PEIN Marine Digest - February 2010

Pacific Environment Information Network [PEIN] Marine Digest

February 2010

 The PEIN Marine Digest is a monthly digest of pacific marine news and developments gathered from global news sources and a regional network of Pacific environment officers. 

The PEIN project is coordinated by the SPREP Information Resource Centre with funding assistance from the European Union.


Tuvalu sea level rising by 5mm a year, according to scientific analysis
PacNews - 28 February 2010
Tide gauges monitoring sea level rise in Tuvalu is beginning to show an average peak of 5 millimetre rise in sea level per year. This peak has been consistent now for a number of years, which proves that the sea level is rising every year. "It does not take into account natural phenomenon like floods, storm surges and cyclones which could add to the current average that we have. If that is taken into account, then it becomes worrisome, said Tauala Katea, the scientific officer with the Tuvalu Meteorological Office. "It appears to be averaging 5mm per year. Our data dates back 16 years ago. Just recently we have been recording a consistent 5 millimetre. 'If we use that per year, it means that since 1993, sea level rise has gone up by 8 centimetres, which is a huge increase. "That has also brought about the king tides we've experienced since 2000. Most of our low lying areas have flooded causing saltwater intrusion affecting agriculture...more

TOXIC ALGAE NEW THREAT TO SAMOA MARINE LIFE: Called threat to fish, coral, lifestyles
Pacific Islands Report - 24 February 2010
In Samoa, a new menace to tourism has emerged from the sea. It is not as swift as a tsunami but it can be just as destructive. It is algae. When it flourishes it can slowly but surely wipe out the coral and other attractive qualities of a tropical lagoon that attract tourists. Samoa Hotel Association (SHA) has identified the threat. "Well it's happening," said Chief Executive Officer of SHA, Nynette Sass, of algae growth in the sea...more

TAHITI BUILDING ARTIFICIAL REEFS NEAR PAPEETE: Project aimed at increasing fish populations
Pacific Islands Report - 21 February 2010
Work is underway opposite the Tahiti-Faa'a Airport on a nearly 15 million French Pacific francs (US$177,000/126,000 euros) experimental development of artificial coral reefs project. "The objective is to test the possibility of increasing with human-made structures the production of our lagoons in some lagoon fish," French Polynesia Maritime Resources Minister Temauri Foster said...more

Vanuatu Environment Dep't director defends Blacksands Tuna Plant EIA process
RNZI - 18 February 2010
The director of Vanuatu's Environment Department, Albert Williams, has defended the robustness of the Environment Impact Assessment of the Blacksands Tuna Processing Plant in Port Vila. Although the EIA is yet to be completed, the plant is close to becoming operational and Transparency Vanuatu is concerned that the report's recommendations may not be properly considered. A government-recruited team is conducting the EIA assessment as well as public consultations with 20-thousand US dollars in funding from China. While China and the Vanuatu government the two main parties behind the Plant project, Transparency suggests there is a conflict of interest...more

Vanuatu residents doubt worth of environment report on tuna cannery
RNZI - 18 February 2010
The Residents Against Processing Tuna, or RAPT, group in Vanuatu's capital Port Vila says there are questions over the robustness of the Environment Impact Assessment of the Blacksands Tuna Processing Plant. Although the EIA is yet to be completed, the plant is nearly operational and civil society groups claim there is a conflict of interest over the role in this assessment of the main two parties behind the project, the Vanuatu Government and China. While the Supreme Court had ordered that an independent party carry out the EIA, government-recruited consultants are conducting the assessment with funding from China. The residents' group's Michael Taurakoto says they have little confidence that environmental concerns will be addressed...more

"Ridges-to-reefs" network of protected areas to be established in Solomon Islands
MEAM - 15 February 2010
In November 2009, local chiefs representing the 21,000 residents of the island of Choiseul in the Solomon Islands agreed to establish a network of terrestrial and marine protected areas extending from the island's mountain ridges to its coral reefs. The chiefs also agreed to designate at least one terrestrial protected area and one marine protected area in each of the island's 12 administrative wards. The agreements were based on recommendations made by The Nature Conservancy. Choiseul is part of the Coral Triangle and is considered the most biodiverse island in the Solomon archipelago. For more information on the agreements, go to

