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:

  1. Supporting countries that are implementing, or interested in implementing, marine spatial planning at various scales
  1. Providing a neutral platform for stakeholders to convene around issues of mutual interest
  1. The possibility of a Pacific Ocean Resilience Fund to provide sustainable financing for Pacific Island Countries’ marine resource management efforts
  1. 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.