Coastal Fisheries Programme

Number 138 (May–August 2012)

Produced by the Information Unit, 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 and New Zealand


Providing alternative livelihoods to fishers may have a slightly different meaning in Oceania than in other parts of the world. As Sharp and Blanc, and Adams explain in their articles about small-scale fisheries, for Pacific Islanders, fishing is not “an activity of last resort” to provide a livelihood, and in most Pacific Islands, fishers are not among “the poorest of the poor”, but are often specialists carrying certain inherited rights that give them a respected status.

Therefore, in the hope of reducing fishing pressure on reef or coastal resources, one can hardly ask a fisher to become a handicraft-maker, a gardener or a hotel employee. Even aquaculture has probably been more attractive to farmers or business people than to fishers in Oceania. Speaking of aquaculture, don’t miss the articles in this issue on lobster farming in New Caledonia and the production of Platax in Tahiti.

Alternative livelihoods for fishers must have a link to fisheries, either in activities where fishing skills are recognised and valued — such as being a sportfishing guide for tourists — or in capture-based fishing activities targeting species that are not (yet) under pressure.

Diamond and other “giant” squids may become one of these alternative fisheries. An exploratory deep-sea fishing trip took place in waters off New Caledonia in August 2012. Dropping lures to 500-m depths in waters where it had never been done before and hauling in several diamond squids of close to 20 kg each must have been really exciting.

It is not expected that all small-scale fishers will quickly switch to this new resource. Markets for diamond squid will probably be exclusively local at first, as its value on the world market is currently too low to consider exporting it from the Pacific Islands, and the resource is known to be seasonal and relatively fragile. It will, therefore, need to be closely managed, probably by limiting the number of entrants. But, it may provide an additional possibility for diversification, along with targeting small pelagic species with a bagan or bigger pelagic species around fish aggregating devices (FADs).

Even for small-scale fisheries, most of the new opportunities seem to arise away from reefs and coastal areas...

“Go offshore, young fisherman!”


Aymeric Desurmont
Fisheries Information Officer



Masterfishermen talk!
Ryoichi Kawasaki, of Japan, shares his expertise
of diamond squid fishing with William Sokimi, of Fiji

(Image: Manu Ducrocq)

In this issue


  • Experimental squid fishing in New Caledonia: nothing rough about these diamonds! (pdf: )

  • Improving biological knowledge of deepwater snapper (pdf: )

  • Securing sustainable small-scale fisheries (pdf: )

  • SPC SciCoFish Project aims to improve collection of reef fisheries scientific data to support management (pdf: )

  • New LearnFishID module developed for sea cucumbers (pdf: )

  • New underwater writing slate eases survey work (pdf: )

  • Fish inspector training course for Competent Authorities (pdf: )

  • How to prevent dolphin depredation on fish hooked (pdf: )

  • More FADs deployed in four Pacific islands (pdf: )


  • Juvenile lobster collection and grow-out for the food market in New Caledonia – a reality! (pdf: )

  • Producing Platax in Tahiti – goals and challenges! (pdf: )

  • Fishing it up – The state of Nauru reef fisheries (pdf: )

  • Breaking the boom-and-bust cycle – Sea cucumber
    a lucrative trade? (pdf: )

  • US and Pacific Islands sign USD 630 Million Tuna Treaty (pdf: )

  • Tuna fisheries news (pdf: )


  • Status of pronghorn spiny lobster fishery in Aneityum Island, Vanuatu, and management advice
    by K. Pakoa, R. Kaku and T. Nimtia (pdf: )

  • The characteristics of Pacific Island small-scale fisheries
    by T. Adams (pdf: )

  • Waste not, want not: Better utilisation of fish waste
    in the Pacific
    by M. Sharp and C. Mariojouls (pdf: )

Download the complete publication:

Fisheries Newsletter #138 (pdf: )


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