Shortland Islands constituency has made a joint submission together with the Western Provincial Government Fisheries Division and FAMOA seeking assistance from the Government’s Covid-19 Economic Stimulus Package to rehabilitate and expand their fisheries sector.
The submission was made this week to the ESP Oversight and Implementation Committee (OIC) in Honiara with the aim to assist border communities to organise their potential in fisheries.
At the moment, the fisheries center at Korovou is serving fishermen with the provision of blocks and storage. Fish sales target fish markets in Bougainville.
The Provincial Fisheries Officer in Korovou is in Honiara this week to work with Constituency Officials and FAMOA to develop their ESP submission confirms.
Fishermen from the area have been affected following the Government’s covid-19 restriction of movement to Bougainville on the PNG side, which is their major fish market.
Fisheries Officer, John Bakeleng, confirms that “fishers are willing to participate within an organised fisheries framework and hopes to develop it as they participate in the sector. It is not only about today, but the future of fisheries in Shortland Islands.”
“Today we are submitting to have our fisheries center enhanced to meet ongoing needs, be able to handle and help with marketing the fish” says Mr Bakeleng. It is anticipated that 15 village centres will be organised into a network of fishermen and Shortlands to have a Shortland Islands Fisheries Association. This fisheries network will help organise and develop the sector so that the people and communities in Shortlands will be able to use their resources sustainably at the same time maximise benefits for the people.