Dolphin issue overshadows proposed tuna factory in Solomon Islands
PacNews - 11 February 2010
Solomon Islands must stop the export of dolphins if it wants to see the success of the proposed tuna factory on Guadalcanal, an environmental group has warned. Frabelle Fishing from the Philippines has sent one of its officials to Honiara to meet with local authorities about their proposal. It plans to build a tuna processing factory in the Tenaru area, east of Honiara. But United States-based Earth Island Institute maintains its policy on dolphin safe is still in place for Solomon Islands. Director Mark Berman said his organisation will not certify Frabelle Fishing Company's products unless Solomon Islands refrain from dolphin export. Solomon Islands allows for a quota of 100 live dolphins a year. Last year only 50 dolphins were exported by local dealer, Chris Porter...more

Will Micronesia Be the First Nationwide Park?
Time - 10 February 2010
Imagine a protected park half the size of the continental U.S., covering a sea-life-loaded swath of the Pacific Ocean and the 607 tropical islands therein. The park's inhabitants live mostly in traditional villages and still remember how to do things much of the world has forgotten, such as make clothes from scratch and live off the land. This park would, in fact, encompass an entire country - the Federated States of Micronesia (F.S.M.) - and if the archipelago nation pulls it off, it will be the first of its kind in the world. "It's a visionary, radical concept," says Howard Rice, an instructor at the College of Micronesia who came up with the idea. "There's never been a world park. It doesn't exist in the dictionary. It doesn't exist anywhere." If successful, Micronesia will be the first nation to become a wholly protected area, adhering to development and conservation standards designed to safeguard the country's unique culture and rich marine biodiversity and kick-start its placid economy. According to Rice, who once operated an eco-tourism company in the Caribbean, developing high-end eco-tourism is the answer to F.S.M.'s perennial job shortage. Michigan State University (MSU) has already agreed to provide technical expertise for the park, and the National Geographic Society has also issued the project its stamp of approval. This spring, Pohnpei, one of F.S.M.'s four states, will host an economic summit to address the park's planning... more

Pacific Islands Report - 8 February 2010
In Vanuatu, the captain of a fishing vessel belonging to the Tuna Fishing plant at Paray bay has been warned while its crew are facing disciplinary measures after accidentally discharging waste into the harbour last Friday morning. Daily Post was told of "bits of fish and blood changing the color of the water in port." A disappointed Tuna Productions Manager Brian Fong acknowledged the incident and assured members of the public that it will not happen again in future...more

Migratory cultural icons
Fiji Times - 4 February 2010
FIJI has been identified as an important foraging ground for turtles in the South Pacific. The revelation was made at a workshop on satellite tagging of turtles in Nadi yesterday. Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Program marine species officer Lui Bell said the finding was based on the results of a flipper and satellite tagging. Government representatives from Kiribati, Tuvalu, Tonga, Vanuatu and Fiji gathered to discuss ways to build national capacities to enable the satellite tagging of turtles and learn more about their behaviours. ..Monitoring has revealed dramatic declines in marine turtle populations over the last 20 years across much of South East Asia and the Pacific. Tagging has allowed scientists to understand better the feeding, nesting and migratory behaviours of these cultural icons...more

Pacific Islands Report - 3 February 2010
U.S. Rep. Gregorio Kilili C. Sablan, [Democrat-Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, (D-MP)] has sent a formal request for a legislative hearing on two bills dealing with the Marianas Trench Marine National Monument in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) to the chair of the Subcommittee on Insular Affairs, Oceans, and Wildlife, Madeleine Z. Bordallo. Sablan introduced one of the bills, H.R. 3511, on July 31, 2009. It authorizes the Secretary of the Interior to build a multipurpose visitor center in the Northern Mariana Islands (NMI) for interpretation and public education and enjoyment of the Monument. Two weeks ago, Bordallo introduced another bill, H.R. 4493, which provides for monument visitor and research services on Guam. Bordallo's bill also gives the Government of Guam a role in the management of the Monument...more

Pacific Islands Report - 3 February 2010
Niue Opposition Member of Parliament Terry Coe says it's time a decision was made on how to get rid of asbestos that remains stacked up on the island. Most of the houses on Niue were built with asbestos roofing and damaged roofing from the 2004 cyclone Heta is still yet to be disposed of. Terry Coe says there's a stock pile of asbestos roofing at the airport, some in containers and some covered in plastic, as well as bundles of roofing wrapped in plastic around the villages. He says there's been no movement as to what to do with the roofing and it seems the government is afraid to make a decision on how to get rid of it...more

