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Baelelea Fishermen Receive Fishing Project Funding

Baelelea Fishermen Receives Joint Government Funded Fishing Project

Fishermen in West Baelelea constituency in North Malaita will no longer travel long risky ocean distances to catch fish following a successful launching of a fishing project last Saturday at the coastal village of Akwe in the Folotana Bay.

The project was established in the form of a fishing device, technically known as "Fishing Rafts" which is used to attract all sorts of fish closer to the surrounding waters approximately 300 meters from the shoreline.

The project was initiated by fishermen in the area and was coordinated by the Malaita Industrial Office and the Malaita Fisheries Team with joint funding of approximately $22,000 by both the National and Malaita Provincial Government.

Chief Industrial officer for Malaita Province, George Eric said the fishing project is part of engaging rural communities into income generating activities which falls inline with the national government's rural development policy.

"Engaging communities in mini industries will certainly improve their livelihoods in terms of cash income, nutrition and other socioeconomic benefits such as schools fees and transportation costs," he said.

Paramount Chief and fisherman, John Sukina said fishing raft will certainly provide benefits to a large cross-section of the community.

"Apart from cash income and nutrition, fish bones will also be processed into fish meal for piggery farmers in the area," he said.

Sukina said the project is the first sign that people in West Baelelea have actually felt and participated in the rural development policy of the national government.

He said for the last 10 years fishermen in the area have to travel far distances under rain and sun heat and sometimes unsuitable sea conditions that risk their lives.

He thanked those who are involved in establishing the project, the provincial and national government for their roles in the project.


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