Aug 25, 2016
Funafuti, Tuvalu: Coastal fishery stocks have sustained island communities for generations in Tuvalu but is under increasing pressure due to the impacts of climate change and unsustainable fishing practices.
An assessment conducted by the Pacific Community (SPC) and the Tuvalu Department of Fishery in 2013, found that important fish species and sea cucumbers in Funafuti waters had decreased. About 83% of respondents claimed they felt their catches had decreased compared to five years ago and 67% of respondents claimed sizes of fish had decrease compared to five years ago.
Semese Alefaio, a fisherman of over 30 years said, “There’s been a distinctive reduction in the availability of fish, turtles and clams over the years. Nowadays, we have to go further out to sea and spend more time to fetch a decent catch.”
In recognising the pressures this trend places on the livelihoods of local communities, the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) Pacific Office in Fiji assisted the Government of Tuvalu to successfully access US$3.7 million from the Global Environment Facility to implement a national Ridge to Reef Project.