Fisheries minister highlights importance of tuna

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FISHERIES Minister Nestor Giro was the official guest at the World Tuna Day celebrations at Tuna Town of Noro in the Western Province, Friday.

His delegation comprising Deputy Secretaries Patterson Lusi, Rosalie Masu, and Director of Fisheries Edward Honiwala flew into Munda in the afternoon flight and had only about an hour to make it to the official opening ceremony.

Last Thursday, the Ministry of Fisheries, Honiara–based industry members and Forum Fisheries Agency joined hands together to celebrate the day in Honiara.

The celebrations included a parade through Honiara’s Central Business Districts, speeches, canned tuna label draws, quizzes and Tuna dish competition with a radio talk back show on Sunday.

Following on from the excitement of that celebration, the Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources delegation converged on the Tuna town with the same Tuna Message, which Minister Giro highlighted in his speech.

He reiterated the importance of Tuna to the economy of Solomon Islands and livelihoods of the people saying it is “our priced asset”.

“As the Minister responsible for Fisheries, I am happy once again, to announce our Theme for this years’ World Tuna Day; ‘TUNA…OUR PRICED NATIONAL ASSET’,” Giro said.

“The theme reflects the importance of Tuna to our National Economy and to our livelihood.   Tuna is our national asset with high value,” he added.

He told those that had gathered for the occasion which include the Western Province’s Provincial Secretary, Jeffery Wickham, Industry representatives and residents of the town, Tuna fisheries continue to grow and contributes significantly to our national GDP.

“In Noro, the fisheries and infrastructure developments are increasingly growing. Thanks to NFD Ltd and Soltuna, our two leading TIASI players in this sector,” he said.

 The Fisheries Minister also revealed that there has been a significant increase in employment in the tuna sector in the last 2 years.

He said more than 2,700 local people are employed, which from his Ministry’s record, shows more than 75% are employed in the processing sector and 25% in the fishing sector.

“We understand that, many more are employed indirectly through this sector,” he added. Meanwhile all activities organised for the celebrations ended on Sunday.

Source: MFMR