Fishery management, development and food security in the Western and Central Pacific in the context of climate change
Weng, KC and Glazier, E and Nicol, SJ and Hobday, AJ, Fishery management, development and food security in the Western and Central Pacific in the context of climate change, Deep-Sea Research, Part II, 113 pp. 301-311. ISSN 0967-0645 (2015) [Refereed Article]
In the coming decades, fishery resource managers and policy-makers in Pacific Island countries and territories (PICTs) will be increasingly challenged by the need to ensure food security in the context of a changing climate, increasing human pressure on the marine environment, and limited understanding of marine ecosystems and associated resources. These decision-makers must address a pressing and overarching question - how will pelagic resources and pressures on such resources change over time and space? Answering this question requires ongoing inquiry into critical dimensions of pelagic species and systems, for both the commercial tuna species that are managed by Regional Fishery Management Organizations (RFMOs), as well as nearshore pelagic fishes that support many small-scale fisheries and are managed at national and local levels. Research priorities include generating further insight into life history and physiology, oceanographic context, movement and migration, food webs, ecosystem dynamics and stock status. Concurrently, socioeconomic research is needed to tailor fisheries management strategies to local, national and regional conditions; and improve understanding of incentive structures among players in RFMOs such as the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission. PICT-based scientists and managers are ideally situated to generate new fisheries-relevant data; however, investments are needed to expand the capacity for research, management, and sustainable fisheries development within PICTs. Such capacity building can be accelerated through collaboration between PICTs, RFMOs, and scientific centers of excellence in Distant Water Fishing Nations. Without increased capacity development, this region will be adversely affected by the impacts of climate change and less able to take advantage of opportunities for economic development.
capacity building, coastal fisheries, tuna, western and central Pacific Ocean