The Indo-Pacific Fish Conference is an international conference held every four years, which has been attracting world–class scientists and delegates from around the globe since its inception in 1981.

The Indo-Pacific is the largest biggest marine biogeographic area on the planet, spanning an area from South-Africa to Mexico, and providing habitat for many thousands of species. The 2017 Indo-Pacific Fish Conference will gather more than 400 scientists and stakeholders in ichthyology (including elasmobranchs and teleost fishes) from more than 30 countries.

For 33 years the conference has facilitated international collaboration among scientists and managers in the field of ichthyology in the Indo-Pacific.

10th IPFC: Why Tahiti?

Characterized by its geographic isolation and its vast expanse of small islands and atolls, French Polynesia is a perfect case study for what similar island nations from around the Indo-Pacific are currently facing with respect to local and global change.

More than 270 000 people live in French Polynesia and they depend on fish for food and for their livelihoods. French Polynesia has traditionally been a gathering place for representatives from around the Indo-Pacific to discuss important, timely topics affecting collective marine resources. Today, this tradition continues.

Building on discussions and decisions made at the 2015 COP21 conference in Paris, we must continue to work together to discuss how we can further our understanding and our strategies to ensure the long-term health of Indo-Pacific Fish resources in the face of global change.

Banc de perches pagaies - Crédits photo Lauric Thiault

Interview with the Chairman David Lecchini

10th IPFC: What is this year’s theme?

Today, with all of the threats that our planet’s ecosystems must deal with, from the North pole to the South, our tropical forests, coral reefs, and everything in-between, I think we must focus the 2017 IPFC on the Biology, Traditional Skills and Management of Fish Stocks in the Indo-Pacific : What measures have to be taken to combat climate change? During the 10th IPFC, we will explore this theme through the context of science, people, economy, culture and we will do this using an interdisciplinary approach.
The 10th IPFC will provide a platform for scientists and stakeholders from around the Indo-Pacific and beyond to gather, to share knowledge, to build new collaborations and to find new and innovative ways of managing and ensuring the long-term sustainability of these globally important fish stocks.

France is in strong support of French Polynesia’s hosting of the 10th IPFC. Why?

France, with its 8 overseas territories, has 10% of coral reefs and 25% of atolls worldwide.  As such, France has more coral reefs than most countries in the world, ranking 4th, behind Indonesia, Australia and the Philippines. The 10th IPFC will be a great opportunity to reinforce the visibility of France and of French Polynesia in the Indo-Pacific.

Interview with Jean-Yves Meyer (Research Delegate for the French Polynesia Gouvernment)

How will French Polynesia benefit by hosting the 10th IPFC?

The marine environment underpins island communities throughout the world, and in French Polynesia in particular. With many cultural traditions centered around fishing and the trade of marine resources with other island nations, Polynesians are deeply reliant upon their marine resources for food, for the persistence of their culture, and for the continued development of their economy. Not only are marine resources critical for sustaining cultures, but resources, like fish, are now considered as important bio-indicators of global change. As such, the government of  French Polynesia is eager to support research and management programs that will further their understanding of fish ecology and to the development of sustainable offshore and lagoon fisheries, in combination with traditional knowledge.

Interview with Eric Clua (Research and Technology delegate, French High Commission in French Polynesia)

How will France benefit from the 10th IPFC?

France possesses overseas territories in all tropical oceans o the world. The territories have an abundance of fish, from marine or freshwater, some well-studied others less so. There is still much to learn if these important resources are to be managed effectively for the benefit of future generations. In support of this need for further research, France is in full support of French Polynesia’s hosting of the 10th IPFC, much in the same way it supported New Caledonia when it hosted the 5th IPFC in 1997.

Interview with Serge Planes (Director of the CRIOBE)

 

How does this conference support the 44 years of work that the CRIOBE has invested in the science and management of coral reefs in French Polynesia and beyond?

Since 1971, the CRIOBE has worked to improve our understanding of coral reefs around the world and in particular, those in French Polynesia. We have developed a state of the art research program spanning many disciplines from genetics to social science (www.labex-corail.fr/), we are established leaders in education and communications and we provide training for postgrad students as well as for resource managers and local stakeholders tasked with managing their nation’s reef resources (www.ircp.pf). We have built a world-class research station on the island of Moorea, and each year we host many researchers from Polynesia, France and the world.

The goals of the IPFC are perfectly aligned with ours, as the conference seeks to advance the science and management of fish in the Indo-Pacific. We also hope that with help from the IPFC, we increase the international visibility of the CRIOBE, thereby attracting more researchers to our facilities and, we hope, creating new partnerships and collaborations for future research projects.

We invite you to join us on Tahiti, French Polynesia for the 10th Indo-Pacific Fish Conference (IPFC10), which will be held from the 2nd to the 6th of October 2017 at the Maison de la Culture at Papeete. The Organizing Committee is preparing an interesting program, with the main theme of previous IPFCs, including many symposia on a range of topics such as systematics, evolution, phylogeny, ecology, behavior, and conservation.

Colleagues who would like to organize symposia are kindly requested to contact David Lecchini (david.lecchini@ephe.sorbonne.fr).