Article

Use and Status of Marine Resources - A Complex System of Dependencies Between Man and Nature Case Studies from Tonga and Fiji, South Pacific

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Abstract

This paper aims at investigating the effects of population pressure, westernisation- urbanisation and marine tenure systems on the status of reef finfish resources in two South Pacific countries. Finfish resource, total catch and per capita fresh fish consumption decreased with increasing westernisation-urbanisation, supporting a direct link between fishing and population pressure. Unconventionally, we suggest that in the communities surveyed the interest for fish consumption and fisheries diminishes with increased westernisation-urbanisation due to the available nutrition and income alternatives. Significant variations of fishing levels suggest that the level of exploitation is the predominant factor in structuring fish populations observed. Fishing pressure was found to initially affects biomass through size, and then density. Findings indicate a direct relationship between resource status and user level. Because marketing may be more influential than marine property systems, the final decision to which marine tenure systems add to urbanisation-westernisation influences to fishing pressure and thus status of reef fish needs further analysis.

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... Prior to the Tongan constitution of 1875, fishing rights to nearshore marine areas were under control of community chiefs and belonged only to coastal people (Kronen et al., 2003). After 1875, there was an abolishment of exclusive fishing rights to particular marine areas and all people had the right to fish or gather marine resources (Kronen et al., 2003). ...
... Prior to the Tongan constitution of 1875, fishing rights to nearshore marine areas were under control of community chiefs and belonged only to coastal people (Kronen et al., 2003). After 1875, there was an abolishment of exclusive fishing rights to particular marine areas and all people had the right to fish or gather marine resources (Kronen et al., 2003). This system is still in place today, with the exception of fish fences, live rock extraction, aquaculture, and marine protected areas (Kronen et al., 2003). ...
... After 1875, there was an abolishment of exclusive fishing rights to particular marine areas and all people had the right to fish or gather marine resources (Kronen et al., 2003). This system is still in place today, with the exception of fish fences, live rock extraction, aquaculture, and marine protected areas (Kronen et al., 2003). ...
... Fresh pork and chicken and canned meat contribute significantly to diets. A transition to meat protein may be associated with over-exploitation of inshore fisheries, population growth, and monetisation of Tongan livelihoods (Gillett 2011;Kronen et al. 2003). Canned fish, an import, is also consumed in many households because it is often cheaper than local fresh fish. ...
... Fresh pork and chicken and canned meat contribute significantly to diets. A transition to meat protein may be associated with over-exploitation of inshore fisheries, population growth, and monetisation of Tongan livelihoods (Gillett 2011;Kronen et al. 2003). Canned fish, an import, is also consumed in many households because it is often cheaper than local fresh fish. ...
Technical Report
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The living resources of the Pacific Ocean are part of the region's rich natural capital. Marine and coastal ecosystems provide benefits for all people in and beyond the region. These benefits are called ecosystem services and include a broad range of values linking the environment with development and human well-being. Yet, the natural capital of the ocean often remains invisible. Truly recognizing the value of such resources can help to highlight their importance and prevent their unnecessary loss. The MACBIO project provides technical support to the governments of Fiji, Kiribati, Solomon Islands, Tonga and Vanuatu in identifying and highlighting the values of marine and coastal resources and their ecosystem services. Once values are more visible, governments and stakeholders can plan and manage resources more sustainably, and maintain economic and social benefits of marine and coastal biodiversity in the medium and long term. The MACBIO Project has undertaken economic assessments of Tonga's marine and coastal ecosystem services, and supports the integration of results into national policies and development planning. For a copy of all report and communication material please visit www.macbio.pacific.info.
... This lack of customary or local marine tenure system sets Tonga apart from much of the Pacific (Govan et al., 2009). Traditional fishing rights and tenure of marine waters previously existed under the control of community chiefs, but were abolished with the introduction of the Tongan constitution in 1875 (Kronen et al., 2003). Marine and coastal ecosystems are currently governed by the state through environment and fisheries legislation. ...
Article
Community based and co-management approaches are increasingly used strategies for marine conservation and sustainable management in the tropical Pacific. However, our understanding of the effectiveness of co-management on marine resources and socio economic conditions is relatively limited, often due to insufficient resources to support monitoring based on ecological condition or catch landings data. Monitoring programmes based on the perceptions of resource users are often presented as a cost effective alternative to understanding the status and changes in resource and socio economic conditions. Ecological, catch landings and perception-based data, and their collection methods, have different benefits and limitations for community-based programmes. Here we present a study of the first community-based, co-managed area in the Kingdom of Tonga − the small island of ‘O’ua. We examine both perception-based data from interviews and catch landings data to describe fishing activities, catches and changes in resource status and socio economic conditions since the inception of co-management. Landings data were collected by the community over a five year period; perceptions of change and management performance were collected through structured interviews with fishers based on the same time period. The majority of fishing within the ‘O’ua co-managed area was by men, using hand spears in fibreglass vessels <5 m in length powered by an outboard engine. We found that catch per unit effort was high (especially the estimates generated from perception data) compared to other parts of the Pacific. Since the inception of co-management fishers reported improved socio economic conditions, a greater sense of stewardship over resources, active involvement in management and the effective exclusion of ‘outside’ fishers. We compared catch and catch-per-unit-effort estimates generated from landings and perception data. While fishers perceived that catches had improved since the inception of co-management, landings data suggested that catches were either stable or declining. These differences are important as they would suggest very different management responses. We discuss the trade-offs between the catch landings and perception data in terms of accuracy, precision, participation and cost for the purpose of guiding adjustments to co-management.
