Fish for the future: fisheries development and food security for Kiribati in an era of global climate change

The Republic of Kiribati is a vast South Pacific island group with one of the largest exclusive economic zones (EEZs) in the world. Kiribati waters support a wealth of marine fisheries activities. These activities occur in oceanic, coastal and inshore environments and range from large, foreign, industrial-scale oceanic fishing operations to small-scale, domestic, inshore subsistence fisheries, aquaculture and recreational fisheries. Kiribati has developed a framework of domestic and international governance arrangements that are designed to sustainably manage its wealth of marine resources. The report provides background information for fisheries projects in Kiribati that aim to build food security, improve artisanal livelihoods and strengthen community engagement in fisheries governance. It provides information on the current status of Kiribati fishery resources (oceanic and coastal), their current governance and future challenges. Fish and fisher alike pay little heed to maritime boundaries and bureaucratic distinctions. This report covers both sides of the oceanic/coastal boundary because of the I-Kiribati communities’ interest in oceanic fisheries such as tuna and their heavy dependence on its fisheries resources for food security and economic development. The report focuses on two potential pilot sites for community-based fisheries management projects: North Tarawa and Butaritari.