The importance of the work carried out by local communities across the globe in coastal resources and fisheries management cannot be underestimated - and communities in the Pacific islands are no exception. Coastal waters represent less than 1.5% of the waters under national jurisdiction but produce most of the marine food and half the fisheries’ contribution to GDP in the Pacific Islands. These resources are currently sustained largely because communities still exert the right to control access to them through forms of traditional stewardship. These rights and the collective action possible in communities are the two main reasons that coastal resources, threatened though they may be, are still able to sustain livelihoods in Pacific island countries. Successful management of marine areas boils down to two things; rights to control the resource and functioning as a community.