24 July, 2017, 12:00 am
THE Ministry of Fisheries is working on securing offshore funding to aid further fisheries projects and to purchase seven boats with outboard engines for the seven districts of Rotuma, says minister Osea Naiqamu.
While opening the $1.7 million ice plant, office and quarters for the ministry last Saturday, the minister said inshore fisheries for food security at the island looked promising.
He said the trials on seaweed planting around the bay of Motusa in Rotuma looked promising as the commodity would be further developed on the island with value adding the dried seaweed and converting it into health products such as facial and skin lotion targeting the lucrative rich tourist markets in the urban areas on Viti Levu.
“We plan to deploy submerged fish aggregating device (FADs) around the island and carry out trainings such as the post-harvest and fish handling techniques, hands on training on deep-water and FAD fishing techniques to capitalise on the abundance of the fisheries and bring economic development to the people and island of Rotuma,” Mr Naiqamu said.
The construction of the ice plant shed with a 1 metric ton ice machine, office building consisting of an office and a conference room and a three bedroom quarters together with a 23 footer half cabin fibreglass boat fitted with a 60 HP outboard engine.
Mr Naiqamu said this was part of Government’s initiative to develop both the fishery and forestry resources and bring prosperity to the island communities.