Marine Resources Management and Economics

Marine Resource Management Program (MRM)


To be recognized globally as a highly effective, efficient, responsible and progressive school in the field of marine resources management.

Mission Statement

  1. Provide training materials and practical activities for students conducive to the protection and sustainable utilization of marine resources;
  2. Provide support to SIDS in developing and implementing a holistic and integrated marine resource management and development program that has a positive impact on national economy;
  3. Develop high quality human resource catering to the needs of regional organizations and national fisheries, environment and maritime management sectors;
  4. Ensure good governance by adhering to the highest standards of integrity, quality and effective conservation management measures, eco-friendly technology and monitoring control and surveillance training programmes;
  5. Develop training activities to ensure accurate understanding of compliance of national measures to relevant international instruments relating to sustainable utilization of marine resources; and
  6. Promote the use of the best scientific information available as basis for designing conservation management measures.


Objectives of training activities offered under the School of Marine Studies-Management programme are to assist students understanding of:

The role of economics as a tool in designing or reviewing policies, regulations and rules relating to the sustainable management of marine resources;

Existing national, sub-regional, regional and international policies, management frameworks, agreements, regulations and laws relating to the sustainable management of marine resources;

Key fisheries resources and sustainable utilization practices;

Conservation management measures and techniques used on coastal and oceanic fisheries resources (RBM, MPAs, etc.,);

Sustainable shipping and maritime administration.

Research lines

Marine management (Law of the Sea, ocean governance and policy, economics and management);

Sustainable fisheries (inshore, offshore, management, monitoring and enforcement);

Coastal resource management (processes, issues, planning, Pacific people, CBM, EBM, pollution control measures, sustainable management of aquaculture);

Oceanic resource management (certification, eco-labelling, HACCP, EBM, highly migratory species, threatened species, pollution control measures);

Oceanic societies (Pacific peoples, community based management, traditional knowledge)

Sustainable shipping and maritime administration;

Marine environment protection, conservation and development; and

Tuna conservation and management (use of sustainable fishing methods, MCS, use of economic tools in management, use of best science available, MSE methods).

Our current projects are:

1. Research on rights-based management (RBM) in the Pacific

Summary: This project is looking to define and demonstrate the role of rights in the Pacific Islands which will build a holistic understanding of how rights have been traditionally applied and develop a common understanding of what ‘rights’ can, and do mean in the Pacific Island context. The Forum Leaders made a call for the establishment of RBM regimes in the Pacific Islands as a mean of managing limited marine resources. The underlying premise of establishing more secure rights is to enhance the economic and social wellbeing of Pacific Islanders by increasing the value of these resources and retaining the benefits of that increased value in the Pacific Islands. RBM is considered to be a tool that could lead to economically and environmentally sustainable fisheries. However, despite its theoretically desirable result, a lot of confusing has been surrounding the idea of RBM and therefore it should be applied with considerable caution. This research is starting with Tonga where traditional marine tenure system was absent since the Royal Proclamation issued in 1887. This open-access regime has led to the depletion and overfishing of the coastal marine resources and poses a threat to the livelihood of the coastal communities. The RBM method will first be assessed against the Tongan context to provide further guidance on where improvements should be made in order to efficiently and effectively implement RBM.

2. Sustainable Development and Governance in Gau Island, Fiji Summary: This is a long term project focused on articulating sustainable development amongst the villagers on Gau Island, the fifth largest in Fiji. The project was formulated after it was realized, after years of organizing marine awareness, that the research needed to progress to implement marine resource management activities in rural coastal communities and address the land based sources of threats to marine resources management. After a decade of collaborative partnerships in Gau, the research group now provides useful insight on issues such as the empowerment of local communities, the methods to be used in effectively engaging local communities, studying the impacts of a project that is longer than those funded under normal project cycle and articulating sustainable development. A welcomed feature of the project has been the partnerships involving researchers from different universities, Government, non government organisations and development agencies. The project processes, issues and accomplishments have been the subject of a number of post graduate degrees and publications.

3. Anthropological study on the polychaete worm, locally known as “balolo” in Fiji (funded by EPHE-France).

Summary: This is a two year research project looking at the use of traditional methods of predicting spawning time of balolo observation of spawning sites, collection methods, preservation methods and significance to Fijian culture

4. Assessment of tuna conservation and management methods used in Small Island Developing States (SIDS) in the South Pacific: Fiji case study.

Summary: This project is a partnership with the Korea Maritime Institute on fisheries research and policy analysis. The project started in 2012 at a Korea South Pacific Fisheries Forum (KOSOPFF) organized in Seoul to foster better collaboration between Korea and the South Pacific Island Countries. The aim is to allow Korea and the South Pacific Island Countries to share information, knowledge and good practices that can enhance the sustainable use and development of the South Pacific marine resources. The project has assisted in the organization of two study tours to Korea by USP students and staff, has funded the preparation of three joint research papers and funded and co-hosted three KOSOPFF meetings in USP and one in Noumea. This year, KMI is funding a two year research on an evaluation of the effectiveness of Marine Protected Areas in providing benefits to stakeholders in the Mamanutha Group of Islands, Fiji.

5. Sustainable Transport in the Pacific Islands

Summary: Sustainable transport is a new area of research, which is very important in a maritime area such as the Pacific islands regions where shipping is essential to all levels of society. Unfortunately, shipping is presently fossil fuel powered, and is unsustainable. Small Island Developing States in the Pacific are currently serviced by shipping services operating old and inefficient fleets, which because of their marginal returns are forced into a cycle of replacing old ships with old ships. The region’s transports issues are unique; tiny economies scattered at the ends of some of the longest transportation routes in the world. The project is working with potential options for developing sail power as a viable option for future shipping in Fiji and the wider Pacific region.

Titles of Master thesis being supervised:

Mr William Fikutoa: Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) fishing in the Pacific Islands Tuna Fishery: a case study of Solomon Islands.

Ms Amelia Bola: The Potential for Sustainable Shipping in Oceania: Climate-Proofing Sea Transport for Southern Lomaiviti – A Case Study

Ms Meliame Finau: Evaluation of the Current Status of Fisheries Monitoring, Control and Surveillance (MCS) Programs in Tonga.

Ms Yashika Nand: The distribution patterns and prevalence of coral disease in Fiji’s reef

Ms Jyanti Singh: Management Framework for Sea Cucumber In Fiji based on existing management system

Mr John Kaitu: Compensating sustainable shipping for Pacific Island Countries using Environmental Financing

Mr Ame Tuisasavu: Analysis of Traditional Farming Practices in Vanua Levu, Fiji: implications for building local community resilience in climate change adaptation

Mr Valentine Hubert Telena: Evaluating the impacts of Domestication of tuna industry in Solomon islands

Ms. Lucian Bero: Evaluating the implementation of MPA policies on the Community Based Fisheries Resource Management in the Solomon Islands. Case study of Zaira community and Tetepare Island.

Titles of PhD thesis being supervised:

1. Mr Esarom Ledua: Evaluation of Fiji’s existing tuna fishery management framework –supervised by Dr. Joeli Veitayaki;

2. Mr Satalaka Petaia: Use of Ecosystem-based management approach- supervised by Dr. Joeli Veitayaki;

3. Ms Agnes Yeeting: New Tuna Regimes for Sustainability

4. Mr Baravi Thaman: Indigenous and Local Knowledge and Perceptions in the Management of Coastal Resources in Fiji;


Master thesis:

Nemillie Qaqara ( Exploring the Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK) in the use of marine resources: A case study from two villages in Fiji

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