SPC Concerned About Coastal Fisheries In Vanuatu

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Overfishing after Cyclone Pam needs to be properly managed

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, April 7, 2015) – The Secretariat of the Pacific Community says it is concerned that coastal fisheries in Vanuatu are coming under increased pressure from overfishing after Cyclone Pam.

The SPC's Director of Fisheries, Aquaculture and Marine Ecosystems, Moses Amos, says marine ecosystems battered by the cyclone are already vulnerable and the likelihood of overfishing after the cyclone just increases the pressure on the fishery.

Mr Amos says managing the fishery is crucial for both short- and long-term food security.

"We are working with Fisheries Department to identify the immediate responses that are needed now, particularly for food security and then also to identify early recovery assistance and also assistance for long-term recovery. So a technical report has been completed and will be submitted to the minister on Monday."

Moses Amos says one of the worrying long-term effects of the cyclone on rural communities is the abrupt change in diet from healthy traditional foods to the processed relief food being supplied by the authorities.

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