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SPC Coastal Meeting November 2017

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1 SPC Coastal Meeting November 2017
Fish for Life TUVALU Today I will be sharing some of the key factors of why we keep on collecting from year to year the same data. Monitoring is vital in every coastal Fishery, however data collection should not be all that we should be concentrating on as Fisheries managers. What should we do with all the data that we have collected, where do we go from here? Case study How Monitoring led to Management SPC Coastal Meeting November 2017

2 Our Mandate Marine Resources Act: Ensure conservation & sustainable use of resources of Tuvalu Funafuti Island Strategic Plan: Manage and improve the marine resources of Funafuti TFD Corporate Plan: Bountiful inshore fisheries supporting livelihoods and providing healthy local food TFD Mission: Maximise social and economic returns through sustainable management Annual Work plan Here are some of the fundamental guiding framework or plans that Tuvalu has in place. These guiding plans have been directing Tuvalu Fisheries Department to where it should be focusing on, what datasets needed to be collected in order to cater and fulfill the intents of the National guiding strategic plans. The main idea behind these documents is that we have to quickly move beyond data collection and into management.

3 Funafuti Monitoring & Management
Our Roadmap Monitoring Since 2015, on-going … Consultations Funafuti Monitoring & Management Consultations (FMMC) 2017 Management Plan As we can see here with Tuvalu Fisheries roadmap in terms of coastal fisheries activities - monitoring is only part of a set of 4 key functions. After datasets have been collected, we use them to identify the issues in the fisheries. We then carry out consultations with stakeholders initially on the issues and seek their views on how to address them, and later to formulate a plan for addressing the issues. The trends we observe enable us to work with the community to identify the issues and areas for management. I am very proud to say that this year the Funafuti Reef Fisheries Stewardship plan is the very first coastal fishery management plan which was developed through exactly following the steps shown on Tuvalu Fisheries roadmap. It will be opened and implemented from 14th December. Funafuti Reef Fisheries Stewardship Plan Implementation FRFSP 2018 onwards, yearly adjustments

4 Why Creel? Several types fishery dependent + independent ideal, BUT….
Creel relatively affordable, piggy-back on fishers - UVC expensive, need time, technically difficult Need it Quick – instantaneous size indicator Don’t necessarily need to know stock size to manage (UVC) Creel tells us about the catch (depends on the fishery we manage) (UVC tells about population = fishery independent) We seek to diagnose IF any fisheries problems Need to get on and manage as soon as possible, and be able to gauge changes Why did Tuvalu opt for creel? According to fishers Funafuti’s coastal fisheries have been declining for some years. This led Tuvalu fisheries to undertake creel surveys to provide the data we need to address this. We chose creel as it can be much quicker and more affordable than other surveys such as UVC. Using the creel data we have developed a way to get quick results from many species at once – an instantaneous size indicator so we can DIAGNOSE whether there are any problems (like signs of overfishing) within a concerned fishery. The creel is used as a kind of medical checkup - and if there is none then there is no need to be concerned. If we find problems, we need to be able to move on to management as soon as possible.

5 Fishers’ Survey 2012 Creel Survey since 2015:
Around 1913 fishers in Tuvalu, 62% in Funafuti Reef fisheries 67% of all catches by count; 30% of total weight 85% of people said protected areas beneficial for fisheries 92% of people said fisheries monitoring is needed, mainly for tracking status of resources & measures Abundance and size of catches have decreased; More fish poisoning; Have to go further; “100 grounds, 100 fish” Declines expected to continue in future… Creel Survey since 2015: In 2012 a survey was conducted in Tuvalu for a project and we found out that around 1913 people considered themselves as full time fishers and 62% of them reside on the capital Funafuti. 67% of all catches landed are reef fish and account for 30% of total weight caught in that particular year. The majority of people living in Tuvalu already know that the coastal reef fishery is in jeopardy, as we can all see that from this survey 92% of the people recommended that fisheries monitoring is needed in-order to formulate management measures, the main area that was affected in this particular reporting period was Funafuti Island the capital of Tuvalu. However in 2015’s creel survey data, we found that marine reef fish resources are also declining on the outer islands.

