In mid-August last year, the Coastal team from the Tuvalu Fisheries department decided to revive the Creel Survey. A creel survey is where we check to see what each fisherman has caught when he comes back from fishing and weigh and measure the different species in the catch. We then relate that information to details of the costs of fishing. ‘Creel’ is an old Irish word for a fisherman’s basket.
Lately, during this year 2016, the Coastal Section of the Fisheries Department has really started to engage with the creel survey. This creel survey was first started last year but did not get going strongly till this year. Actually, the creel survey is focused in Funafuti the capital, but also run on outer islands during expeditions there. The creel team consists of 5 staff that were chosen from the coastal section to run the creel survey. This creel team wakes early twice a week (5am) to read the entire fisherman catches at their fish landings, and to record the fish sizes, weight and species along with other information. This year is a new beginning for the creel team through the support and encouragement of the new Inshore Fisheries Advisor. Due to her support the creel team has been boosted to get on course with the creel survey. According to the coastal senior officer, Moeo Ron says
“This creel survey will be ongoing into the few years with possibilities to be a major component/task to be managed by the Coastal department”.
This creel survey is beneficial not only for each household in Funafuti but as well as the whole of Tuvalu. The data collected through the survey will help the Department to protect Funafuti’s marine biodiversity and sustain food security, prevent overfishing, protect undersized fish and, combined with other data we are collecting reduce ciguatera /fish poisoning in Tuvalu.