Niue is a small, remote, upraised island with limited reef development and no lagoon system. The eastern and southern coasts are exposed to swells driven by southeasterly trade winds, resulting in limited reef extension along these coasts. There is a marginally greater extension of reef terrace on the more sheltered west coast. Ten years ago, the annual consumption of fresh fish per person was estimated to be lower than the regional average; however, a more recent survey stated that over 80% of households fish for home consumption, suggesting that there has been significant fishing pressure on Niue’s reefs in the intervening period.
There have been no extensive surveys of Niue’s coral reef fisheries stocks over the past 10 years since the 2005 Pacific Regional Oceanic and Coastal Fisheries (PROCFish/C 1) survey. To rectify this, the Coastal Fisheries Programme of the Pacific Community, in collaboration with the Niue Government’s Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries and Environment (DAFF), the National Geographic Pristine Seas (NGPS) Project, Tofia Niue (NOW project), and the Global Environment Fund/United Nations Development Programme Ridge to Reef project, conducted two marine ecological surveys around Niue in September and October 2016 and in September and October 2017. The aim of these surveys was to provide an update on the status of reef-associated communities around Niue.