Supekalapoa fish market opens in Vanuatu

PORT VILA, 20 AUGUST 2018 (VANUATU DAUILY) – Vanuatu’s newly opened Supekalapoa Fish market is a first in the Pacific region — a small facility that has the processing capacity of 20 tons of fish — at any given time.

It is also equipped with high standard processing equipment to vacuum-seal filleted fish as well as display live fish, store and export fish.

Minister for Fishery, Matai Seremaiah officiated the official operation of Supekalapoa Fish Market on Saturday, August 18th 2018 in Luganville. The opening marked a milestone in the development of the Fisheries sector, especially reviving the services and benefits of Natai and Luganville Fish markets which were both closed down in the early 90s.

The minister says lessons learnt from the closure of Natai and Luganville Fish market 20 years ago, is to avoid the issue of maladministration which resulted in the loss of these two former fish markets.

The Supekalapoa Fish Market will be jointly managed and operated by the Department of Fisheries, Cooperative and the Luganville Municipality.

“It is easy to build, but it’s much easier to destroy it,” he said. “Therefore, I call on these two departments including Luganville municipality to take good care of this fish market to serve its purpose to the population.”

According to the minister, this fish market gives market confidence to rural fishermen who until August 18th, struggled daily to sell their catch along the road sides or driving around business houses to sell the last of the day’s catch.

“The price of fish has become too expensive because fishermen had to drive around to find buyers for their catch or stand by the road side the whole day to sell their fish,” said minister Seremaiah.

“With the establishment of this fish market, it will cut down on transport and waiting expenses thus addressing market confidence for fishermen.”

Present during the launch were fishermen association members from West, South, East Santo including Big Bay, Aore and Malo, officials from the ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, Fishery, Forestry and Biosecurity, Deputy Lady Mayor and dignitaries from both the public and private sector to witness the occasion.

Following the opening of the fish market, fishermen from South Santo and Malo went straight to selling their catch of snappers, poulet and reef fish as well as live tilapia and fillet poulet already vacuum sealed.

Officials from the Department of Fisheries confirm an association of fishermen from South Santo sold out 99.5kg of fish with an hour after the market was opened.

Deputy Lady Mayor Renata Netaf acknowledge this development thanking the minister and the department of Fisheries for this visionary development to address an important component of livelihood in Luganville town.

Deputy Mayor Netaf congratulated minister Seremaiah, with the assurance that Luganville is ready to support such initiatives and will continue to work with the government to develop Vanuatu’s second town.

Director for Fisheries, Kalo Pakoa says the installation of a cooler and storage rooms should be completed this week, and the installation of the processing equipment will follow suit.

There are also plans to develop a mooring for boats at the river’s edge, as well as build deckings at the waterfront to diversify the capacity of the fish market.

Matai Seremaiah appealed to fishermen across SANMA province to focus and increase their daily catch as they now have a fish market that has a capacity to take in fish from around the province as well as TORBA, MALAMPA and PENAMA fishermen.

Supekalapo Fish market is financed by the Department of Fisheries with a standing budget of Vt12.6 million (US$111,000)

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