solomon-islands-flag Government of Solomon Islands

Tatamba benefits from OFCF assistance

Tatamba Fisheries Centre in the Gao Bugotu Constituency, Isabel Province will be the first centre to use solar powered deep freezer and lightings funded by the Overseas Fisheries Cooperation Foundation of Japan.(OFCF) said the Ministry of Fisheries Deputy Director Provincial Mr Ben Buga.

Tatamba Fisheries Centre in the Gao Bugotu Constituency, Isabel Province will be the first centre to use solar powered deep freezer and lightings funded by the Overseas Fisheries Cooperation Foundation of Japan.(OFCF) said the Ministry of Fisheries Deputy Director Provincial Mr Ben Buga.

OFCF’s assistance is in response to requests from the Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources (MFMR) for assistance.

Mr Buga said Tatamba will be the first centre to benefit from this assistance from OFCF and they will also be able to save fuel and other related cost with use of solar.

“The centre will save fuel and other related costs as ice produced and fish will be stored in freezers powered by solar. Tatamba will also be able to benefit from solar lights as the diesel powered generator will be switched off, when no ice production is required,” Buga said.

The assistance includes; a solar powered 600 litres deep freezers and six solar powered lights.

The fisheries centre recently had their equipment replaced also under funding from the OFCF and two fisheries officers namely Jimmy Eromae and Eddie Brown accompanied Japanese experts from OFCF to install an ice making machine and a KVA generator.

The team also replaced the old change over panel and cables with brand new ones.

Principal Fisheries Officer Provinvial Division Mr Jimmy Eromae who oversees the installation work said they carried out test on the ice block making machine after its installation and ensure that it is functioning properly with assistance from an OFCF engineer Hamamoto San. 

The fishermen from nearby communities has already started to bringi in fish as soon the freezer works and the centre was able to buy almost 500 kg of reef fish from them on that first day.

The fish were then re-iced for shipment to their fish traders who had ordered and deposited money to the centre’s account.

Mr. Eromae said the ice block machine though has smaller capacity compared to the old machine will greatly help fishermen in the region.

While there, the team of expertise from both the Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources and OFCF were also able to inspect the old 24 block ice making machine and other centre facilities for possible repair or replacement.

During the inspection, they found that equipment at centre are old with some needing minor repair work while others have been recommended for replacement.

According to list of recommendations put forward to the Ministry of Fisheries Tatamba would need additional equipment for it to be fully operational.

They include reconstruction of the Tatamba Fisheries Centre shed as both sheds are in a very bad condition, procument of new chest freezers one for block ice storage and the other one is for fish and other perishable marine products.

It is also recommended that the Centre Manager should keep thorough record (log book) on the ice making machines and generator sets’ operations to ease repair and maintenance schedule.

Meanwhile, the OFCF experts also visited the Fisheries Centres at Lata in the Temotu Province and Shortland Islands, 

Provision of new equipment to the centres will boost fish catch and also generate much needed income for the rural fishermen and women.