Organizers: Austin Humphries1, Daniel Pauly2 & Jérôme Petit3, Gabby Ahmadia4 & Nils Krueck5

Affiliations: 1/ University of Rhode Island; 2/ Institute for the Oceans and Fisheries, University of British Columbia; 3/ The Pew Charitable Trusts – French Polynesia; 4/ World Wildlife Fund; 5/ University of Queensland


Lead contact: Austin Humphries & Daniel Pauly

Description : Overfishing remains a pervasive driver of fish population decline in coastal and pelagic systems globally. Management is needed to ensure the livelihoods of island communities who are deeply reliant on marine fisheries, such as those in the Indo-Pacific. Effectively managed fisheries support the blue economy by sustaining fish stocks and bolstering tourism. They can also enhance resilience of ecosystems to climate change. This session explores fisheries management approaches spanning different spatial and temporal scales across both pelagic and coastal fisheries. Ecosystem-based fisheries management (EBFM) is a holistic approach strives to balance trade-offs and diverse objectives by taking into account both the knowledge and uncertainties about biotic, abiotic, and human components. As part of the Coral Triangle Initiative, many Indo-Pacific countries have committed to EBFM as the guiding principle for governing coral reefs and Marine Protected Areas (MPA) are the most commonly used tool. With the current momentum behind EBFM strategies, and the rapid expansion of MPAs to achieve Aichi Target 11 (20% coverage by 2020), it is important to understand how MPAs operate within the broader social-ecological system and to consider the effects of complimentary fisheries management strategies. This session will examine the links between MPAs and fisheries management approaches on fish, fish stocks, and fishing-dependent communities in the Indo-Pacific. It will assess the benefits of ocean protection and management for local communities and economies.

Expected Audience : This interdisciplinary session will cover a wide range of topics including ecology, fishery management, conservation strategies, and political, economic and cultural aspects. It will be of interest to a wide range of stakeholders such as scientists, marine reserves managers, decision makers, associations, fishermen, fisheries managers, and local communities. The proposed session focuses on a very timely topic, in the wake of the recent designation of large-scale marine reserves in several countries in the Indo-Pacific during the last few years, as well as a commitment by some to implement ecosystem approaches to fisheries management. It will also be relevant to French Polynesian stakeholders in particular, in the light of the recent announcement of a large marine managed area in French Polynesia and of the Austral islanders’ proposal to create a large marine reserve in their waters. The interactions amongst this wide range of participants will lead to the identification of concrete innovative approaches for ocean protection and management in the region.