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Diversifying the use of tuna to improve food security and public health in Pacific Island countries and territories


Bell, JD and Allain, V and Allison, EH and Andrefouet, S and Andrew, NL and Batty, MJ and Blanc, M and Dambacher, JM and Hampton, J and Hanich, Q and Harley, S and Lorrain, A and McCoy, M and McTurk, N and Nicol, S and Pilling, G and Point, D and Sharp, MK and Vivili, P and Williams, P, Diversifying the use of tuna to improve food security and public health in Pacific Island countries and territories, Marine Policy, 51 pp. 584-591. ISSN 0308-597X (2015) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

copyright 2014 Elsevier Ltd

DOI: doi:10.1016/j.marpol.2014.10.005


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. Analyses reported here demonstrate that coastal fisheries in 16 of the 22 PICTs will not provide the fish recommended for good nutrition of growing Pacific Island populations, and that by 2020 tuna will need to supply 12% of the fish required by PICTs for food security, increasing to 25% by 2035. In relative terms, the percentages of the region’s tuna catch that will be needed in 2020 and 2035 to fill the gap in domestic fish supply are small, i.e., 2.1% and 5.9% of the average present-day industrial catch, respectively. Interventions based on expanding the use of nearshore fish aggregating devices (FADs) to assist small-scale fishers catch tuna, distributing small tuna and bycatch offloaded by industrial fleets at regional ports, and improving access to canned tuna for inland populations, promise to increase access to fish for sustaining the health of the region’s growing populations. The actions, research and policies required to implement these interventions effectively, and the investments needed to maintain the stocks underpinning the considerable socio-economic benefits that flow from tuna, are described.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:tuna, food security, Pacific Islands, population growth, non-communicable diseases
Research Division:Agricultural, Veterinary and Food Sciences
Research Group:Fisheries sciences
Research Field:Aquaculture and fisheries stock assessment
Objective Division:Animal Production and Animal Primary Products
Objective Group:Fisheries - wild caught
Objective Field:Wild caught tuna
UTAS Author:Dambacher, JM (Dr Jeffrey Dambacher)
ID Code:118570
Year Published:2015
Web of Science® Times Cited:79
Deposited By:Directorate
Deposited On:2017-07-13
Last Modified:2017-12-08

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