Capture fisheries in small island developing states (SIDS) have the capacity to increase access to vital micronutrient-rich food to tackle malnutrition, but when fishers are restricted to nearshore habitats by limited capacity (boats, engines, fishing gear), fisheries production can be low. This is the case of coastal Timor-Leste, where some of the world’s most diverse coral reefs are juxtaposed with one of the world’s most undernourished populations.
The vast development opportunities offered by the world’s coasts and oceans have attracted the attention of governments, private enterprises, philanthropic organizations and international conservation organizations. High-profile dialogue and policy decisions on ocean futures are informed largely by economic and ecological research. Key insights from the social sciences raise concerns for food and nutrition security, livelihoods and social justice but these have yet to gain traction with investors and the policy discourse on transforming ocean governance.