| || || Passfield, Kelvin.|
| || || Valuing coastal marine resources in the Pacific Islands : case studies of Verata, Fiji, and Tongareva, Cook Islands.|
Institution: University of the South Pacific.
Award: M.A. Marine Studies
Subject: Marine resources -- Economic aspects -- Fiji -- Verata, Marine resources -- Economic aspects -- Cook Islands -- Penrhyn
Call No.: Pac HC 92 .P377 1997
Copyright:10-20% of this thesis may be copied without the authors written permission
Abstract: This thesis examines the monetary value of inshore marine resources in the Pacific Islands. It does this by presenting two case studies in widely geographically separated locations in two different countries i.e.; 1 Verata District in Fiji, representing a fishing community from a high island situation with access to an extensive inshore fishing area, containing a large reef system and mangroves, situated close to a major urban market, and 2 Tongareva in the Northern Cook Islands, an isolated atoll with an extremely large lagoon, located more than 1,000 km. from the only significant market within the Cook Islands. Verata has three distinct categories within its fishery, i.e. subsistence, village level commercial, and larger-scale licensed commercial fishing. The three categories are treated separately, and estimates of their annual value were respectively FJ$257,000 (subsistence), FJ$285,000 (village level commercial) and FJ$467,000 (licensed commercial), giving a total estimated value for the Verata fishery of FJ$ 1,009,000, or just over one million Fiji Dollars per year. The subsistence fishery and village level commercial fishery are equivalent to 30% of the total per capita cash income to Verata coastal villagers, and 70% of the per capita cash income to the village of Ucunivanua, from where most of the more commercial fishers operate. Tongareva Atoll has no significant commercial food fishery, though pearl shell has been an important export in the past. The food fishery there was broken down into two categories, i.e., subsistence and export. Export refers to seafood shipped on the inter-island ship to friends and relatives in Rarotonga, or carried down on the approximately weekly air service. The subsistence fishery was valued at NZ$475,000, while exports accounted for an additional NZ$53,000, for a total value of just over NZ$528,000 (FJ$500,000) per year. This is equivalent to 27% of the per capita cash income of Tongarevans, Private sector pearl farm development has recently begun in Tongareva lagoon. Black pearl exports can be expected to increase the value of the marine resources of Tongareva by several millions of dollars over the next 5 years, if trends follow a similar pattern to those of Manihiki Atoll (also in the Northern Cook Islands) in recent years. The recent economic crisis in the Cook Islands has drastically decreased the numbers of Tongarevans employed by the public service. This can also be expected to significantly increase the value of the marine resources as a percentage of the per capita income.