Pacific communities are defined by their relationship to the ocean. The region is rich in natural wonders, cultures and traditional practices and boasts spectacular diversity. Aquatic foods are the backbone of Pacific island economies. Coastal fisheries generate food and income for low income rural communities, particularly where formal markets and supply chains function poorly.
In this region, fish consumption rates are among the highest in the world. Fishing is consistently one of the top two sources of livelihood in rural communities, with 60-90 percent of fish consumed there caught by the household. Fish also contributes significantly to national economies, particularly in those countries with significant tuna stocks.
However, Pacific island countries face many challenges with poverty, exclusion and vulnerability are on the rise and one in four individuals living below USD 1.90 a day. According to the World Health Organization, nine of the 10 “most obese” countries of the world are in the Pacific and noncommunicable diseases related to malnutrition are the leading cause of premature death and disability. Population growth, overfishing and climate change threaten the supply of fish and present major nutrition security challenges in the future.
Our research in the region focuses on managing coastal marine resources, promoting supplementary livelihood options and developing sustainable aquaculture.