Catch of the Week
Fisheries, Aquaculture in the Coral Triangle are Vitally Important: Report

Fisheries, Aquaculture in the Coral Triangle are Vitally Important: Report

Catch of the Week

The coastal fisheries resources in the Coral Triangle provide food, sustain income, and fuel trade and enterprise for more than 373 million people living in the six countries of Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines, Timor-Leste, Papua New Guinea, and the Solomon Islands—collectively known as the CT6.

Data Chart

This is according to the recently completed report on The Economics of Fisheries and Aquaculture in the Coral Triangle (EFACT) commissioned by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) as part of the Regional Technical Assistance for Regional Cooperation in Knowledge Management, Policy and Institutional Support to the Coral Triangle Initiative.

The study estimates that in 2010, the CT6 contributed 11.3% (19.1 million tons) to global capture fisheries and aquaculture production. The 69% of production comprised by food fish represents 10% of the global food supply. Nearly half of all the tuna caught in the Western and Central Pacific, valued at $1.5 billion, came from the national waters of Indonesia, Philippines, Papua New Guinea, and the Solomon Islands. Contribution to Gross Domestic Product by fisheries and aquaculture production in the CT6 ranges from 1.2% to 6.8%.

“There is no denying the value of the coastal and marine resources to the economies of the Coral Triangle countries,” says ADB senior natural resources economist Marilou Drilon.

This, she adds, provides tremendous impetus for the CT6 to work together and address common resource management issues and ensure that these natural resources continue to provide for the needs not just of the present but of future generations as well. One way to achieve this, according to the EFACT recommendations, is to enhance the Coral Triangle Initiative (CTI) position as a global trader by improving how the players are organized, how common policies are applied, how the CTI brand is developed, and how products are differentiated and certified.

Marilou Drilon, Senior Natural Resource Economist and head of the coordination unit for the project

Marilou Drilon, senior natural resource economist and head of the coordination unit for the CT-Pacific project

“ADB is assisting the CT6 in managing their coastal and marine resources so that these resources are able to sustain the needs of the people living in this ecoregion, most especially those living below the poverty line,” Drilon adds. “Ensuring food security is our primary objective.”

In addition to the CT6, Vanuatu and Fiji also stand to benefit from technical assistance that ADB has been delivering since the approval of its first CTI project in 2010. ADB—with significant cofinancing from the Global Environment Facility, Climate Investment Fund, Japan Fund for Poverty Reduction, and AusAID—is investing over $190 million to help build capacities of both government and nongovernment actors at national and local levels to build resilience of coastal and marine ecosystems, improve availability of and access to information for decision making, and address challenges they face in managing these resources, including those posed by climate change.

Avatar of James Ong Written by James Ong

  1. With all these efforts being done by ADB, does this include intervention or prevention against destruction from other countries that invades and ransacks CT6 resources?

    • ADB’s intervention in the CTI is through regional cooperation to strengthen capacities of participating countries to manage the planet’s richest center of marine life and coral reef diversity.

      In partnership with the Asian Environmental Compliance and Enforcement Network, United Nations Environment Programme, and the US Environmental Protection Agency among others, ADB is working to improve implementation of environmental law by developing plans to institutionalize the capacity of judges to effectively apply environmental law and regulations. The establishment of the Asia Pacific Judges’ Network on the Environment is underway.

      Even where appropriate policy, legal, and regulatory frameworks are in place, effective implementation, enforcement, and compliance continue to pose challenges. That is why it is important that we keep engaged. The Environmental Courts and Tribunals are seen as one way to concentrate expertise and ensure that judges deciding on environmental and natural resource cases fairly and transparently balance the conflicts between protecting the environment, promoting development, and managing relations with neighboring countries that harvest CT6 resources. Other forms of assistance are through (1) raising awareness at the local, national and international levels through information sharing and communication on emerging issues of CT6 resources to prevent their destruction; and (2) seeking alternative practices to reverse overfishing, and to curb the accelerated rate of live reef food trade and other threats to the Coral Triangle.

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