Training for Kiritimati local fishermen to catch exportable tuna

training1The EU-funded DevFish2 project that SPC implements organised a training workshop on small fishing operations (SFO) from 22 May to 3 June in Kiritimati Island, Kiribati.

 

The two-week intensive training focused specifically on mid-water fishing techniques, fishing gear construction, onboard fish handling, preservation skills, basic sea safety and basic awareness about fishing as a business. The training was facilitated by William Sokimi of SPC. Ritang Ubaitoi from Kiribati Fisheries Training Centre (KFTC) and Tekamaeu Bureieta from the Kiribati Fisheries assisted.

 

 

The Mayor of Kiritimati, Mikarite Temari, said, ‘This is a very important training.  It will have a tremendous positive impact on the way our fishermen catch and process fish — more efficiently and effectively — and improve their capacity to catch and supply good quality exportable tuna for premium prices. And this training adds a potential capacity for an additional income-generating opportunity for the locals.’

 

The training mirrored a similar training undertaken in Tarawa in September 2012. Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources Development (MFMRD) requested the DevFish project to facilitate similar training for the local fishermen in Kiritimati.

 

The training was held at the Village Motel in Tabwakea village. Participants were 18 selected representatives from local villages on the island, officers from the MFMRD and an instructor from KFTC in Tarawa.

 

The first part of the training was presentations on the focus areas, which were translated into I-Kiribati by Ritang so that the local fishermen could fully understand. In the practical sessions, the participants undertook construction of fishing gear for vertical long line, drifting deep-water lines and drop handlines. This second part also included two days of practical fishing using the gear the participants had constructed. Whilst at sea, fish handling techniques (guffing, killing, spiking and bleeding, and icing) were demonstrated on the fish they caught. During this part of the practical, the importance of sea safety kits was demonstrated.

 

After bringing the catches on shore, proper gilling and gutting techniques were demonstrated. This session showed how the quality of the tuna is damaged by bad handling on board the vessel and why good fish handling during hooking and storage is so important.

 

training2

 

At the end of the training, the facilitators had a wrap up discussions with the participants and concluded that the training had enhanced the fishermen’s techniques and awareness in:

  • nearshore tuna fishing techniques and post-harvest fish handling;
  • sea safety and the proper usage of the various equipment in the grab bags;

After the training, Taunteang Tearoba, one of the older fishermen from Tabwakea village said, ‘The training was very useful and the timing was perfect. We had thought we were experienced and did not need such training but we have gained some very interesting and handy tips and techniques on fishing better and, importantly, safer.’

 

Mayor Temari added, ‘The fishermen are now better trained and the fish stock is bountifully available here. We need to talk with all responsible authorities to establish avenues and arrangements for the small scale fishermen operations to progress to exporting to overseas markets, ideally Hawaii, where airfreight capacity is potential available.’

 

An SFO training template for use in further local training by local trainers was given to KFTC who confirmed that the SFO course has been institutionalised in its programme after the initial training in 2012 and the training centre is undertaking regular delivery of the SFO training in Tarawa.

 


For more information, contact Jonathan Manieva, DevFish2 project officer, SPC , Noumea

Or visit SPC website: www.spc.int/fame/en/projects/devfish2/

Last Updated on Friday, 28 June 2013 15:01
 

 


blank