Villagers of Yadua Island in Bua were thrilled to receive their solar powered freezer which had been promised to them back in 2018.
The solar powered freezer was handed over to the villagers by Roko Tui Bua, Waisake Tuisese who was representing the Minister for Fisheries, Semi Koroilavesau.
In handing over the assistance,Tuisese told the villagers that the assistance by the Ministry of Fisheries should be put to great use as they wouldn’t have to travel to the mainland to buy ice.
“The Ministry of Fisheries has always encouraged the fishermen to form associations and work with the ministry so that they are on par with the developments that is taking place in the fisheries sector especially with new skills for fishing like using Fishing Aggregate Devices (FADs).
Through the assistance, the ministry asks the association to send over much needed Catch Data that will help the ministry in their work,” explained Tuisese.
“Also note that the ministry had put in place bans which must be adhered to. As responsible fishermen, you all have a role to play to ensure the sustainability of our fisheries resources.”
“The Underwater Breathing Apparatus ban is still in place, Bech-de-mer ban as well as the seasonal ban on Groupers and Coral Trout (Kawakawa and Donu) which comes into effect this June to September. Also ensure that you only fish in your designated fishing grounds or where your license entails you to fish in as the number of poaching activities keeps increasing,”stressed Tuisese.
“We understand that the main source of income for the island is fishing. Through the fishermen’s association, I am sure you will properly program your activities and keep the association alive and vibrant.”
Village Headman, Maleli Nawai said that they are so happy with the assistance and will utilize it well.
“We spend more than $200.00 to travel to mainland to get ice but now, we are happy that we can store our catch for a longer period before taking it to the main land to our customers, ” smiled Nawai.
The unit cost around $14,000 and so far, the Ministry of Fisheries has already handed out nine solar freezers to communities in the rural and maritime islands.