The very productive lagoon fisheries of Tarawa atoll changed greatly in recent decades as human development and intensive harvesting increased. Tarawa typifies the increasingly common condition of resource depletion and marine community structure change with expanding human activities and population growth. Fisheries-dependent reports have documented the change in fisher landings for nearly two decades. A comparison of fisheries-independent data collected during 1992-93 with data collected in 1977 allowed for documentation of large changes in important finfish resources in Tarawa Lagoon.
This paper highlights the seriousness of the “biodiversity crisis” on atolls and the need to place greater research and conservation emphasis on atolls and other small island ecosystems. It is based on studies over the past twenty years conducted in the atolls of Tuvalu, Tokelau, Kiribati, the Marshall Islands and the Tuamotu Archipelago of French Polynesia. It stresses that atolls offer some of the greatest opportunities for integrated studies of simplified small-island ecosystems.
Concise environmental legislative reviews of Pacific Island countries plus Tokelau. **Please submit new information or corrections as the reviews will be updated annually.**