Inshore fisheries support livelihoods, food security, nutrition and human health on all the islands of Tuvalu and are significant contributors to building the resilience in all our communities. The coastal fisheries section is responsible for ensuring the sustainability of coastal resources of finfishes, shellfishes and other seafoods now and in the future. Because Tuvalu’s legislation essentially places control of inshore fisheries in the hands of local government, the coastal fisheries division needs to work closely with the Kaupule to achieve its goals.
The changes in the work plan were supported by the results of the first report on creel surveys completed in October 2016 in which strong evidence was found at least some of the coastal species are over fished in Funafuti, Nui and Nukufetau. As a result of these findings, over fishing that was suspected in the past now has supporting evidence and management strategies are now under development.
The Coastal section will focus its 2018 work programme on the following activities:
- To complete consultations and the development of the Funafuti Reef Stewardship Plan (FRFSP);
- Continue to run creel surveys on all islands in 2018 and permanently thereafter. On Funafuti this will continue to involve a team of 4 officers meeting fishers as they land their catch twice per week to collect data on count and sizes;
- To re-organised some of the tasks under the new heading of fisheries research on Ciguatera GTX, ciguatera cases, water quality, fish exports, FAD effectiveness in the lagoon, Beche-de-mer quick assessment, size at first reproduction and Research Mini-metros- day trips to different sites around the lagoon where all the data needed are collected at once;
- Regular metronome trips carried out by TFD on a regular schedule basis on all the outer islands to undertake work such as, consultations, training and public awareness, support to OIDC’s, collecting additional data on creel, ciguatera work, boat and canoe assets, LMMA, and other task as may be requested by the Kaupule. It is intended that metro trips will become a permanent feature of TFD works on OI’s, allowing the department to work for at least 10 days on each island;
- and also to provide support to outer islands wishing to develop aquaculture programs;
- Work on developing fisheries related management plans by laws and other policies as needed for the good management of the country resources;
- Regular programmes will be run to ensure the public and government are informed of the status of their fisheries and are informed and consulted about mechanisms needed to ensure the resources;
- The coastal staff will continuously update their knowledge and skills through regional training and attachments, in-country training programs when available and through in-service training provided by the Human Resources Division;
- On-going administration of the coastal section will include maintenance of facilities and the production of regular reports on the work being done.
PROP and TFSP: Funds will be applied from these two projects to support implementation of the FRFSP, development of other plans and regulations, on-going monitoring and research needed to support recovery and management of the resources.
NAPA II and R2R: Under its funding through GEF and UNDP , the coastal section will implement tasks that will include managed area demarcation and consultations for the future development of management plans on the outer islands.
Some of the Coastal Fisheries Division’s activities will be ongoing from past years. However, in 2018 a range of new activities is planned.