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"'Twisting and spinning' theatre into coastal fisheries management: Informing and engaging communities to address challenges"

by Ada Sokach; Dirk J. Steenbergen; Douglas Koran; Joanne Dorras; Jodi Devine; Neil Andrew; Pita Neihapi

Sep 8, 2019

Given the importance of fish in the lives of Melanesians, and the increasing pressures on marine resource stocks and habitats (Hickey 2008), managing coastal fisheries has been identified as one of the Pacific Islands region's biggest development challenges (SPC 2015). And as with other Pacific Island countries, coastal fisheries in Vanuatu are primary source of food and income, and a cornerstone of local cultural identity (VFD 2019). At the same time, many coastal fisheries are experiencing declines in production due to increased fishing pressure resulting from population growth, market expansion and impacts of climate change (LĂ©opold et al. 2013). Much of the current work around community-based fisheries management in Vanuatu is focused on determining how grassroots management initiatives can scale-up to reach more people more effectively (Tavue et al. 2016; Raubani et al. 2017). Essential to that goal, is effective communication and information exchange between communities and development partners to share understandings about fisheries management, and highlight the many layers of support needed to create and access opportunities, including from governments.