The fishing community of East Central Guadalcanal Constituency have received an early Christmas gift with the handing over of their Constituency Fisheries Centre at Kaoka at the weekend.
Their MP and Minister of Home Affairs Ministry Hon Ishmael Avui said his people in particular those coastal communities will benefit immensely from the fisheries centre.
Kaoka was chosen after carefully considering other locations in his constituency mainly because of the fishing communities in the area who depend largely on fishing for their livelihood..
Hon Avui who was the chief guest on the occasion thanked the National Government (both DCCG and SIDCCG) for the project describing it as important source for food security and income for the people of his constituency.
He urged his people to utilise the centre to generate much needed income to support their families.
Deputy Director Offshore Division in the Ministry of Fisheries Mr Francis Tofukalo who spoke on behalf of the Ministry of Fisheries told hundreds of people that had gathered for the occasion that it is the policy objective of the SIDCCG to improve and strengthen the contribution of small scale fisheries alleviation food and nutrition security and socio-economic benefits of fishing communities.
He told them the Ministry of Fisheries has prioritised the development and Management of coastal fisheries around the country because it is where the majority of people who depend on the marine resources for food and economic return live.
Mr Tofuakalo stressed that there have been challenges and difficulties faced along the path to have sustainable fisheries in the country but he believes this can be achieved with a conceited effort from all stake holders.
“The initiative of establishing CFC within our communities is a strategy taken by the Ministry of Fisheries to roll out and enable access to those who have long been unfortunate but have the potential to prosper by utilising their coastal resources,” he said.
Mr Tofuakalo made reference to fisheries centres that was established in the provinces previously saying they did not serve the demand for service from the local fishermen and women.
“This is where CFC comes about to enable access to ice and storage for fish, shells and other products using this facility,” he said.
The deputy director further pointed out that the opening of the centre has opened up a window of opportunity and urges the people of East Central Guadalcanal Constituency to utilise it and take care of it.
Officials from the Ministry of Fisheries and the constituency concluded the opening and handing over of the centre and facilities which include solar freezers, an OBM and an esky with the signing of a Memorandum of Agreement.