|Type||Journal Article - Frontiers in Marine Science|
|Title||An Improved Reconstruction of Total Marine Fisheries Catches for the New Hebrides and the Republic of Vanuatu, 1950—2014|
For many small island nations, fisheries provide residents with both food security and economic stability. However, in order to create effective and sustainable fisheries policies and management that will ensure a growing population can prosper, policy makers need to know what is being fished and how much is fished. Vanuatu, the smallest country in Melanesia, has a declared and claimed Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) of over 820,000 km2 and fisheries resources play a large part in the food security and economic stability of this country. This reconstruction of the total marine fisheries catch of Vanuatu for 1950–2014 faced major data gaps. It showed that the reconstructed total catches of nearly 1.4 million tonnes (metric tons) 40% higher than the 977,997 tonnes reported by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) on behalf of Vanuatu for the same period. However, if large-scale industrial catches are excluded, the reconstructed small-scale fisheries catches (~270,000 tonnes) were over 200% higher than the 114,862 tonnes of reported catch that were assumed to represent the small-scale sector in FAO data. Subsistence catches made up almost 93% of small-scale catches, followed by artisanal and recreational catches with ~7 and <1%, respectively. By continuously improving the fisheries data of Vanuatu for both the past and the present, policy makers, stakeholders, and fishers can make better decisions that will maintain the benefits of marine fishery resources.