By Finau Fonua
Local fishermen in ‘Eua are benefiting from a training workshop on Fish Aggregating Devices or “FADs” - the floating objects used by fisherman to attract fish in large numbers. The workshops were funded by the European Union and implemented by the Secretariat of the South Pacific Community.
Tonga Faeamani the ‘Eua government representative, said “We are very happy that our local fishermen can now have access to two more additional FADs around the waters of ‘Eua Island. Previously, fishermen were only utilising the one existing FAD. This increased capacity will increase the effective and efficient opportunities to our local fishing.”
The initiative is part of the DEVFISH2 project which aims to increase “the contribution from the sustainable use of highly migratory marine resources” and “to reduce constraints to domestic tuna industry development”.
Fijian Instructor William Sokimi was the lead facilitator for the training assisted by Sione Mailau and Viliami Fatongiatau from Tonga’s Fisheries Division.
During the training, waterproof pouches for mobile phones, produced by DevFish2 as a sea safety measure were distributed to the participants.
Kiki, one of the trainees, acknowledged the usefulness of the pouches during the FAD site survey boat trip, saying: “We often never bring our phones with us when going on our open boats. And when we bring them, we normally wrap them up tightly and place [them] inside buckets and so never hear them ringing. Now, I just have [my phone] hang around my neck and hear it ring in the first instance. And it will be safe and dry when I need to call in a situation when I need help.”