Republished from Radio New Zealand, 17 June 2019

Coastal fisheries are vitally important in the Pacific with most people dependent on them for food and income, but they’re under threat.

While populations have been growing fish stocks have dramatically declined in all the valuable commercial coastal fisheries.

An advisor with the Locally Managed Marine Area Network, Hugh Govan, says this is of great concern given that it is healthy, locally available food and without it there will be negative impacts on health and incomes and an increased dependency on imported food.

This week the council of the Forum Fisheries Agency is to meet in the Federated States of Micronesia and Mr Govan says the Coastal Fisheries Working Group, of which he is part, is appealing to them to focus on the threatened coastal fishery.

He told Don Wiseman they want help fostering transparency and greater investment in coastal fisheries management.