Home News Post-Entry Quarantine Facility Elevates Aquaculture Advancement in Solomon Islands

Post-Entry Quarantine Facility Elevates Aquaculture Advancement in Solomon Islands

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Dr Kofi, Hon Nestor and HE Jonathan Schwass cutting the rebon which marks the official opening of the facility at SINU’s Ranadi Campus
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Honiara, 15 May 2024: A significant stride in Solomon Islands’ aquaculture development unfolded yesterday as the Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources (MFMR) formally opened the Post-Entry Facility at the Solomon Islands National University (SINU) School of Fisheries Studies, Ranadi.

Among the esteemed guests present were His Excellency Jonathan Schwass, New Zealand High Commissioner to the Solomon Islands; the Honorable Nestor Giro, Minister of Fisheries; Dr. Kofi Apreku, Head of Fisheries Studies at SINU; Dr. Christian Ramofafia, Permanent Secretary of MFMR; and Dr. Reuben Sulu, the Coordinator of the Mekem Strong Solomon Islands Fisheries Project.

The inauguration of the Post-Entry Quarantine Facility (PEQF) marks a pivotal moment in the Ministry’s strategic plan to import GIFT Tilapia from Malaysia, bolstering aquaculture endeavors once facilities at Aruligo are fully operational. This move aligns with the government’s commitment to diversifying livelihood options and ensuring food security amidst population growth and climate change impacts.

Minister Giro, in his address, highlighted the significance of the partnership between MFMR and SINU which saw the establishment of the PEQF.

He said the establishment of this facility is important to safeguard the health and welfare of genetically improved farmed tilapia (GIFT) stocks, thereby enhancing biosecurity measures and conserving aquatic resources.

Dr. Ramofafia echoed Minister Giro’s sentiments, emphasizing the broader implications of the facility for sustainable aquaculture development. He expressed gratitude to all stakeholders for their collective endeavors, acknowledging the collaborative spirit that propelled the completion of the facility.

New Zealand High Commissioner His Excellency Schwass also stressed the importance of this facility, describing it as a catalyst for fortifying the nation’s economy, particularly benefiting inland communities with limited access to sea fish.

He highlighted the economic potential of aquaculture in supporting livelihoods and food security, emphasizing SINU’s pivotal role in hosting the facility.

Head of Fisheries Studies Dr. Kofi Apreku, speaking on behalf of SINU’s Vice Chancellor, Prof. Transform Aqorau, emphasized the transformative potential of aquaculture in addressing unemployment and enhancing food security.

He stressed the importance of state-led policies, private sector involvement, and academia’s contribution in propelling aquaculture development.

Apreku commended SINU’s Department of Fisheries Studies for its dedication to manpower development and international achievements. He reiterated SINU’s readiness to collaborate with MFMR to further advance the aquaculture sector.

“The revamped post-entry quarantine facility stands not only as a physical infrastructure upgrade but also as a symbol of progress towards a sustainable and interconnected future for the nation’s aquaculture sector and its people,” he said.

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Meanwhile, the refurbished facility has the capacity to accommodate up to 4,000 GIFT Tilapia fingerlings upon their arrival in the country.

MFMR and SINU have formalized their collaboration through a Memorandum of Understanding, laying the groundwork for this facility undertaking.

The duration of quarantine at the facility will depend on the health assessment of the tilapia. Upon certification as disease-free, they will be transferred to the breeding facility at Aruligo, North West Guadalcanal. // End

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