Linking Food Security with Coral Reefs and Fisheries in the Coral Triangle
Maintaining ecosystem services of coral reefs, sustainable fishing, and improved food security are the three higher level outcomes of the Coral Triangle Initiative on Coral Reefs, Fisheries and Food Security (CTI-CFF). Food security is an obvious concern of the CTI-CFF because of 130 million people dependent on fish resources for food, income, and livelihoods, and also because it provides 11.3% (19.1 million tons) to global fisheries production from capture fisheries and aquaculture. Yet, anthropogenic stressors, especially overfishing, threaten the ecosystems that support food production. Fish supply deficits and undernourishment are observed in varying degrees across the CTI-CFF countries to be further exacerbated by increasing populations, increasing demand for fish from developed economies, unabated coastal development, and climate change. Short-term and urgent strategies to improve food security focus on arresting continued deterioration of coral reefs and fisheries to improve availability of fish, stabilize ecosystem services, and improve incomes at the local level. Wealth-focused and welfare-based approaches to achieve food security at various governance levels are proposed.