WELLINGTON, New Zealand (RNZI, Oct. 26, 2010) - A major study of the future of Pacific Island fisheries has indicated that fisheries across the region face collapse within the next 25 years without urgent concerted efforts to preserve stocks.

"The study, The Future of Pacific Fisheries, covers oceanic, coastal, aquaculture and freshwater fishery sectors."

It has been presented for endorsement by the Secretariat of the Pacific Community and has already been approved by members of the Pacific Islands Forum Fisheries Agency.

The projected collapse would have severe economic consequences and make food security impossible in a region where the population is projected to increase by 50 per cent by 2035.

The study says various coastal fisheries are already overexploited, and highlights signs that offshore resources are being overfished, such as bigeye tuna stocks.

The study says that national and regional fisheries agencies need to adapt to meet the growing complexity of fisheries management.

[PIR editor's note: Agence France-Presse quotes from report: "the report said avoiding a worst-case scenario would involve managing fish stocks more scientifically and increasing regional cooperation to ensure the oceans were harvested in a sustainable manner."]

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