SOLOMON Islands is still in the lead, topping the tuna population in the pacific region and most probably the world.
This was made known to local media by the Permanent Secretary (PS) of the Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources (MFMR), in his presentation during the Tunanomics workshop held at the Forum Fisheries Agency (FFA) headquarters in Honiara last week.
Dr Christian Ramofafia said for the record, the waters of Solomon Islands is still rich with the four main species of world class tuna, the likes of Yellow fin, Big-eye Tuna, Skip Jack, and Albacore.
He added, Solomon Islands is the only country in the region that has all the four species of fish in its waters, followed by Papua New Guinea (PNG) and Fiji.
These include Yellowfin, Big Eye, and Albacore which was being targeted by the Longline fishing vessels as well as Skipjack, which was normally fished by the Purse Seine vessels.
The PS also highlighted in his presentation that, the revenue collected by the government over the last four years is increasing.
“Tuna revenue to date from Access fees and sale of VDS days is increasing.
“In 2012, SBD$172 Million, 2013 SBD$183 Million, 2014 SBD$217 million, and 2015 SBD$219 million,” he stated.
Meanwhile, during the opening of the Tunanomics workshop last week, the Minister for Fisheries and Marine Resources John Maneniaru also said that the growth of locally fetched tuna from the waters of Solomon Islands in tuna processing has also doubled in yield over the past years.
By RONALD TOITO’ONA