This 30th issue of the Pacific Community’s Women in Fisheries Information Bulletin includes 18 original articles on a diversity of topics, including gender and development, mud crabs, national gender analyses and mangrove management.
Small-scale capture fisheries—where fishers operating from the shore or small fishing vessels use simple methods to catch fish from inland or coastal waters—are an often irreplaceable source of nutrition and income in the developing world. Ensuring the sustainability of these fisheries will require coordinated, multi-scale and research-backed governance of ocean and inland aquatic systems that balance the needs and interests of all users.
Fish is a diet staple in Solomon Islands, a country of 992 islands surrounded by productive coastal fisheries. But for inland communities, where fresh fish are expensive to buy and supply is irregular, fish consumption is often low.
“In the past, normally my family did not eat fish for around half of the year… sometimes we just lived without thinking about eating fish,” explains Moses Liukalia from Taflankwasa, Malaita Province, who farms fish for home consumption.
The province of Malaita, where many people rely on subsistence fishing and farming, faces many challenges including increasingly depleted marine resources, limited access to markets for agricultural goods, and pressures from population growth.
Lionel Maeliu, lives in Busurata village in the highlands of Malaita Province, Solomon Islands. Like many in this area, he is a subsistence farmer with little formal education.
Since his youth Lionel has watched his people walk five hours to buy fish from the coastal villages.
Mangroves are important ecosystems that provide food, firewood, building materials, and shoreline protection for coastal communities. They are also vital nursery grounds for fisheries, which support the livelihoods of 85% of people in the Solomon Islands.
However, these valuable ecosystems are increasingly under threat. In many areas, mangrove trees are unsustainably harvested by for firewood and building materials. This harvesting threatens vital marine resources.