Photo by: Grace of the Sea Project Photo by: Grace of the Sea Project Photo by: Grace of the Sea Project Photo by: Grace of the Sea Project

The name of the Project 'Grace of the Sea' derives from Japanese traditional way (or 'by-laws' that the communities were entitled to use the coastal marine resource in front of their communities, and ownership of the resource over generation in the community eventually formulated the Community-Based Coastal Resource Management (CBCRM). This concept is called 'Mae-hama' in Japanese.

The phase 2 of the Grace of the Sea project started from the beginning of 2012 and completed by the end of October 2014. Through the Project, the community people made CBCRM plan, which is the combination of resource management measures and supporting measures for the resource management. We can see now the strong initiative in the community not only to making the plan but also to implement the plan. The Vanuatu Fisheries Department strongly supports the initiative of the communities, and is now trying to disseminate the achievement to whole-nation, and even to the whole Pacific region.

We sincerely hope that the target sites for the Project will take initiative and leadership in the sustainable development and promotion of CBCRM.

We will miss you all
31 October 2014 (last night in Vanuatu)
Dr. Akiya Seko (Chief advisor of the Project/ Coastal Resource Management)
Mr. Mitsuo Iinuma (Deputy Chief Advisor/ Income Generation Activities)
Mr. Shigeaki Sone (Marine Shellfish Propagation)
Mr. Motoki Fujii (Fishing Effort Diversification)
Mr. Satoshi Nagashima (Resource Assessment/ Ecological Monitoring)
Mr. Kazuo Nishiyama/Mr. Takuma Takayama/ Mr. Tomonori Wakisaka
(Participatory Approaches/ Socio-economic Survey)

The Republic of Vanuatu (hereafter referred to as 'Vanuatu') is one of the small Island developing states (SIDS) which forms an archipelago of 83 Islands in the South Pacific.

Due to the limited resources, the main industries are agriculture and stock breeding. Tourism is the main service industry. A difficulty in transportation on and between the Islands hinders economic performances. The GNI is US $ 1,600 (2005, World Bank). The economy depends on foreign- affiliated industries, such as beef, copra, and tourism. Vanuatu is categorized as a Least Developed Countries (LDC) by the United Nation. Poverty and disparities between regions are major development issues. There is a substantial income differential between Urban and Rural areas. Moreover the remoteness of the Islands is a major problem with about half of the population in rural areas living on an income of less than US $1.00 per day.

Depending on the area, access to food can be limited, and problems of malnutrition occur in some areas. The proportion of the population that lives near stockbreeding areas can have access to animal protein. But the population in coastal areas depends on coastal resources such as shell fish and crustaceans for protein. The coastal resources provide an important source of income. Some of the resources have being depleted or exhausted through over fishing. Consequently an urgent need is to encourage the recovery of these coastal resources. This can be done through seeding and the maintenance of the environmental conditions for fishing with the re-establishment of a community-based coastal resources management systems.

Against this background the Vanuatu Government officially submitted to the Japanese Government a request for technical cooperation on comprehensive coastal resource management. In response to this request, the Japanese Government dispatched a basic study term in 2003, a short-term expert in 2004 and an ex-ante evaluation study team in May 2005 to study the current Fisheries situation in Vanuatu, to assess the issues and needs for coastal resource management and to discuss the cooperation concepts with the Department of Fisheries. As a consequence a project framework was designed to improve the techniques of the propagation or culture of important species and to put these in to practice under a community based resource management system.

The 1st phase of the project started on March 2006 with the duration of three years which ends in February 2009 and the 2nd phase starts on February 2012 and ends in November 2014.