Representatives from Hawaii, New Zealand, Guam, Alaska, American Samoa, the Northern Marianas and Indian nation tribes are attending the symposium.
Manuel Duenas is a moderator at the symposium and the chair of the Western Pacific Regional Fishery Management Council and president of the Guam Fishermen's Co-operative Association.
He told Radio Australia's Pacific Beat that the symposium will look at the impact of climate change on their communities and how traditional ecological knowledge can be used to protect their environments.
"We all live by the ocean, we are all coastal communities and for the most part the only thing we can do to combat climate change is actually move inland, but as we know, modern development and everything else we can't usually do that," he said.
"That is what this exercise is all about is actually sharing ideas, sharing experiences, and some groups have actually, are way ahead of the game and actually have presented solutions to some of the problems that we can adapt in our Pacific region."
"We have been observers of the oceans for hundreds of years, and the sad reality is that too often there is a national regime that would say 'well this is what is best for you,' however that is not the case," said Mr Duenas.
"We know what we need to get done and too often we don't have the financial capabilities of addressing these issues."
He said that that climate change brought a whole range of challenges to coastal communities - ocean acidification, disappearance of fishing stock and dying coral reefs being just some of those.
"We are taking the pun that it is climate of change," said Mr Duenas.
"The sad reality is that we are not major contributors to climate change and global warming, however we are the recipients of the impact," he said.