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Table 5 Characteristics and main findings of studies assessing the contribution of fishing to Pacific Islander livelihoods

From: Fish, food security and health in Pacific Island countries and territories: a systematic literature review

Reference Study Population Study Designa Outcome measuresa Key findingsa
Kuster et al. [45] Ono-i-Lau Island
30 senior heads of households in 1982
59 households in 2002
Cross sectional Mean weekly household income and fish yield per capital.
Daily fish intake per capita (g) and contribution of marine sources to protein intake.
Total annual landings of finfish decreased by 27 % from 1982 to 2002
No significant change in yield of finfish per capita of population (96.9 kg per capita/year in 1982 to 93.7 kg capita/year in 2002)
Seafood remained the main source of protein between 1982 and 2002.
Consumption of canned fish increased from 9 g/man/day to 19 g/man/day
Middlebrook & Williamson [61] Ucunivanua and Namatakula, Island of Viti Levu
40 heads of households
Cross sectional
Self administered household questionnaires
Household income, source of income and household fishing activity Ucunivanua: Mean monthly household income of FJ$ 411.75 ± 73.51 (SD). Income generated through fishing activities (75 %), with 20 % from farming and 5 % from wage-paid jobs.
Namatakula: Mean monthly household income of FJ$ 432.25 ± 54.65 (SD) a month. Income generated through wage-paid work (80 %), with 10 % from fishing and 10 % from personal business.
O’Garra [60] Navakavu fishing grounds, Rewa,
118 heads of households
86 adult individuals (aged >21 years)
Cross sectional
household and individual questionnaires
Socio-demographic characteristics of household, household livelihood activities and household fishing activities Mean annual household income was FJ$ 2921.
88.1 % of households engaged in fishing, 76.3 % in growing crops and/or gleaning.
The livelihood that generated the most cash and food overall was salaried work in Suva (32 % households) followed by fishing (27 %) and gleaning (20 %).
Turner et al. [42] Lau Province, 25 experienced local fishers
53 senior heads of households
Cross sectional
Semi structured face-to-face interviews
Time spent fishing, importance of fishing for income generation, patterns of fish consumption and awareness of ecological change within the local qoliqoli (fishing ground) No significant change in overall time spent fishing in the past 6–10 years.
Income-generating activities had increased in importance over previous10 years relative to fishing activities
Consumption of fresh fish was significantly lower compared to estimates of past consumption (Z = −3.774, p < 0.001).
Greatest decline in fish consumption was associated with highest mean household income.
Of the 80–100 % of households that engaged in fishing, only 7 % of households ranked fishing as the primary household occupation.
Solomon Islands
Albert et al. [64] Western Province and Guadalcanal Province
Households in four villages with Fishing Aggregating devices (FADs)
Cross sectional
monitoring of fishing activities
key informant interviews
Annual fish catch and contribution of FAD to fish catch
Benefits and negative aspects of the FAD at the household and community level
Near shore FADs contributed 31–45 % of the total annual catch (mean 7500kgs).
Perceived benefits from the FADs included: provided a source of family income, improved nutrition, more fish available for community events.
The negative aspect of FADs was a reduced contribution of fishers to household activities due to increased time spent fishing
Papua New Guinea
Cinner et al. [63] Ahus Island
51 households representatives
Cross sectional
Face-to-face interviews
Percent of households engaged in fishing and importance of fishing relative to other livelihood activities >96 % of households were engaged in fishing and >76 % ranked fishing as their primary occupation. Due to the remoteness of the Island participants reported few opportunities to engage in other economic sectors.
French Polynesia
Walker & Robinson [62] Moorea
70 females and males (aged 18–84 years)
Cross sectional
interviews with open-ended, semi-structured and structured questions
Fishing activities including subsistence and commercial activities 60 % of participants fished on average 2 days per week; 10 % did not fish at all.
56 % of participants reported dependence on lagoon fishing for at least half of their food and/or cash income. 19 % ofparticipants considered themselves commercial fishers and 41 % subsistence fishers
Kingdom of Tonga
Kronen & Bender [43] Lofanga Island
Individual adults (>15 years), households, key informants, 41 local fisherman
Mixed methods
Households and individuals: structured questionnaires.
Key informant interviews
Fishermen: Semi-structured interviews
a) Fishing practices including contribution of fish to livelihood and weekly fish consumption through Fisheries, agricultural production and handicrafts all contributed to income generation. Fisheries ranked higher than agriculture and handicrafts.
Fisheries filled three main objectives: to secure subsistence, fulfil social obligations and contribute to the cash economy. Fishbwas consumed by entire community. 93 % of village also consume other seafood and 78 % consume canned fish.
Federated States of Micronesia
Corsi et al. [37] 293 females aged 15–64 years located in Ponhpei Cross sectional study:
27-item, 7-day FFQ
Knowledge, attitudes and practices questionnaire
Fish and meat consumption
Cash expenditure on food; factors affecting food intake
79 % of participants reported frequent consumption of local fish/seafood. Local fish/seafood was consumed twice as frequently (4.8 days/week) compared to imported fish/seafood (2.4 days/week). Imported meats such as turkey tail were consumed more frequently 1.9 days/week) than local meats (1.3 days/week).8 % of participants reported their household relied on farming and fishing for their primary income 6 % relied on fishing alone.
Household food expenditure for 77 % of participants was half or more of their monthly income
52 % of participants purchased local food for half or more than half of a month.
Consuming imported food was regarded as a sign of wealth and status by participants
  1. aNote: When describing the design, outcome measures and findings of each study only details relevant to this systematic literature review were included in the summary table bFish: Refers to fresh fish unless otherwise specified