The large tuna resources of the Western and Central Pacific Ocean are delivering great economic benefits to Pacific Island countries and territories (PICTs) through sale of licences to distant water fishing nations and employment in fish processing. However, tuna needs to contribute to Pacific Island societies in another important way—by increasing local access to the fish required for good nutrition to help combat the world’s highest levels of diabetes and obesity.
The Coral Triangle (CT) includes some or all of the land and seas of six countries: Indonesia, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines, the Solomon Islands, and Timor-Leste (CT6). It covers only 1.1% of the world's area, but is the global hotspot for marine biodiversity and a rich spawning area for tuna. One-third of the CT6 population and millions more from outside the region are dependent on these resources. However, a range of human pressures threaten the biological health and diversity in the CT, affecting the food security and livelihoods of these people.
In this paper we describe the construction of an online GIS database system, hosted by WorldFish, which stores bio-physical, ecological and socio-economic data for the ‘Coral Triangle Area’ in South-east Asia and the Pacific. The database has been built in partnership with all six (Timor-Leste, Malaysia, Indonesia, The Philippines, Solomon Islands and Papua New Guinea) of the Coral Triangle countries, and represents a valuable source of information for natural resource managers at the regional scale.
In analyzing the structure of small scale fisheries in West Sumatra waters the need was found for diversification of current fishing gear. Trials were conducted using a coral reef longline as an alternative gear; using different kinds of baits and operating in different depths, the coral reef longline can be adjusted to select mainly mature fish, but proper identification of species is of importance in determining size at maturity.
The importance of coral reef systems to coastal fishery resources in the Philippines has become a focal point in certain government planning and research activities. Estimates of the contribution of reefs to the total fisheries production are based on 3 factors: reef area, maximum sustainable yield and total fisheries production. A method forthe gauging of coral reef production is presented.
Periodically-harvested closures are commonly employed within co-management frameworks to help manage small-scale, multi-species fisheries in the Indo-Pacific. Despite their widespread use, the benefits of periodic harvesting strategies for multi-species fisheries have, to date, been largely untested. We examine catch and effort data from four periodically-harvested reef areas and 55 continuously-fished reefs in Solomon Islands.
Settlement stage Lutjanus synagris and Ocyurus were caught in light traps set off fore reefs in the British Virgin Islands and raised in floating mesh cages tethered in water 1-2 m deep. Lights were designed to attract plankton into the cages and provide live natural food for the fish. Plankton taxonomic composition around lights was compared with samples from plankton tows in adjacent water, as well as with gut contents of cage reared and wild fish.
Rapidly growing human population and economic inequities are placing increasing demands on tropical marine fisheries. Coral reef fisheries constitute an important source of food and livelihood on a global scale. However, destructive fishing is a major cause of coral reef degradation and is often associated with Malthusian overfishing, a condition related to poverty and coastal crowding. Studies based on the Gordon-Schaefer bioeconomic model indicate that for many coral reef areas, suggest a return to optimal resource use will require a reduction of fishing effort by approximately 60%.
A trophic model of the Looe Key National Marine Sanctuary, Florida, U.S.A. (=30 km2) was constructed, using the ECOPATH II approach for construction of mass-balance ecosystem models, the results of local biomass surveys by J. Bohnsack and collaborators and a structure adapted from an earlier ECOPATH II model, by S. Opitz, of a Virgin Island coral reef. Flows of energy and other relationships between the 20 functional groups in the system were examined (9 fish groups, 11 non-fish groups), then compared with those in five other coral reef ecosystem models.
The degradation of coral reefs has become an issue of global concern. Assessment of the status of coral reefs worldwide requires more empirical information on the location and extent of these biologically and economically important resources. In this paper, the authors propose an international program to mobilize technological resources in support of a Global Inventory of Coral Reefs (GICOR).