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Coastal fisheries in the Pacific Islands
Dalzell, P.; Adams, T.J.H.; Polunin, N.V.C. (1996). Coastal fisheries in the Pacific Islands. Oceanogr. Mar. Biol. Ann. Rev. 34: 395-531
In: Oceanography and Marine Biology: An Annual Review. Aberdeen University Press/Allen & Unwin: London. ISSN 0078-3218, more
Peer reviewed article  

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    Coastal fisheries; Pacific Ocean I.; Marine

Authors  Top 
  • Dalzell, P.
  • Adams, T.J.H.
  • Polunin, N.V.C.

    Coastal fisheries in the South Pacific are reviewed, including descriptions of fisheries, catch composition, catch rates and fisheries biology studies conducted on target stocks. The most widely targeted coastal fish stocks are reef fishes and coastal pelagic fishes. Small pelagic species are important for subsistence and small-scale commercial fisheries. Previously, small pelagic resources were important as a source of live bait for pole-and-line tuna fishing, but this method is declining and only one large bait fishery is left in the region in the Solomon Islands. The pole-and-line bait fisheries represent the only large-scale industrial fisheries to have operated in the coral reef lagoons of the Pacific. Estuarine resources are of major importance only in the large islands of Melanesia but are the staple diet of a relatively large proportion of the total South Pacific population. Deep slope fish stocks form the basis of only two commercial fisheries in the region and expansion of deep slope fishing comparable with the 1970s and 1980s is unlikely to occur again. Commercial fisheries development is currently orientated towards small- and medium-scale long-line fisheries for offshore pelagic resources, where high value tunas and billfishes are caught for export markets.The total coastal fisheries production from the region amounts to just over 100 000 tyr-1, worth a nominal US$ 262 000 000. About 80% of this production is from subsistence fishing. Just under half the total annual commercial catch comes from fishing on coral reefs, which includes a small tonnage of deep slope species. Invertebrates are the most valuable inshore fisheries resources and these include sea-cucumbers, trochus and pearl oyster. Lobsters and mangrove crabs form the basis of small-scale commercial fisheries, as also do penaeid shrimps, except in PNG where they are caught in large quantities through trawling. Mariculture of shrimps is becoming increasingly popular in the region and is a major industry in New Caledonia. The greatest influence on coastal fisheries in the Pacific through the next decade is likely to come from southeast and east Asia, where the demand for high value coastal fishes and invertebrates has led to large scale depletions and has motivated entrepreneurs to seek stocks in the neighbouring Pacific islands.

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