FISHERMEN in Bua can breathe a sigh of relief after a directive by the Prime Minister Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama to extend the operating hours of the Nabouwalu ice plant by another eight hours.
Villagers on Yadua Island had previously shown their concern on the continuous breakdown of the plant.
Speaking during the Prime Minister's talanoa session on Yadua Island recently, villager Pita Navara said it was difficult to preserve fish on the island.
Mr Navara said many times when they wanted to purchase ice from the plant they were told there was no ice available because the plant had broken down.
"It is even difficult to get frozen goods from Nabouwalu to the island because they might go bad along the way," Mr Navara said.
"We often ask for assistance from local authorities but our requests fall on deaf ears."
Responding to the concerns of the fishermen, Prime Minister Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama told divisional engineer North George Tavo to extend the operating hours of the ice plant.
When Commodore Bainimarama asked Mr Tavo about the current operating hours of the plant he was told that in eight hours the plant used 200 litres of fuel.
Commodore Bainimarama told Mr Tavo to increase the operating hours to 16 hours to cater for fishermen within the Bua province.