III. ENVIRONMENTAL ASSESSMENT AND MONITORING OF FISHERY RESOURCES IN SAMOA
A. Selection of assessment criteriaintegrated natural resource/economic account has not been attempted. The Statistics Office and the Asian Development Bank's "Strengthening Capacity for Macroeconomic Analysis, Planning and Policy Formulation in the Treasury Department" team members in Apia indicate they believe SEEA will eventually be incorporated in Samoa's national accounts (Lucas, personal communication 1997).
Simplified data linkages between the Framework for the Development of Environmental Statistics (FDES databases), System of National Accounts (SNA) and Natural Resources Accounting are shown in Figure 7. While this system of greening national accounts could, in theory, be applied to stocks of fisheries resources in Samoa, ascertaining the basic statistics for stocks, or indicators of depletion and degradation have never been accomplished for inshore fisheries in the Pacific Islands. Even data on extraction is available for only a small fraction of the fishery resources and this data is suspect.
The offshore tuna industry is the only fishery in the Pacific that approaches the capability of SEEA. Obtaining a profile of the tuna industry is simplified by having:
Inshore fisheries are made up of hundreds of species of fish and invertebrates. Fishing activities are fragmented through nearly the whole rural population of men, women and children living in 330 villages. The people use a bewildering variety of fishing techniques from simply picking invertebrates off the reef to long-lining far at sea. Since the great bulk of fisheries products is not sold but eaten by the families who collect them, it is difficult to place a market value on many of the products (how much is a jellyfish worth?), let alone find out how much is extracted. There are very few funds available to collect data or analyse it, and no manpower to do so on a national level.
While an accurate national accounting of the parameters in Figure 7 is a long way in the future, the United Nations SEEA model may be applicable to fisheries resources on a village level. The scale of data collection and level of analysis might be crude, but then most fisheries data is crude and at best a rough estimate of actual conditions in the marine environment.
Sectioning the resource by village also highlights the difficult issue
of "environmental externalities" where one village may benefit or be damaged
by the action of another village. For example, fish protected in a sanctuary
by one village may increase recruitment and catch in another village further
down the coast. Logging or farming activity by one village may cause sedimentation
of a river which destroys lagoon fish habitats adjacent to another village.