The Pacific Community (SPC) is proud to present an innovative resource that brings together several safe, sustainable nearshore fishing techniques based on traditional knowledge. The "Beyond the Reef" toolkit is providing Pacific Island fishing communities with a ready-to-use material offering a way towards healthier marine ecosystems and catches that are more abundant.
This toolkit was produced under the governance of the Pacific-European Union Marine Partnership (PEUMP) programme, funded by the European Union and the Government of Sweden; the Sustainable Coastal Fisheries and Aquaculture for Pacific Livelihoods, Food and Economic Security (SCoFA), funded by the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT), with Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) and the Pacific Coastal Fisheries Management and Compliance (PaFMaC) funded by the United States Agency for International Development.
Over the years, Pacific Island populations have grown substantially, leading to overfishing of reef resources. The balance of our coastal ecosystems has been disrupted, endangering our precious kai moana (food) sources. The need for sustainable harvesting practices is now more critical than ever. "Beyond the Reef" is presented as a response to this pressing challenge. It’s about nearshore fishing techniques that target more resilient pelagic species and can help move fishing effort away from coastal habitats, thereby reducing pressure on reef resources. The toolkit comprises three complementary information tools:
- A manual of nearshore fishing techniques: A guide to almost 20 fishing techniques, such as drop stone, palu-ahi or vertical longline, with clear, descriptive illustrations.
- A series of "Fish and Tips" videos: Three seasons (trolling techniques, mid-water techniques, and night fishing techniques) of training videos featuring Pacific master fishers who bridge the gap between tradition and innovation.
- A photo exhibition: A visual journey through some of the fishing techniques presented in the manual, to encourage Pacific communities to try and adopt them.
The toolkit offers numerous advantages for Pacific fishers, as highlighted by William Sokimi, SPC’s Fisheries Development Officer (Fishing Technology) and experienced fisherman: "This toolkit will help the fishers to diversify their catch, target species like tunas, wahoo, mahi mahi, or scads beyond the reef edge. It will also improve their fishing skills, combining traditional methods with modern tricks. Ultimately, the toolkit will help them to increase their catch using sustainable techniques."
- The "Beyond the Reef" toolkit is now available and can be accessed online.
- The video series is available on SPC's Youtube Channel.
Toky Rasoloarimanana, Communications Officer, Pacific Community (SPC), Fisheries, Aquaculture and Marine Ecosystems Division | [email protected] or WhatsApp number: +230 57433661
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About the Pacific Community (SPC):
The Pacific Community has been supporting sustainable development in the Pacific, through science, knowledge and innovation since 1947. It is the principal intergovernmental organisation in the region, owned and governed by its 27 member countries and territories. www.spc.int
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The Pacific-European Union Marine Partnership (PEUMP) Programme addresses some of the most serious challenges faced by Pacific countries. Among these are the increasing depletion of coastal fisheries resources; the threats to marine biodiversity, including negative impacts of climate change and disasters; the uneven contribution of oceanic fisheries to national economic development; the need for improved education and training; and the need to mainstream a rights-based approach and to promote greater recognition of gender issues to ensure inclusiveness and positive changes for Pacific island people. The seven-year PEUMP programme is funded by the European Union (EUR 35 million) and the government of Sweden (EUR 10 million). It is implemented by the Pacific Community (SPC), the Forum Fisheries Agency (FFA), the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) and the University of the South Pacific (USP) in close collaboration with Non-Government Organisations and the national authorities.