... Our study provides the first attempt to not only address the reserve of edible fish and its quantification but to progress towards a more holistic understanding of the interactions between complex fisheries systems (including human influence) and linkages to the resource conditions (Mahon et al., 2008). This first analysis at the regional scale thus moves beyond site specific, subsistence-oriented (Kuster et al., 2005) or pair-wise analysis of direct relationships between resource status and user exploitation level (Kronen et al., 2003). of the fishing communities. The degree to which the study sites represent the socio-economic and physical diversity at the country level varies given the wide range in land and population size, reef and lagoon areas, number of inhabited islands, habitat and fisheries systems across the region. ...
Article
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Highlights ► Reef fisheries is likely to be unsustainable in half of all (63 sites) South Pacific communities studied. ► Combined analysis of resource, fishery and socio-economic data revealed indicators for reef fisheries management. ► Hb/Cb ratio confirmed as resource indicator (high correlation with CPUE, total annual catch). ► Current catch rates correlate with 4 major potential indicators per fish family (Scaridae, Siganidae, Acanthuridae): reported average catch size; proportion in total catch; ratio between reported and maximum fish size; average biomass. ► Variation in catch composition across 63 sites is mostly explained by socio-economic, rather than resource drivers.
... Fisheries management in Pacific Island countries and territories (PICTs) is faced with declining coastal resources caused by overfishing due to population and socio-economic growth (Adams, 2006;Hickey, 2008;Kronen et al., 2003;Pauly, 1994;Ruddle and Hickey, 2008;Sale et al., 2008;Zann and Vuki, 2000). It has been shown that low-level artisanal fishing can dramatically affect populations of slow-growing, late-maturing animals, deplete stocks (Jennings and Polunin, 1996), and degrade or cause the collapse of ecosystems (Bunce et al., 2008;Jackson et al., 2001; complexity of both types of factors requires a wide range of information on the structure and function of reef assemblages (Tsehaye and Nagelkerke, 2008) as well as a wide range of information to capture interactions due to fisheries-induced impact. ...
Article
A reef finfishing pressure risk assessment model was developed to predict the status of reef and lagoon fisheries in terms of the current likelihood for sustainable or unsustainable finfishing for any given rural coastal community and its associated reef area in the Pacific Island countries and territories (PICTs). The prediction model aimed at developing a robust system that allows planners to confidently classify any coastal rural site within PICTs with a minimum and relatively easy-to-obtain dataset as being exposed to four classes of low to high finfishing pressure. This model is a response to limitations on data regarding current resource and user status in PICTs that make it difficult to ascertain fish supply for food security and livelihood of coastal communities. The model is based on the latest reef productivity scenarios developed based on a global review of currently known landing data and ecological footprints, reported likelihood of reduced reef productivity in PICTs due to ecological and human factors, and the use of current finfish catch rates collected as a proxy for fishing pressure. The prediction model was developed on the basis of a regional dataset including 63 study sites in 17 PICTs using linear discriminant analysis. The smallest feasible model with a leave-one-out error rate of 14.3% demands nine input variables that can be easily obtained and require only a minimum survey effort. Statistically significant response of decreasing fish length in six fish families important to artisanal fisheries in PICTs (Acanthuridae, Lethrinidae, Mullidae, Scaridae, Serranidae and Siganidae) to increasing catch rates or increasing fishing pressure proxies was used as an independent external factor to validate our hypothesis and the model developed. The reported catch length for Acanthuridae, Scaridae and Serranidae was statistically significantly different between the four finfishing pressure risk groups defined. Due to the lack of data on the natural status and productivity of the coral reefs in question and their historic use, care should be taken in interpretation of current catch rate figures. Classification of sites at low current finfishing pressure risk may reflect catch rates that are adapted to low stocks, either caused by previous depletion or due to natural unfavorable conditions. At the same time, sites classified as being at potentially high finfishing pressure risk may indeed be subject to current overfishing, but may as well feature high natural stock and productivity assets that allow for higher catch rates than elsewhere.