NOAA's Sea Grant Awards Eight 'Climate Engagement' Mini-Grants
NOAA - 3 February 2010
Coastal residents, businesses and decision-makers around the country will consider how their communities can adapt to climate change through eight newly awarded NOAA National Sea Grant College Program grants. Each of these $25,000 climate engagement mini-grants will support projects focused on preparing for changing climate conditions. The projects will be led by principal investigators from local Sea Grant programs and NOAA Regional Collaboration Teams in eight regions including Alaska, the Pacific Islands and sections of the mainland United States...Pacific Islands Region - To prepare a Pacific Climate Change Impacts Resources Guide. Funding supports production of two stand-alone chapters of the guide planned for educators. The guide is for use in a larger effort of climate outreach and education activities. Principal investigators: Darren Okimoto, University of Hawaii Sea Grant; Eileen Shea and Lynn Nakagawa, NOAA Integrated Data and Environmental Applications Center/Pacific; and James Weyman, NOAA National Weather Service Climate Information System...more

Marine Important Bird Area Coordinator at Birdlife International (Pacific)
Birdlife International Pacific - 2 February 2010
Dr Susan (Sue) Waugh has been appointed to the new position of Marine Important Bird Area Coordinator in the Pacific Partnership Secretariat office in Suva and will commence duties on 1 February 2010. Funded by the Aage V. Jensen Charity Foundation of Denmark, the Marine IBA Coordinator will be responsible for managing the Jensen Foundation-funded project Conserving marine biodiversity through a world-wide network of marine protected areas with the primary purpose of developing and coordinating the implementation of a Marine Important Bird Area Programme for the Pacific region and providing technical and strategic support to other regional seabird conservation programmes.

New reports on Ecosystem-Based Management
Wildlife Conservation Society - February 2010

Adams VM, Mills M, Jupiter SD, Pressey RL (2010) Marine opportunity costs: a method for calculating opportunity costs to multiple stakeholder groups. Wildlife Conservation Society-Fiji Technical Report no. 01/10, Suva, Fiji, 34 pp. - 2.36mb

Jupiter SD, Tui T, Shah S, Cakacaka A, Moy W, Naisilisili W, Dulunaqio S, Patrick A, Qauqau I, Yakub N, Caginitoba A (2010) Integrating EBM science to assess marine protected area effectiveness: clues from coral proxies of land disturbance, ecological assessments and socioeconomic surveys. Wildlife Conservation Society-Fiji Technical Report no. 02/10. Suva, Fiji, 24 pp. - 2.72mb

Jupiter SD, Egli DP, Jenkins AP, Yakub N, Hartley F, Cakacaka A, Tui T, Moy W, Naisilisili W, Dulunaqio S, Qauqau I, Prasad S (2010) Effectiveness of marine protected area networks in traditional fishing grounds of Vanua Levu, Fiji, for sustainable management of inshore fisheries. Wildlife Conservation Society-Fiji and Wetlands International-Oceania Technical Report no. 03/10. Suva, Fiji, 59 pp. - 9.14mb

Jupiter SD, Clarke P, Prasad SR, Egli DP, Tui T, Caginitoba A, Qauqau I (2010) Non-compliance with management rules and its implications for traditional fisheries in Fiji. Wildlife Conservation Society-Fiji Technical Report no. 04/10. Suva, Fiji, 29 pp. - 3.46MB

Egli DP, Moy W, Naisilisili W (2010) Fish movement in MPAs on coral reefs in Kubulau, Fiji. Wildlife Conservation Society-Fiji. Technical Report no. 05/10. Suva, Fiji, 16 pp. - 3.44MB

Cakacaka A, Jupiter SD, Egli DP, Moy W (2010) Status of fin fisheries in a Fijian traditional fishing ground, Kubulau District, Vanua Levu. Wildlife Conservation Society - Fiji, Technical Report no. 06/10, Suva, Fiji, 21 pp. - 3.52mb

Egli DP, Tui T, Jupiter SD, Caginitoba A, (2010) Perception surveys of coastal resource use and changes following establishment of a marine protected area network in Kubulau, Fiji. Wildlife Conservation Society - Fiji Technical Report no. 07/10. Suva, Fiji, 16 pp. - 2.54mb

Jenkins AP, Mailautoka K (2009) Seasonal patterns in ichthyofaunal communities of fresh and estuarine wetlands in Vanua Levu, Fiji. A technical report for the Fiji Ecosystem Based Management Project. Wetlands International-Oceania, Suva, Fiji, 39 pp. - 4.79mb

Jenkins AP (2009) Freshwater fish survey methods for streams & rivers on tropical oceanic islands: A brief guide based on the freshwater survey work conducted as part of the Fiji Ecosystem Based Management Project. Wetlands International-Oceania, Suva, Fiji, 16 pp. - 12.59mb

