sportfishing for sustainable livelihoods in papua new guinea

Locally based sport fisheries in Papua New Guinea (PNG) have the potential to provide stable alternative livelihoods and new income streams to support food security for PNG’s coastal villages as a result of increased income, in addition to building resilience to external impacts such as climate change and fluctuations in commodity prices. In addition, development of sport fishing—recreational catch-and-release angling for iconic game fish—is a major initiative that would support extensive capacity building across science, business and tourism, and generate significant environmental benefits by: (i) conserving vital fisheries resources and converting unsustainable capture fisheries into viable release fisheries; (ii) providing the incentive and knowledge for local communities to support ecosystem health and resilience and to conserve the target species’ key habitats; and (iii) promoting the ideal of sustainable resource use.

The objectives the Niugini Black Bass project are to: (1) develop an understanding of relevant aspects of the ecology and biology of Black Bass sport-fish resources of PNG; (2) devise protocols for the appropriate conduct of a sport fishery in a PNG context to maximise its resilience and long-term viability; (3) develop an understanding of potential livelihood costs and benefits, and how to manage them; and (4) determine the commercialisation needs of a sport-fishing industry in a PNG context.

Principal Investigators: Marcus Sheaves (James Cook University), Amy Diedrich, Jacob Wani (PNG National Fisheries Authority), Adam Barnett, Ronnie Baker, Murray Prideaux, and Katya Abrantes (James Cook University)

Collaborators: Dean Jerry, Alf Kuilboer, Gianna Moscardo, Anne Swinbourne, Natalie Stoeckl, Marina Farr (James Cook University), PNG Tourism Promotions Authority, Ok Tedi Development Foundation, PNG National Department of Health, Baia Sport Fishing)

Funding: Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research