The first squid fishing program by the Ministry of Fisheries, a success
Radio & TV Tonga, Nuku’alofa ,26/06/2018
The fishery industry in Tonga has recently been facing challenges in the fishing of red snapper in Tonga’s waters.
Local fishing boats have reported a decreased in the size and numbers of red snapper.
The ministry of fisheries believes this is due to overfishing and so in an effort to resolve this issue, the ministry, funded by NZ Aid, have begun a training and research program into the fishing of squid, to divert some of the local licensed fishermen to this resource instead.
A Master Fisheries Development Officer from the Pacific Community – SPC – William Sokimi is in Tonga to conduct this training and research with one of the local licensed fishing boats.
The completion of the first part of the program proved a success with a catch of almost 200kgs of squid.
This program has been conducted in other Pacific Island countries but this is the first of its kind for Tonga.
Sokimi believes with what he’s seen so far, this can be sustainable if managed well.
The Minister for Fisheries – Semisi Fakahau says this new fishing method will help the fishery sector and help to improve the economy.
The CEO – Dr Tu’ikolongahau Halafihi revealed the Ministry is now preparing to procure the necessary equipment and tools needed for fishing squid to distribute it to the 30 local licensed fishing boats.
In addition, they will also be trying to open up foreign markets to export the squid to because the stock of squid in Tongan waters is plenty.
© Radio and Television Tonga News