Catching, trading and eating fish is central to the way of life in the Pacific islands. Most fish eaten by Pacific communities are caught close to shore, but these inshore fisheries face many threats, including overfishing. By 2030, an additional 100,000+ tonnes of fish per year will be needed across the region for good nutrition. Climate change and other external threats increase the risk that coastal fisheries will struggle to provide needed economic, cultural and nutritional benefits into the future.
Securing the sustainable supply of coastal fish is becoming recognised as a critical political priority by national governments and their regional organisations, and many communities recognise the need for change.
CBFM is based on the recognition that coastal communities should have an integral role to play in the sustainable management of coastal fisheries because coastal communities are the ones with the intimate knowledge of the marine resources, on which they rely for food and livelihood every day. Meaningful CBFM requires collaboration from the whole community – men, women, elders, youth, village council, and church – to collectively identify and address challenges to achieving sustainable fisheries. CBFM empowers communities; it strengthens their sense of ownership and management of their fisheries resources. CBFM facilitates fisheries management and the collective achievement of broader development outcomes through building partnerships and strengthening mutual communication pathways among communities, local, provincial and national government agencies.