COLLABORATION

A collaboration to enhance fisheries management in the Pacific region

SOURCE: VALERY HACHE/AFP
Fish is an indispensable source of protein for many nations, making fisheries management a crucial area for governments and policymakers to look into.

Fish is an indispensable source of protein for many nations, including non-island countries. 

But factors that negatively affect the livelihoods of fishers can have painful repercussions for nations’ economies. Fish stock depletion resulting from unsustainable fishing practices as well as the effects of climate change increases the vulnerability of fishers’, affecting their livelihoods as well as a nation’s food security.

However, a new research collaboration between the Australian National Centre for Ocean Resources and Security (ANCORS), based at the University of Wollongong (UOW) and WorldFish recently reaffirmed their research partnership after signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU). 

WorldFish is an international, nonprofit research organisation.

According to UOW, the new MOU will focus on delivering a number of vital projects, including enhancing fish-based livelihoods in the Solomon Islands and Timor Leste; improving agriculture-based nutrition in the Pacific; and continuing to strengthen coastal fisheries management throughout the region.

ANCORS director Professor Stuart Kaye said ANCORS was thrilled to be cementing its partnership with WorldFish and continuing to make a difference in the Pacific region.

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Professor Kaye said: “UOW and WorldFish have been working together for the past eight years and have been making tangible, real-world impacts in a region that is the canary in the coalmine for issues such as climate change and food security.

“We are incredibly proud of the research and community engagement that is already underway and look forward to strengthening this partnership with WorldFish to help build a more secure and resilient Pacific region for the future.”

The MOU will provide a new framework to an existing partnership and will enable greater research impact on island nation communities of the Pacific region.

WorldFish Director General Dr Gareth Johnstone said: “Our reaffirmed partnership with ANCORS symbolises our shared ambition for delivering innovative, demand-driven research with real impact on the lives of people and communities of the Pacific so that they are better prepared for the future under a changing climate.”

He added that together, they aim to help generate critical data and scientific evidence to guide current and future policies, practices and investments in an inclusive and sustainable blue economy to secure nutrition and public health, community resilience and adaptation to climate change, and shared prosperity through fish and aquatic foods.

Strengthening fisheries management

fisheries management
Among the focus of the ongoing research collaboration includes food and nutrition security through fish, sustainable management fisheries and ocean governance. Source: Mohamed Abed/AFP

ANCORS and WorldFish’s partnership dates back eight years; their work aims to effect positive change in the Pacific region through two multi-year research projects worth close to AUD$10 million of funding. 

The focus of the ongoing research collaboration is on food and nutrition security through fish, sustainable management fisheries, ocean governance, and building capacities and resilience in coastal communities affected by climate change.

Their research and community engagement focused on countries such as the Solomon Islands, Vanuatu and Kiribati. 

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This includes a four year-long project funded by the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Strengthening and scaling community-based approaches to Pacific coastal fisheries management in support of the New Song.

The project, led by Professor Andrew from ANCORS, aims to influence the trajectory of coastal fisheries at national and regional levels while working with more than 100 communities to shift the way they view and use fish.

According to its website, ANCORS is a multidisciplinary university-based centre dedicated to delivering specialised research, advisory services, education and training in ocean law and policy, maritime security, and marine resources management.