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New Fishing Company Starts, NCRA Policy Fulfilment

Sustainability Politics +2 more

SOLOMON ISLANDS - The first off-load of long line-fishing catch in Honiara by the Southern Seas Investment is a significant achievement for the National Coalition for Reform and Advancements (NCRA) new policy on long-line fishing in the country.

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Southern Seas Investment is now the countrys second fishing company with off-shore facilities after Soltai, reports SolomonStarNews.

Minister of Fisheries and Marine Resources Hon Alfred Ghiro who penned the shift of policy last year could not hide his elation after witnessing the delivery of the catch by SSI to its new Honiara factory.

This is a major achievement for our fisheries sector and one that will greatly benefit our people and the country, Mr Ghiro said.

According to the Minister, NCRAs shift of policy was to ensure that there was sustainable harvesting of the countrys tuna resources and to maximise profit.

Under the policy change, all long line license holders are required to off-load their catches in the country whilst companies that do not own factories are required under law to supply their catches to Soltai.

Previously, long-line fishing companies were only allowed to do transshipments overseas.

Mr Ghiro said the shift of policy has significantly reduced long line licenses from 300 to just 180.

The minister re-iterated that his ministry has expected the license holders to build the processing plants in the country and if they are unable to do that by next year they are still required to continue to feed Noro, or else their licenses will be cancelled.

Mr Ghiro confirmed that another Taiwanese company Global will soon open its processing plant at Noro, Western Province.

The Government is optimistic that the loin factory at Tenaru will be developed soon as well as another one planned for Suava Bay on Malaita.

Mr Ghiro said that the Governments shift in policy was to maximize benefit of the countrys resources, create employment and contribute to socio-economic growth of the country.

He also added that by creating products locally will add value to the product and services before exported.

It is understood that the SSI tuna will be produced in Honiara to meet international standard markets before it is exported to Asian, Australian and in the future European markets.

Mr Ghiro yesterday visited the SSI factory at the Point Cruz area and witnessed the off-loading of fresh tuna caught in the Solomon waters and delivered to the factory for processing.

According to the companys management, SSI is expected to be fully operational by next month after the staff undergoes training at its Honiara factory.