World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search


How old are these fish?

How old are these fish?

Regional cooperation on fishery science training at SPC and IRD

Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC), Noumea, New Caledonia, Thursday 6 September 2012 - Six Pacific Island fisheries officers now have new skills in techniques for determining reef fish age and growth parameters after attending a training course last week at the French Institute of Research for Development (IRD) and Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) in Noumea, New Caledonia. The course is one component of a project to monitor the vulnerability and adaptation of coastal fisheries to climate change on a Pacific-wide scale. After completing the theoretical part of the course at SPC, the six participants from Nauru, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Tuvalu and Federated States of Micronesia continued their training in IRD’s laboratories.

The project’s main goal is to detect possible changes in coastal fishery productivity and to determine the extent to which these changes are connected to climate rather than to other pressures on the resource, in particular overfishing and habitat degradation due to poor watershed management. Pilot observation stations have been set up at five sites for this purpose: Manus (Papua New Guinea), Pohnpei (FSM), Majuro (Marshall Islands), Abemama (Kiribati), and Funafuti (Tuvalu). Each pilot site is equipped with seawater temperature recorders and covered by baseline marine resource and habitat assessments.

As part of this project, the activities conducted in close cooperation between SPC and IRD Research Unit 227 COREUS (Biocomplexity of Indo-Pacific Coral Ecosystems) include training and capacity building to enable Pacific Island fisheries officers to understand age determination techniques and determine reef fish growth parameters. More specifically, the officers are learning about the back-calculation of fish growth and age determination using otoliths (organs in the inner ear of fish).

This collaboration is a major component of the ‘Monitoring the vulnerability and adaptation of coastal fisheries to climate change’ project because there is uncertainty about the possible effects of climate change on the growth of various reef fish species. In addition, there are currently no reference data for various Pacific Island countries and territories.

Fish growth depends a great deal on temperature and is also by definition linked to the productivity of reef fish populations. The initial two-week workshop was part one of a two-part course. The workshop revolved around the extraction of otoliths, preparing them for determining age, and initial interpretation using otoliths collected by trainees in their country or from IRD’s collections. Part two, which involves examining otoliths collected in-country, will take place over four to eight weeks at the Noumea IRD Centre in 2013.

‘Monitoring the vulnerability and adaptation of coastal fisheries to climate change’ is funded by the Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID), under the International Climate Change Adaptation Initiative (ICCAI).


© Scoop Media

World Headlines


Covid-19: Vaccines Donated Next Year, ‘Too Late For Those Who Are Dying Today’

Millions more COVID vaccines need to be donated now to save lives and help the UN health agency reach the key global target of having 70 per cent of all national populations vaccinated, by the middle of 2022... More>>

UN News: Landmark G7 Agreement Pledges 870 Million COVID-19 Vaccine Doses, Half By End-2021

A senior UN official welcomed on Sunday, the Group of Seven (G7) leading industrialized nations’ commitment to immediately share at least 870 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines, supporting global access and helping to end the acute phase of the pandemic... More>>

OECD: G20 GDP Returns To Pre-pandemic Level In The First Quarter Of 2021, But With Large Differences Across Countries

Gross domestic product (GDP) of the G20 area returned to pre-pandemic level in the first quarter of 2021, growing by 0.8% compared with the fourth quarter of 2020. However, this figure conceals large differences across countries... More>>

Focus On: UN SDGs

COP26: Progress Made As May-June UN Climate Change Session Closes

The May-June Climate Change Session, the first to have been held virtually to prepare for the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) to be held at the end of the year in Glasgow, Scotland, closed today... More>>

UNFCCC: Halving Emissions By 2030 Is New Normal - Race To Zero Anniversary
Over 4,500 non-state actors from across the global economy have committed to halving emissions by 2030, joining the UN-backed Race to Zero campaign... More>>

UN: Tackling Biodiversity & Climate Crises Together And Their Combined Social Impacts

Unprecedented changes in climate and biodiversity, driven by human activities, have combined and increasingly threaten nature, human lives, livelihoods and well-being around the world... More>>