BY JOHN HOUANIHAU
REVENUE earned the Solomon Islands tuna fisheries annually by Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources, is more than SBD 300 million, according to the Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources.
In yesterday’s radio talk back show Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources (MFMR), Deputy Secretary Corporate, Patterson Lusi says as a large Ocean state, Solomon Islands benefits from Tuna fisheries is valued at SBD 300 Million, generated per year through direct license fees.
“In relation to that, according to the Ministry’s national marine ecosystem valuation in 2017, subsistence harvest fishery is worth a net value of about SBD 4 million annually,” says Lusi in a yesterday’s organised talkback show to mark this year’s World Ocean Day.
The radio talk back show was organised by the Ministry of Fisheries to celebrate this year’s annual event, World Ocean Day – with the theme “Revitalization, Collective Action for the Ocean’’.
According to cited media reports from the Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources, the country’s revenue earned from our tuna fishery is ranked second by the Ministry of Finance after Ministry of Finance and Treasury’s Inland Revenue Department and Customs.
“The revenue is mainly from the sale of our fishing days to foreign and local companies. This excludes earnings generated by sales of tuna by NFD or tuna products by Soltuna, however, COVID-19 did not affect the revenue earned last year through the sale of the fishing v-days and licenses; however, this may change by the end of this year.
“The COVID-19 did not affect the revenue earned last year through the sale of the fishing v-days and licenses however; this may change by the end of this year.
“However, while revenue earned from the sale of fishing days is still unaffected because of Covid 19, one of the programs impacted by the pandemic is the Observer Program.
“With the Observer Program was suspended last year due to the pandemic and this pauses risk as fishing vessels captains may not give correct figure of catches or species types on board.
“However, the Fisheries Director, Mr Edward Honiwala was confident that with the vessel electronic monitoring and reporting systems on all vessels, accurate reporting of catches would continue.
“Our strong surveillance systems on vessels, incidents of illegal fishing had declined over the years.”
Meanwhile, Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources (MFMR), Deputy Secretary Corporate, Patterson Lusi also pointed out that Solomon Islands is situated in the coral triangle region and urged Solomon Islanders about the need to manage the marine resources.
“An area of global significance, an epicentre for marine diversity, supporting the highest Coral reefs, fish, mangroves, and seagrass species in the World.
“It’s ecosystem particularly the sea grass, mangroves, and the coral’s plays a significant role in carbon sequenced benefits and coastal protection to coastline and coastal communities,” said Lusi.
Lusi emphasised the key importance of this year’s theme of World Ocean Day that sets the goal to revitalize and protect the ocean with its marine resources and everything it sustained and can be achieved through collective action for the ocean.
“The theme set the goal to revitalize and protect the ocean with its marine resources and everything it sustained and can be achieved through collective action for the ocean
“It calls on chiefs, elders, women, youth, and the community as a whole need to revitalize the traditional management systems as well.
“It also called for join cooperation and resource management and cooperation to be scaled up in communities, practitioners, NGOs, industries, and authorities.
“The theme also required adhering to the Rules and regulations in order to have a sustainable ocean and marine resources.
“As stewards and guardians, working collectively is paramount to ensure future generations continue to benefit from marine resources,” said Lusi.
He said the country celebrated the World Ocean Day and its connection to the sea and raising awareness on the essential roles Ocean plays in lives of Solomon islanders and the overall health of the environment.
“Solomon Islands marked this year’s event on the 8th June, and to join hands and efforts to work together towards a revitalize tolerable ocean, fisheries and marine resources.”