BY LYNTON AARON FILIA
MINISTER for Fisheries and Marine Resources has asked the Secretariat Pacific Community (SPC) to donate more Fish Aggregating Devices (FAD) to Solomon Islands communities.
In a handover ceremony of 20 FADs to 16 constituencies, Minister John Maneniaru asked for more FADs in the presence of the SPC Country Director, Mrs Monica Longanimala Ilala.
He said such development is important for communities’ daily livelihood for minor economic and social development.
“Let me ask Monika, SPC Country coordinator, we want more FADs, and that is your function, you represent the region, and Solomon Islands has that need,” Maneniaru said.
“It is an area of need that you need to address, and 20 FADs is not enough, you need to ask more for Solomon Islands, more rafters tailored down to our communities.”
Maneniaru said he asked for more rafters because even his constituency has very few and people have been waiting to see and have access to this workable device.
He adds, if SPC through the country director deals with the needs of these communities then they are covering the whole of Solomon Islands.
He encourages stakeholders to continue ensuring that fishing communities including women, youths and children get economic benefits out of the FAD programme funded under SPC.
Maneniaru said that villagers need to participate in this programme so that it adds to their daily life an economic benefit.
“Let’s make that a timely impact on our communities as we have these responsibilities of ensuring that policy touches their lives,” Maneniaru said.
SPC Country Director, Monica said they are considering the Minister’s request for more FADS.
In their discussions, Monica suggested that the Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources develops a report and highlight the specific needs related to its request.
She adds, SPC understands that there is a need to increase the number of FADs reaching the community level.
Current donation of the 20 rafters will definitely benefit communities in the area of food security, accessible to canoe fishermen and increase catch rate.
Communities will also benefit through transfer of fishing effort from reef to the ocean, increase food security and resilience of coral reef ecosystem and smart fishing with sustainable environmental friendly approach.