In this seminar I use the lens of the Human Development Indicators (HDIs) to hypothesise scenarios for the relationship between food
security, commodity fisheries, and human development for Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu. Although the present low human population densities in these countries mean that food security, including subsistence fisheries, is largely intact, high rates of human population growth pose threats to this security in some locations within three or so decades. A large body of research shows that empowering women, principally but not exclusively through education, is the best way to slow human population growth. But levels of education, particularly for women, in Melanesia are very low by world standards. I examine the potential and actual contribution to investment in education from commodity fisheries and other primary production sectors in Melanesia and conclude that considerably more could be spent by both individual families, and the state, on education in this region.