Food Security in the Coral Triangle of the Pacific Countries: Prospects of Fisheries Development Strategies

ReliefWeb 12 Oct 17;

REPORTfrom Asian Development Bank Published on 12 Oct 2017 —View Original
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Rural communities in the Pacific that rely on fishing for subsistence and income face serious risks due to the degradation of coastal ecosystems, overharvesting, and climate change.

The ongoing degradation of coastal ecosystems, overharvesting of valuable species, and climate change (including more extreme weather events, rising sea levels, increasing sea surface temperatures, and ocean acidification) are lowering the production of fish, which is the Pacific region’s primary source of protein.

An ADB technical assistance project sought to assist Pacific countries in addressing the urgent threats facing these resources and, at the same time, improve food security, in line with the objectives of the Coral Triangle Initiative on Coral Reefs, Fisheries and Food Security. This brief presents the findings of a research study on Climate Change and Development Strategies for the Coastal Communities of the Pacific Coral Triangle Countries conducted in four countries - Fiji, Solomon Islands, Timor-Leste, and Vanuatu—under this technical assistance.

Key Points

Fisheries in the Coral Triangle of the Pacific countries are facing changing climatic conditions and ongoing environmental degradation, which threaten food security and livelihoods.

The study identified the impacts of climate change on the fisheries sectors of Fiji, Solomon Islands, Timor-Leste, and Vanuatu, and evaluated the potential of three fisheries development strategies to improve food security.

Modeling results indicated substantial economic gains and improved food security with the adoption of these strategies: aquaculture expansion, low-cost inshore fish-aggregating device utilization, and improved natural resources management (including marine-protected areas).

The research findings can inform fisheries and conservation policy development that is tailored to each country’s needs.

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