Mr Keizo, a specialist in fishing techniques and post-harvest processing, is currently providing training to fishers in Funafuti. Mr Keizo is from the Japan Overseas Fishery Cooperation Foundation (OFCF). Together with two Tuvalu Fisheries Department (TFD) officers, he is conducting training for local fishermen on new methods of fishing by trolling. During the training, he has also been conducting lessons on fish smoking.
The training was run for 3 days between 29th of November to the 1st of December this year at the TFD workshop at Teone. The trainers and local fishermen who attended the workshop went on a practical fishing trip (went trolling) on the RV Manaui to try out the new techniques.
The fishing technique and smoked fish training is part of the ‘capacity development’ activities of the TFD work plan for 2017. The workshop is an outcome of an agreement between the TFD and OFCF; with OFCF sponsoring and organising the training.
The fishing technique training was carried out to relieve pressure on overfished coastal fisheries stocks in Funafuti. Creel surveys carried out by the Coastal Section since 2015 have clearly shown that the reef fisheries are heavily overfished and there is a need to utilise more of the pelagic and oceanic species. A move to greater use of oceanic fishes is also part of the new Funafuti Reef Fisheries Stewardship Plan (FRFSP) which will be opened in Funafuti on 14th December.
The smoked fish training was a need identified during past consultations with outer island fishers and communities. Smoking fish can be used to preserve a wide range of fish products without the need for refrigeration to be used during periods when bad weather prevents fishing. Local fishermen on Funafuti showed their interest in the training and raised some of the issues they face in Funafuti as well as outer islands. One of the requests made was for TFD to provide fishing gear for local fishers.
It won’t only be local fishermen on Funafuti who benefit from the training. Additional training sessions are planned for outer islands in the future.