Larynn Cutshaw ’17
Project Title – Ecological, Economical, and Social Dependence on Coral Triangle Tuna Fisheries
Mentor – Nathan Rowley
Due to increasing pressures on tuna fisheries in the Coral Triangle Region (CT6) of the Western Pacific Ocean region, there is uncertainty regarding the social, economic, and ecological security of the member nations (e.g., Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, and Timor-Leste) due to the declining tuna populations. Overfishing is fueled by an economic dependency on already depleted tuna stocks. Fisheries unable to meet the demand of domestic and international fleets leave the member nations of CT6 without a sound livelihood or food source. This work seeks to identify the current uses of tuna stocks in the CT6 and the subsequent economic and social dependencies on tuna by each member nation. Using pre-existing data sets, maps were created to illustrate these trends and offer a visual comparison between each of the CT6 countries. It is found that the economies of the CT6 and their use of tuna stocks are highly interdependent given the migratory nature of tuna and transboundary fisheries. For this, it is recommended that the region cooperates in a multinational management plan for economic security. This work identifies needs for further, more robust research on tuna fisheries in the CT6.