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Ministry of Fisheries assisting fishers affected by COVID-19 restrictions

Radio & TV Tonga, Nuku’alofa, 17/04/2020

The Tonga Fisheries Council has high praise for the Ministry of Tourisms assistance for the council as they cope with the impact of the COVID-19 restrictions on their work.

The CEO of Fisheries – Dr. Tu’ikolongahau Halafihi says the government had agreed to assist the fisheries sector especially for the local fishermen who were unable to export their catch due to the coronavirus restrictions. The ministry of Fisheries then purchased the fishermen’s catch and then in turn selling to the rest of the public at a significantly lower price. Dr. Halafihi says this not only assists the fishermen but also the public as it also promotes healthy eating.

The President of the Tonga Fisheries Council – Taniela Fe’ao estimated the cost of the losses to the fisheries sector due to the restrictions, could reach more than a million pa’anga. However, he expressed gratitude for the ministry of Fisheries and government assistance that is helping them stay afloat during this time. Meanwhile they are also working closely on planning for the future and other ways their fishermen can earn an income.

The fish markets around Tonga are closed at the moment under the directions of the restrictions put in place by government, but fishermen are allowed to sell their catch from their respective homes, or by direct delivery to their customers.

© Radio and Television Tonga News