Temotu Pele Constituency (TPC) is progressing work in collaboration with the Temotu Provincial Government (TPG) Fisheries Division towards establishing a new fishery centre to replace the previous Fishery Centre which was built in the 80s at Nyialo village in the Reef Islands.
Initiated under the TPC development priorities for this year, the fishery project initiative is aimed at boosting local fishery within the Reef Islands where fish are abundant with potential benefits to the people of the constituency.
TPC and TPG has already conducted three consultations with communities on the island and have proceeded initial work towards the initiative with four landowning groups on the Island all agreed for the project to progress.
“This fishery project is one of the top priorities for the constituency for this year,” Constituency Project Officer (CPO) John Knox Ikaoeo said.
He said the idea is to have the fishery centre establish to guarantee fishermen and women in the constituency have a proper house or centre to store their fresh fish and other perishable products before going to the markets for sale.
Mr Ikaoeo said once the centre is operational, their initial market is to supply to the Lata Fishery Centre and to Honiara Markets while they are eyeing to explore and utilize the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) trade agreement to supply into Vanuatu markets, since proximity wise, Vanuatu is one of our closest neighbours.
“Fishery is one of the priorities of the constituency under its development programme. Government through TPC have assisted constituents with fishery projects like boats and engines (OBM) and canoes including solar deep-freezers. We will continue to support this sector because most of our people in Reef Islands depend much on sea resources for their livelihoods.”
Reef Islands in Temotu Province is located in the Eastern part of the Solomon Islands. The islands are rich in sea resources especially fish but due to market challenges, people are finding it hard to bring their catch to the bigger markets to earn good money to support their livelihoods.
TPC is supporting the fishery project in collaboration with the Temotu Provincial Government with funding support from the Constituency Development Fund (CDF) which is administered by the national government through the Ministry of Rural Development (MRD).