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In the vast central and western Pacific Ocean, collection of comprehensive fisheries statistics is complicated by the large number of nations and territories governing the waters of the region and the prominence of highly mobile vessels from distant water fishing nations in the exploitation of fish stocks. A regional approach to the collection of catch statistics is therefore essential.
The Tuna and Billfish Assessment Programme is a 3-year programme designed to provide a better understanding of the stocks of tuna and billfish throughout the central and western Pacific and also to determine the status of the stocks of the commercially important species. It will provide data as a basis for the assessment of optimum yields and will provide governments with information upon which sound fisheries development and resource management can be based.
Despite increased evidence of overfishing of coastal and inland resources in the Indo-Pacific region, government fisheries development programmes, for the most part, retain their 'production' orientation. Using the familiar static economic model of the fishery and assuming the resource is both biologically and economically overfished, the author examines the likely impact on sustainable yields and fishing incomes of various development programmes.