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Friday, February 16, 2007

Pacific Islands Fisheries Management Index

I first put forward this idea ooh 19 years ago when I attended my first SPC meeting as a Pacific Island member country representative, but was told that there was no way that it would fly. It would cause too much internal friction - it would divide rather than unite the Pacific Islands.

Well things have moved on a bit since then, and for several years the region has completely accepted several "indicators-by-nation" including the Millennium Development Goal indicators, the UNDP Human Development Index, and the Environmental Vulnerability Index. SPC even has its own specialised national indicator-tracking unit called PRISM.

Estimated Australian ODA to the Pacific by country 2005-06

Now, I reckon the time is ripe for a regional fisheries-specific index which covers the SPC membership, and gives everyone a better idea of where they stand. The developing countries and small island states would also be able to get a bit of a global perspective on their fisheries management performance by seeing how they stack up in relation to our bigger members: Australia, France, New Zealand and USA.

The only questions are: what indicators to use, and how to actually get the information. It's not exactly lying around on the internet waiting to be "data-mined", and there's no money for huge new research projects.

Suggestions on the back of an envelope please, or as comments to this blog ...

P.S. Here's a very rough start we made a few years ago

from www.spc.int/coastfish/Reports/ICFMAP/UNDPHL.HTM

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