WCS (2010) WCS-Fiji marine biological monitoring handbook. Version 3.0. Wildlife Conservation Society-Fiji, Suva, Fiji, 34 pp. - 1mb

Cook Islands seabed minerals bill still not in force
PacNews - 2 February 2010
The landmark law covering the management of Cook Islands seabed minerals has yet to come into force because Crown Law claims it is 'too overworked' to provide a document that, once signed, will complete its passage into law. The seabed minerals bill, passed in parliament last November, still has to receive approval of the Queen's Representative Sir Frederick Goodwin by 'order in executive council' to become law. Until recently it was understood the bill had been enacted. Cook Islands Prime minister Jim Marurai revealed that the executive council (cabinet and the QR) have been ready to pass the bill into law but the simple document needed to complete this process has yet to be provided by Crown Law...more

NOAA to give lab $5 million to continue project [FSM / Guam / Palau]
Star Bulletin - 1 February 2010
A $1 million-a-year grant has been awarded to the University of Hawaii Kewalo Marine Laboratory for five years by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to work with Pacific islanders on land-sea interactions and damage to coral reefs, recreational and fishery resources. Robert Richmond, a world-renowned coral reef conservationist and principal investigator for the project, said the funding continues an earlier grant dealing with watershed issues at the community level throughout islands in Micronesia. "It will have a huge impact," he said. The researchers will work on Pohnpei and Yap in the Federated States of Micronesia and Guam and Palau...more


Articles of note - a selection of recent academic literature

Compiled by Peter Murgatroyd . Articles marked with an * are available from the This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or via OARE [Online Access to Research in the Environment].

February 2010

The trade in live Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins from Solomon Islands- A CITES decision implementation case study / E.C.M. Parsons , N.A.Rose , T.M.Telecky. Marine Policy 34 (2010) 384-388*

Reducing the climate vulnerability of coastal communities in Samoa / Michele Daly, Namouta Poutasi, Filomena Nelson, Jude Kohlhase. Journal of International Development Volume 22 Issue 2 (March 2010) (pp 265-281), DOI: 10.1002/jid.1678*

A Global Analysis of the Effectiveness of Marine Protected Areas in Preventing Coral Loss / Selig ER, Bruno JF (2010) . PLoS ONE 5(2): e9278. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0009278*

Reef finfishing pressure risk model for Pacific Island countries and territories / Kronen, M.; Magron, F.; McArdle, B.; Vunisea, A.. Fisheries Research, Jan2010, Vol. 101 Issue 1/2, p1-10, 10p; DOI: 10.1016/j.fishres.2009.08.011*

Mitigating sea turtle by-catch in coastal passive net fisheries / Gilman, Eric; Gearhart, Jeff; Price, Blake; Eckert, Scott; Milliken, Henry; Wang, John; Swimmer, Yonat; Shiode, Daisuke; Abe, Osamu; Hoyt Peckham, S.; Chaloupka, Milani; Hall, Martin; Mangel, Jeff; Alfaro-Shigueto, Joanna; Dalzell, Paul; Ishizaki, Asuka. Fish & Fisheries, Mar2010, Vol. 11 Issue 1, p57-88, 32p; DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-2979.2009.00342.x*

Constraints on the diversity and distribution of coral-reef assemblages in the volcanic Northern Mariana Islands / Houk, P.; Starmer, J.. Coral Reefs, Mar2010, Vol. 29 Issue 1, p59-70, 12p; DOI: 10.1007/s00338-009-0545-1*


* see also Latest news from the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme [SPREP]

** more PEIN Resources [   ]: 

Pacific Environment Databases and Recommended Internet Resources Directory

Pacific Environment Information Network [PEIN] Country Profiles Directory

Pacific Environment Information Network [PEIN] Virtual Environment Libraries:
American Samoa , Cook Islands , Federated States of Micronesia , Fiji , French Polynesia , Guam , Kiribati , Marshall Islands , Nauru , New Caledonia , Niue , Northern Mariana Islands
, Palau , Papua New Guinea , Samoa , Solomon Islands , Tokelau , Tonga , Tuvalu , Vanuatu , Wallis and Futuna

Pacific Environment Information Network [PEIN] Regional Frameworks and Strategies Directory

Pacific Environment Information Network [PEIN] Directory of Pacific Environment Videos on YouTube 

Pacific Environment Information Network [PEIN] Virtual Library of Lessons Learned and Best Practices in Environment Management



Compiled by Peter Murgatroyd.