6 Latest Creel Snapshot 1,379 creel samples from all of Tuvalu since August 2015, 37% from Funafuti with increasing sampling now on outer islands using OIDCs Catches: 37,888 fishes measured, 56 Families, 270 species 58% of species >50% of catch below Lm over all islands Here is a summary of the latest creel survey results (November 2017). We have now collected 1,379 creel samples from all of Tuvalu since august % of the data was collected in Funafuti; and with the help of the newly appointed outer island data collectors the data for outer islands has been increasing. From these data we were able to calculate a total of 37,888 fishes measured, 56 families from 270 species. Of the species we were able to test against size at maturity (Lm) we found that 58% failed our ‘instantaneous’ indicator test. That is GREATER than 50% of all the fishes of those species were landed BELOW the length at maturity.

7 Creel Instantaneous Size
Data: Percent of the catch UNDER Lm As we can see here the RED numbers highlight the species on each atoll for which more than 50% of the fishes that are being landed are BELOW the published length at maturity. Green are those for which most fish are larger than Lm and are not considered to be in trouble. The graph is scary as many species from all islands are being caught BEFORE they can breed even once.

8 Creel gives us instant snapshot
Here are some of the main species of reef fish normally caught by fishermen in Tuvalu. These graphs are just 4 examples of species for which most fish are being landed BELOW the length at maturity.

9 Houston: We Have a Problem…
Atoll Reef Fisheries overfished and being damaged by other things (CTX, pollution) MPA not working properly Fishers unhappy, less income, more costs & risk Funafuti, but starting on outer islands We need a Management Plan Hence declaring that Tuvalu now has a problem, our Atoll reef fisheries have been overfished and are being damaged by other things such as a high level of ciguatoxin issues and also major pollution impacts from human induced activities (such as sewage, oil spills), our MPA’s and LMMA’s are not functioning as they should be, and fishers are very angry and frustrated with the low availability of reef fish which in most cases has affected their fishing operations. It was initially Funafuti that was mainly affected by these coastal fisheries issues but now we have extended our sampling, we can see there are also impacts on the outer islands. Clearly these results indicate that we need to move and do something about it.

10 Funafuti Reef Fisheries Stewardship Plan
Diagnosis complete ! Basic aim: reverse the damage & increase the supply of fished resources Restore breeding – every fish breeds at least once Ecosystems maintained / improved Stakeholders – involved & invested Adaptive – to changing needs and lessons Use volunteers before penalties Simple as possible From the diagnosis provided by the creel survey, and after presenting the results to the community, we went on to develop a management plan. The attendees, the Funafuti people, were able to identify key areas and actions that could be taken in-order to reverse the effects of loss biomass and breeding. In developing a Plan we observed these 6 main guidelines. The Funafuti reef Fishery Stewardship plan is the very first management plan in Tuvalu that was produced by data collection and monitoring.

11 4 Strategies 1. Strengthen FCA as no-take (No fishing) as breeding ground and supply to rest of atoll 2. Limit sizes fished so every fish can breed at least once 3. More focus on pelagic fish 4. Ensure everyone is involved and invested The key focus areas that the Funafuti Reef Fisheries Stewardship plan are illustrated on that particular map. Strengthening Funafuti Conservation Area highlighted in area 1 Established for many years, but not enforced We will use caretakers, patrols, pilot drones and use methods to prevent poaching so breeding stock can recover Area 2 is where fish caught should be limited in sizes, to ensure every fish can breed at least once Voluntary with fishermen’s association Much awareness Creel will help with outcomes Area 3 is where we will try to divert some of the fishing pressure to the pelagic fishes – will work more with FADs and fishing boats, aiming to reduce costs of fishing The fourth key strategy identified is to get everyone involved and invested in this management plan as these are the key resources that they depend on,also including community meetings to steer measures that are working or not working. Opening 14th December Implementation starts immediately

12 Fakafetai lasi if you have time in the lobby you can find posters and banners developed by team Tuvalu for the upcoming launching of the Funafuti Reef Fishery Stewardship plan. Fakafetai lasi

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