98% of most Pacific Island Countries is ocean. This is a valuable resource for those countries (and the world) and a defining feature of Pacific Ocean cultures. And it’s under threat from overuse, misuse, pollution, damaging activities, competing uses and the impacts of climate change. The marine program at IUCN-Oceania aims to support countries moving to address these threats and build sustainable marine resource management systems.
The Marine Program at IUCN-Oceania is focused upon:
- Supporting countries that are implementing, or interested in implementing, marine spatial planning at various scales
- The Marine and Coastal Biodiversity Management in Pacific Island Countries (MACBIO) project
- Special Management Areas (SMAs)
- Providing a neutral platform for stakeholders to convene around issues of mutual interest
- The possibility of a Pacific Ocean Resilience Fund to provide sustainable financing for Pacific Island Countries’ marine resource management efforts
- Other aspects of marine resource management as identified by Pacific Island countries.
“The GEF-funded Pacific Islands Oceanic Fisheries Management Project researched the ecological impacts of longline tuna fishing in relation to sea mounts. IUCN explored whether there are patterns in the amount and /or size of fish around seamounts and identifying possible spawning or aggregation sites.
The project involved:
- Interviewing pelagic longline fishermen regarding methods, gear and strategies for fishing on sea mounts;
- Reviewing the status of understanding of conservation issues and convening a technical workshop to discuss the status of knowledge management issues (planned for Oct 2009);
- Conducting outreach with relevant stakeholders including national governments and longline industries; and
- Preparing an information paper outlining possible management techniques for longline fishing vessels.