Find Fisheries expertise in Fiji
- Overview of the industry
- Fishery bodies
Fisheries were estimated to contribute $56.2 million to the economy in 2007, employing about 6900 in the primary sector and 1900 in the secondary sector. Fiji also has an extensive water area of 1,290,000 km2, and, as islands, a coastline of 5010 km and a shelf area of approximately 15,000 km2. As such, the fisheries are an important part of the Fijian economy as the third largest resource sector.
The Fisheries Division recognises four primary sub-sectors: The industrial fishery, the artisanal fishery, aquaculture and the inland sub-sector.
The industrial fishery operates on a large-scale and is primarily export oriented. About 80% of the marine catch profile is tuna and the industry includes the Pacific Fishing Company (PAFCO) tuna cannery at Levuka, and tuna capture and supply by both local and overseas vessels. The deep-water snapper and domestic tuna longline fisheries have been included in this category since 1990.
Offshore fishing in Fiji is oriented towards export markets, especially Japan and the USA. About 51% of exports of sashimi grade tuna go to Japan and the USA, while the remaining 49% go to China, Australia, New Zealand and the European Union.
The artisanal fishery is composed of small scale commercial fishing for domestic sale and subsistence fishing for home consumption. Aquaculture is gradually moving out of the experimental stage and has the advantage of not being based on limited natural resources. The sub-sector has also received substantial investment from the Fijian government and donors. The main produced species include tilapia, freshwater prawn, tiger shrimp, sea weed and black pearl.
The inland sub-sector remains quite small, mainly for home consumption. The most important species is the freshwater mussel, followed by eels, various inland crustaceans, and introduced species such as tilapia and carps.
Stakeholders in fisheries are fragmented, and there is no group that represents the interests of small-scale fishers in the country. However, there are two associations representing offshore fisheries. The Fiji Fisheries Department, under the department of the Ministry and Forests, is responsible for fishery management, through the Fisheries Act (Chapter 158) and the Marine Spaces Act. The objectives of management interventions are to provide sustainable management and development of the nation’s fishery with the aim to create employment, increase foreign exchange earnings, and improve the standards of the rural people through capture fisheries development and a well-coordinated support service.
Fiji is a member of several international agreements relating to fisheries and marine resources, including the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (1982), and the Treaty on fisheries between the Governments of Certain Pacific Island States and the Government of the United States of America.
|Fisheries organisations in Fiji|
|Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forests||