BY LYNTON AARON FILIA
SOLOMON Islands Government strongly support the Fish Aggregating Device (FAD) programme funded under the Secretariat Pacific Community as it addresses country’s policy objective C.
Minister for Fisheries and Marine Resources Mr John Maneniaru said the current government strongly supports development of the FAD programme in the country.
He said the FAD programme spells out the current government policy objective C which states, ‘to improve and strengthen contribution of small-scale fishing alleviation’.
He also adds it addresses government’s priority areas such as food and nutrition security and socio economic benefits for fishing communities where the FADs will be placed.
Maneniaru said FADs, or locally known as rafters, will help in protecting reefs and improving marine biodiversity which is related to the Sustainable Development Goals.
He said now with the availability of the rafters in 16 constituencies, people will no longer travel long distances in search of fish, and lessens fuel expenses.
He said SPC’s assistance through the FAD materials is a classic positive impact to the livelihood of rural fishing communities in the Solomon Islands.
“As for the management of our coastal fisheries resources, people can now fish around FADs and cut down on fishing activities in the reefs, giving it time for reef fish population and other reef habitat to recover,” Maneniaru said.
With the new rafters, Maneniaru urges communities to respect and cherish them, and if anyone found destroying any rafter will face heavy penalties, according to new Fisheries regulation.