Strengthening and scaling community-based approaches to Pacific coastal fisheries management in support of the New Song



Most fish eaten in the Pacific Islands are caught close to shore, but these fisheries are declining due to poor management and rising populations. Climate change and other external threats increase the risk that coastal fisheries will not provide required economic, cultural and nutritional benefits into the future.

By 2030 an additional 100,000-plus tonnes of fish per year will be needed across the region for good nutrition, so a sustainable supply of coastal fish is needed.

Reversing the decline in fisheries and increasing their contribution to economic development is made difficult by geography and a lack of infrastructure. Effective support and the economic potential of fisheries is constrained by short and fragmented value chains.

Many Pacific Island countries are affected by malnutrition and non-communicable diseases, childhood stunting and anemia, which have major implications for human wellbeing and economic growth and development. Productive and resilient fisheries are critical to improving food and nutrition security across the Pacific.

The project is framed within the Pacific Community– led A new song for coastal fisheries – pathways to change: the Noumea strategy (the New Song). Its pathways for change outline actions that national governments and all stakeholders need to commit to in support of a community-driven approach. This project will assist the Pacific Community to implement the New Song across the Pacific.


The overall aim of this project is to improve the wellbeing of men, women and children in Pacific coastal communities through more productive and resilient fisheries and better food and nutrition security.
The project’s five main objectives are to:

  • Strengthen Pacific institutions to implement the New Song for coastal fisheries.
  • Improve and scale out community-based fisheries management (CBFM) in Kiribati, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu.
  • Improve the opportunities, viability and performance of livelihoods in support of CBFM initiatives.
  • Increase social and gender equity in coastal fisheries governance, utilisation and benefit distribution.
  • Promote food and nutrition security in the Pacific food system through improved management and use of fish.

Expected scientific results

  • Research will provide directions for future investments in CBFM, policy reform and strengthening institutions.
  • Evaluation of the degree to which policy change can accelerate improvements to the economic, environmental and social outcomes from CBFM and fisheries.
  • Improved practice of CBFM research in the region and beyond through better community engagement and design to optimise outcomes.
  • Development of world-leading protocols for understanding the impact and spread of CBFM.
  • Increased understanding of the roles and constraints in livelihood diversification.
  • Scaling tilapia aquaculture in Vanuatu and integration with agriculture in all three countries will provide unique case studies in diversification.
  • Increased understanding and the profile of women’s roles in fisheries, plus new insights to better account for gender and social norms in rural development interventions.
  • Nutritional data collected from local sites will contribute to improving the design of CBFM and livelihood interventions.

Expected Outcomes

  • Enhanced food security, sustainability and human wellbeing achieved through improved governance and management.
  • Increased capacity in research and management in national and sub-national agencies and in communities.
  • Policy outcomes including improved sub-national and national law and policy, and integration of fish into rural development policy through whole-of- government approaches to nutrition outcomes.

Project Code

Project Area


AU $7.4 million

Key Partners

  • WorldFish
  • The Pacific Community
  • Kiribati Ministry of Fisheries and Marineb Resources Development
  • Solomon Islands Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources (MFMR)
  • Vanuatu Fisheries Department