The Ministry of Fisheries this week signed documents with representatives from the Overseas Fishery Cooperation Foundation of Japan (OFCF) for further funding support for the sea cucumber project.
The commitment will see OFCF providing funding assistance to MFMR for the continuation of the sea cucumber project over the next three years.
Permanent Secretary Ministry of Fisheries, Dr Christain Ramofafia thanked the OFCF delegation for their commitment to this ongoing research on sea cucumbers and for responding positively to the Ministry’s request to continue to fund the project.
The OFCF has been providing assistance to the Ministry of Fisheries since 2010 which saw the establishment of a hatchery at its headquarters in Honiara.
Dr Ramofafia reiterated in his speech at a closing function for the OFCF delegation that Solomon Islands is privileged to partner with OFCF to develop its inshore fisheries sector, particularly the development and management of sea cucumber resources.
Dr Ramofafia reminded the OFCF delegation that sea cucumber is an important fisheries resource for our fishers as it contributes significantly to the socio-economic well being of our people. OFCF’s decision to continue with the project is gratefully acknowledged.
Dr Ramofafia assured the OFCF delegation that his Ministry will continue to work together with them to achieve the desired goal of the project which is to produce baby sea cucumbers that could be grown by fishers in their coastal waters to export market size.
The OFCF Head of Mission Mr. Yasuhiro Horinouchi in his response also expressed his gratitude to the Ministry of Fisheries for a successful consultation and for continual commitment since 2010.
The project so far has been successful with the project team abled to grow baby sea cucumbers in the hatchery and have successfully undertaken growth studies in the field.
All field studies were conducted in Marau, east Guadalcanal. The extension will see the greater production of baby sea cucumber and expansion to other sites in the country for further grow out trials.