The Fisheries Extension and Quarantine Unit is one of the Units within the Fisheries Division responsible for coordinating and implementing programs and activities targeting fisheries developments in the outer islands. The Unit main responsibility centered on 2 key aspects, extension and outer island programs and fisheries quarantine through package checking and inspection on marine exports sent through personal consignments.
In achieving the Division’s objectives the Fisheries Extension and Quarantine sets its work program to align with the Government of Kiribati Development Plan and the MFMRD Strategic Plan.
The major Objectives of the Unit are to:
- Carry out and disseminate the work programs of the Fisheries Division on all outer islands;
- Promote and involve with research and survey activities on fish landing data collection and other relevant data collections on fisheries
- Promotion of fishing diversification through aquaculture developments on outer islands such as milkfish revival programs.
- Support community development programs through seeking of training programs such as post-harvest practices and techniques, sea safety, outboard and mechanical trainings and other training opportunities relevant to communities.
- Ensure near-shore fisheries resources on outer islands are utilized sustainably through diversification practices
- Assist with FADs deployment, promotion of appropriate fishing gear and improve of livelihood for fishing communities;
- Monitoring programs on FADs status in outer islands through FAs programs
- Provide collaborative technical support and advice to island councils for management and conservation of marine resources;
- Coordinate repair and maintenance of outer island ice plants and other services for fisheries centers for sustainably use of coastal fisheries resources;
- Work collaboratively with all other Fisheries Units towards achieving sustainable and conservation of marine resources;
- Promote and enhance the local fishing community capacity at the island, village and community level to implement fisheries related projects to enhance their livelihood and food security.
- Supervision of FAs programs in outer islands with assessments of fisheries staff performance through island visitations ad consultations t of fisheries staff performance in outer islands
- Provide support to fisheries outer islands programs and enhance community participation in fisheries development programs
- Provide support services for marine export inspection for personal consignments and enforcement of Fisheries regulations concerning lobster management
In order for the Fisheries Division to fulfil its programs in the outer islands, Fisheries staffs are posted to the outer islands to implement and promote fisheries activities on the outer islands. So far there are a total number of 12 Extension Officers stationed in the outer islands with 9 remaining islands still in need of a Fisheries Assistant (FA). These 9 islands were Arorae, Onotoa, Tab South, Tab North, Abemama, North Tarawa, Marakei, Banaba and Tabuaeran. Due to the shortage of Fisheries Assistants some of islands were filled by the Fisheries Technicians while some by the retired FAs (fig 1).
The main responsibilities of the Fisheries staff stationed on the outer island are as follows;
To represent the Fisheries Division in the outer islands
- To provide technical advice/assistance and support in any fisheries related areas at their respective stations and provide support to island councils, fisheries communities as well as the general public.
- Carry out data collection on related fisheries programs on the outer islands
- Advice and assist local communities on management measures to address concerns with overfishing and overharvesting of marine resources, etc
- Strengthen network and collaboration among fishers, island council and relevant communities in relation to fisheries programs
- Provide concerns from local fisheries on relevant fisheries programs
- Assist and provide support to any fisheries project carried out in the outer islands
- Provide support and technical assistance to Fish Centers and Fishermen Associations.
Due to the scatted nature of the islands the Extension Officers on the outer islands were monitored through their monthly report submission followed by an outer island visit by the officer in charge of the unit to confirm their program. Issues encountered by the FAs were also reported through the monthly report and were addressed accordingly.
The mechanical workshop is another arm of the Extension Unit and it provides support to the outer islands in terms of repair and maintenance work to the Fish Centre. Beside the repair work they also assisted the Training Unit by conducting basic mechanical training on outboard motor engines to local fishermen.
The Mechanical workshop also provides repair works to local fishermen around Tarawa by providing advice on the work needed to be done to their engines.
Outer Island Trips
The trips to the outer islands is an annual activity carried out by the FD in which all the units activities are carried out at once. The trip targets the Southern, Central and the Northern Group and usually conducted using the FD research vessel RV Tetiakawa. RV Te Tiakawa is no longer operational and trips to Outer island were made by charger vessel.