BY AGNES MENANOPO
THE Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources (MFMR) and the Solomon Islands National University-Institute of Maritime and Fisheries Studies (SINU-IMFS), have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to strengthen fisheries management in the country.
The signing ceremony was held on 7 February at the Department of Fisheries Studies Complex, Ranadi in Honiara, underscoring a shared commitment to increase capacity through manpower development in the sustainable management of the country’s fisheries sector in the future.
Signed by Honorable. John Maneniaru, Caretaker Minister of the Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources, and Dr. Jack Maebuta, Acting Vice Chancellor, Solomon Islands National University the agreement paves the way for collaboration in such areas as manpower development, pool resources to conduct scientific research, actively involve community projects and, promote sustainable management through practical community training programs.
According to Hon. John Maneniaru, the MOU will enable stronger cooperation between the two organizations.
“It provides us an opportunity to work in close collaboration and to effectively align national initiatives in the Fisheries sector, which will assist the ministry to tap into additional human capital and other material resources.
“Collaboratively we can identify and mobilize resources to help find innovative solutions to challenging issues confronting our sector.
He said training the human resources to be involved in these activities and thereby effecting this policy will fall largely within the ambits of SINU and in particular the IMFS, this is why this MOU is important and marks an equally important step for our Ministry.
“Under MFMR’s over-arching Fisheries policy, it has an intention to localize Solomon Islands long-line tuna fishery.
“Localization means the tuna in our waters are to be caught by our local vessels, processed, value added in Solomon Islands and marketed by Solomon Islanders for the benefit of Solomon Islanders.
“This policy seeks to increase the percentage contribution of gross domestic products from the Fisheries sector.
MFMR and IMFS are seeking to work in close collaboration with all stakeholders, local and international bodies and establishments, to mobilize resources, pursue energetic scientific research, actively engage fishing communities through artisanal and aquaculture projects, as well as develop the institute into a vibrant national and regional human resources development hub for the fisheries sector.
Maneniaru encouraged supporters, NGO’s and aid donors alike to support this initiative wherever they can.
Meanwhile, Dr. Jack Maebuta said through this MOU, SINU (Institute of Maritime and Fisheries Studies) and MFMR promise to foster this mutual interest and champion the pursuit of knowledge in order to transform lives and provide relevant solutions to our nation’s resource and challenges, through collaborative initiatives, projects, and conservation programs.
“SINU will host students who are undergoing internships and practical, or more significant undertakings like scholarships, funding research, provision of equipment and tools required for the delivery of courses and infrastructure development.