Born in Scotland, raised in Spain, with 6 years each in Solomon Islands and Costa Rica and 18 years in the Pacific Region based in Fiji. He has been a key adviser to Locally Managed Marine Area Network (LMMA) in Asia and the Pacific since its inception in 2000. Currently an Adjunct Senior Fellow at University of the South Pacific’s School of Law and Social Science (SoLaSS) as well as board member of the Fisheries Transparency Initiative (FiTI), Fiji Environmental Law Association (FELA) and the journal Marine Policy.
Hugh has worked to improve indigenous and local management approaches including extending community-driven Pacific Island approaches to resource management into a global phenomenon while increasingly paying attention to factors such as rights, legislation and institutional support that might best ensure local fishers are empowered to sustain their livelihoods in coastal areas. This has led to increasing work on areas of major challenge – sustainable finance, government co-management investments and governance (transparency and accountability).
His free-lance work for national governments, regional agencies (such as SPC) and international ones (e.g. FAO) covers policy as well as practice from the community and sub-national level, to national and regional levels in the Island Pacific. He is the second author of the region’s overarching ocean policy, the Framework for a Pacific Oceanscape, carried out reviews (including institutional capacity for resource management, the links between policy and staff duties at the sub-national level and agencies’ staffing and budgets) for the co-drafting of the Pacific Island policies on coastal fisheries, including PNG’s Roadmap for coastal fisheries and marine aquaculture: 2017-2026 and most recently the Pacific Framework for Action on Scaling up Community-based Fisheries Management: 2021-2025. Current interests include improving local returns from sea cucumber fisheries and the politics of international interest in the Pacific Islands Ocean domain.
Full list of publications and reports: