About SPC's Coastal Fisheries Science and Management Section (CFSMS)

The Coastal Fisheries Science and Management Section's (CFSMS) main objective is to “assist governments and administrations in the development of scientifically informed and socially achievable coastal fisheries management policies and systems in line with the guiding principles of the "New song for coastal fisheries – pathways to change: The Noumea strategy". The New song:

  • is an innovative approach to dealing with declines in coastal fisheries resources and related ecosystems. It enhances and builds on the strengths of the now expired Apia Policy, which was forged to harness the benefits of coastal fisheries in response to the Pacific Island leaders’ recognition of the importance of coastal fisheries through the Vava’u Declaration in 2007;
  • calls for an enhanced focus on coastal fisheries management and related development activities in the Pacific region;
  • is designed to provide direction and encourage coordination, cooperation and an effective use of regional and other support services in the development of coastal fisheries management.

Pacific Island leaders have placed a priority on the sustainable development and management of coastal fisheries to support food security, sustainable livelihoods and economic growth for current and future generations of Pacific communities.  The concerns of fisheries managers in PICTs include, declines in the stocks of coastal fisheries species, resulting from a combination of overexploitation and broader negative impacts on the marine environment.  Overexploitation could result from the use of very efficient fishing gear, gear that catch marine species indiscriminately, or excessive fishing effort. Examples of broader negative impacts to the marine environment include; sewage, nutrients, pollutants entering coastal waters, excessive coastal zone developments, agriculture, forestry activities and siltation of coastal waters.

The challenge for managing coastal fisheries and environments in PICTs is to ensure there is adequate ongoing monitoring of coastal fisheries using appropriate management tools, including principals of ecosystems approach to manage fisheries, strengthening community partnerships in managing coastal fisheries, ensuring there is wider consultation and collaborating in costal fisheries management initiatives.

CFSMS help to develop capacities of member PICTs to assess, develop, manage and conserve their coastal marine resources through providing advice, applied research, training and publication of resource materials.  The primary areas of work for CFSMS are to:

  • develop and support coastal fisheries scientific data collection and monitoring system;
  • provide advice on coastal fisheries resource status based on the best available scientific information;
  • support the development of community-based fisheries management incorporating ecosystems approach to fisheries principals;
  • support the development of national coastal fisheries management plans, policies and legislation;
  • provide assistance to members in the designing and targeting of appropriate awareness raising and educational information; and
  • promote inter-agency networking and cross-sectoral collaboration in coastal fisheries science and management.
For more information on CFSMS, please contact Ian Bertram, SPC's Coastal Fisheries Science and Management Adviser.
 
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