THE Solomon Islands Ports Authority (SIPA) anticipates direct tuna shipment to Europe from their Noro Port in the Western Province.
The second international seaport of the country is the host of the largest and only tuna processing centre of Solomon Islands.
Speaking to the Solomon Star Manager Operation of SIPA John Hugo Bugoro said the preparation is progressing well so far while waiting to have the formalities approved before implementing the trade deal.
A visit around Noro Port by the Solomon Star recently confirmed preparation on the ground progressing and looking promising for the trade agreement to commence soon.
Mr. Bugoro explained that Maersk is one of the largest shipping lines, a Danish Company that signed a historical deal with SIPA, Tri-marine and Maersk to facilitate direct shipment of tuna to Europe.
At Noro port, one can see piles of Maersk containers kept in the compound as work on the landmark project gets underway.
Some of the facilities on the ground as preparation continues, includes a tuna packing machine that will facilitate the work during transshipment of yellow fin, albacore and skipjack.
With the abundance of tuna species in the waters of Solomon Islands, the country expects to reap maximum benefits from their marine resources through the Vessels’ Day Scheme (VDS) of the Party to Nauru Agreement (PNA).
While abide by the European Union (EU) requirements of the IUU (Illegal, Unregulated, Underreported) fishing, to ensure sustainable harvest of Tuna.
Meanwhile, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of SIPA Eranda Kotelawala said this is a historical project for Solomon Islands once coming into operation soon.
CEO said SIPA is waiting to have the certificate issued by European Union permitting direct shipment of Tuna from Solomon Islands to Europe.
Mr. Hugo said the spin-over benefits of the project will be massive in terms of creating more job opportunities, boosting economic activities, attracts more foreign investors into the country and enhance cash-flow, particularly in the Western Province.
By AATAI JOHN LAUNGI