Aquaculture investment helps adapt to climate change

22/09/2013

A report titled “<i>Climate Change and Development Strategies for Coastal Communities of the Pacific Coral Triangle Countries,” </i>released in Port Vila, Vanuatu last week, says increases in aquaculture investments and designation of Marine Protected Areas are key strategies that could be adopted to help Pacific coral triangle countries adapt to climate change.<!--more-->

The International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) have jointly published the report. Marilou Drilon, Senior Natural Resources Economist from ADB’s Pacific Department said, “The demand for fish and seafood in the Pacific region is expected to substantially increase for the period up to 2050. Solutions need to be tailored to the conditions of each Pacific country. Aquaculture and marine protected areas can be important parts of their adaptation strategies.”

The IFPRI/ADB report delivers policy advice for strengthening institutional capacity in the preparation of economic analysis of climate change and development strategy plans at the national level.

The report developed a fisheries sector supply and demand model covering six key fisheries: tuna, other oceanic finfish, coastal finfish, coastal invertebrates, freshwater finfish, and freshwater invertebrates. It found that growth of domestic fish production is likely to be relatively slow in the period up to 2050 due to climate change and other constraints.

The study also found many of the Pacific coral triangle countries could become net importers of fish and that per capita consumption of domestically produced fish could decline without significant adaptation measures.

The Coral Triangle, known as the “Amazon of the Sea,” is spread across 14.7 million square kilometers of ocean, encompassing six countries in Southeast Asia and the Pacific, including Indonesia and the Philippines.

It has 75% of all known coral species on earth, and its resources are critical for the economic and food security of an estimated 120 million people. Research for the report was conducted in the Pacific coral triangle countries of Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Timor-Leste, and Vanuatu.

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