Dedicated to protecting the world’s five oceans.

Developing Marine Managed Areas in Melanesia

Oceans 5 is supporting the Wildlife Conservation Society to ensure biodiversity and fisheries-associated livelihoods are secured through the development of new marine managed areas in Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands. The project builds on the commitments by both governments under the Coral Triangle Initiative on Coral Reefs, Fisheries and Food Security to protect marine biodiversity and sustain fisheries.

High levels of population growth and increasing fishing pressure in Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands are creating concern that local populations will be unable to meet their food security needs from fisheries by 2030. Recent evidence from a decade long tuna tagging program from the region indicates that industrial purse-seine fisheries are potentially impacting artisanal and subsistence fisheries. Integrated area-based management that considers how best to simultaneously achieve the objectives of local communities, government and industry is being undertaken to plan for future needs of all stakeholders.

The Wildlife Conservation Society is working with provincial government, local communities and industry in areas of high biodiversity in the Bismarck-Solomon Seas Ecoregion to achieve consensus on and formal recognition of tiered zoning schemes within large-scale marine managed areas. In parallel, sustainable financing options are being explored to incentivize compliance by industry and local resource users. By 2020, the work supported by Oceans 5 will enable endorsement for integrated management covering up to 25,000 square kilometers in Papua New Guinea and 5,000 square kilometers in Solomon Islands.

Photo by Stacy Jupiter

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