Thesis
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Two fishing grounds were selected in each of the three archipelagos of Tonga, according to fishing pressure (high and low). In each ground, socioeconomic surveys provided an evaluation of fishing pressure. Reef fish stocks were assessed through underwater visual censuses along 241 transects and their habitat was described with a novative method (Medium Scale A p p r o a c h ) , better adapted to their life territories. The analysis of ecological and fishing data showed a variation between global fishing pressure at the archipelago level, which was responsible, in combination with ecological factors, for more differences than between the pair of sites within each archipelago. The fishing factor explains globally less variance of fish populations (1.6 to 5.7%) than factors acting at micro-scale (depth, hard substrate and live coral coverages, heterogeneity and topographic complexity) and at meso-scale (oceanic influence), that explain 23.3 to 34.3% of variance. The study confirmed fishing effects already known (such as reduction of fish populations average size, compensatory increase of density in the small size classes) and showed, at least for scarids, a “shifting dominance” phenomenon, based on the decrease of large-size target species, which benefits to small size species, less vulnerable to fishing. Clustering of species according to diet or life history traits revealed gradual changes of density and biomass in specific groups according to fishing pressure gradient. This result provides potential for setting up indicators of stock status for better management of reef fish resources.
Article
While there might be differences in details, any definition of ‘sustainability’ must include an element that remains similar over time. For example, this applies to the catches of coral reef fisheries, which cannot be sustainable if exhibiting a strong ascending or descending trend. Thus, despite claims of the efficacy of ‘data-less’ management, at least time series of the catch of coral reef fisheries must be known for valid inferences on their status to be drawn. By contrasting the official and the ‘reconstructed’ coral reef catches of four small island states (Fiji and Tonga in the Pacific, and Jamaica and St Kitts & Nevis in the Caribbean), we show, however, that official catch data, as made available to and by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) not only strongly underestimate catches (from 4 to 17 times for 1950–2010), but also suggest increasing catch trends in 3 of 4 cases, that is, the very opposite of the trend resulting from the bottom-up catch reconstructions. Some implications of these findings, which we think have general currency, are presented.
Book
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This book is available for purchase, The 1993 version is available on the page at http://distancesampling.org/downloads/distancebook1993/index.html
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Northern Atlantic fisheries have experienced a series of environmental shifts in recent decades, involving collapse or large fluctuations of the dominant fish assemblages. Over roughly the same period, many fisheries-dependent human communities have lost population, while their countries as a whole were growing. Population loss tends to increase with the degree of fisheries dependence, among communities and sub-national regions of Newfoundland, Iceland and Norway. A close look at Norway, where municipality-level data are most extensive, suggests that population declines reflect not only outmigration, but also changes in fishing-community birth rates. Multiple regression using 1990 and 1980 census data for 454 municipalities finds that fisheries dependence exerts a significant negative effect on population, even after controlling for six other predictors including unemployment and income. The general pattern of changes seen in northern Atlantic fishing communities resembles those identified by migration research elsewhere. Fishing communities are unusual among contemporary first-world societies, however, in that rapid and large-scale environmental shifts appear to be among the forces driving population change.
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The customary tenure of reef areas in many parts of the South Pacific offers an obvious context within which fishery resources might be managed cooperatively between customary-rights owners and fisheries personnel in government, yet the local foundations for such co-management have received little critical attention. Seven customary fishing rights areas (CFRAs) in Fiji were the focus of the present study, the objective being to compare management of CFRAs subject to differing levels of fishing access and ascertain those factors most influential to local management practices. The intensity of access (‘access pressure’) was measured as the number of licences issued per CFRA and per unit area, while management was assessed as an index, based on evidence of five aspects of management (management structure, marshalling of information for management, approach to goodwill payments, management measures and patrolling and enforcement) derived from questionnaires. Management varied amongst the CFRAs, one of the seven being essentially unmanaged because of a breakdown in succession between chiefs. There was little evidence for management responding uniformly to access pressure; rather, two CFRAs evinced a certain management aptitude regardless of this pressure, and two other CFRAs evinced relatively little management although pressure was high. A simple survey technique can indicate useful contrasts amongst CFRAs in functional local management, and thus be useful for guiding decisions about where to make investments in local management or co-management.
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The chief aim of this paper is to examine the economic theory of natural resource utilization as it pertains to the fishing industry. It will appear, I hope, that most of the problems associated with the words “conservation” or “depletion” or “overexploitation” in the fishery are, in reality, manifestations of the fact that the natural resources of the sea yield no economic rent. Fishery resources are unusual in the fact of their common-property nature; but they are not unique, and similar problems are encountered in other cases of common-property resource industries, such as petroleum production, hunting and trapping, etc. Although the theory presented in the following pages is worked out in terms of the fishing industry, it is, I believe, applicable generally to all cases where natural resources are owned in common and exploited under conditions of individualistic competition.
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This research focuses on coral reef health in the South Pacific region, an area of high global coral diversity. Coral reef health surrounding four island case studies in the Cook Islands and Fiji have been assessed in areas that have not been previously surveyed. This study compares four islands with barrier and fringing reefs that have different levels of economic development, population pressure, land-use practices, and marine management practices. This interdisciplinary research methodology includes both ecological and social data collection to further understanding of human environment interactions. In comparing the reefs with different socio-economic factors, this research shows that reefs with traditional systems of resources management are healthier, population pressure is not the main factor causing the demise of the reefs and agro-industry is the main industry causing the degradation of the reef in these four South Pacific Islands. In addition, researchers need to use a whole reef perspective to examine coral reef health.
Village-level fishing in the Pacific
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traditionelles Umweltverhalten in Mikronesien und Polynesien
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