Gone fishless

Pacific Island countries could lose 50-80 percent of marine resources under climate change

Photo by Quentin Hanich

Tropical Pacific areas have been identified as one of the most vulnerable regions in the world's oceans to climate change impacts and if the ecological crisis remains unchecked, many Pacific Island nations would lose 50 to 80 percent of marine species in their waters by the end of the 21st century, according to a newly released study by the Nippon Foundation-Nereus Program.

Pacific Island nations and territories are facing a 50 percent dip in catch potential by 2100, exposing them to socio-economic vulnerability, researchers say. The projected catch decline would affect Guam, Kiribati, Tuvalu, the Cook Islands, the Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Solomon Islands, Papua New Guinea and Niue.

“These changes would be detrimental to Pacific Islanders, who are highly dependent on marine species for food, economic opportunities, and cultural heritage. Additional threats come from sea level rise and increasing major storms. Also, these are often developing countries with less resources available for societal adaptations to c