expressed in this Bulletin are those of the authors and are not necessarily shared
by the Secretariat of the Pacific Community
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