Northern fishing clubs making progress

Thursday April 06, 2017 Written by Published in Outer Islands
Vaine Wichman watches master net maker Papa Rima William at work on a fishing net for fishermen on Pukapuka. 17040613 Vaine Wichman watches master net maker Papa Rima William at work on a fishing net for fishermen on Pukapuka. 17040613

Facilities to secure the assets of each fishing club in the northern islands have been developed since reformation of the Cook Islands Fishing Association (CIF) in 2010.

And support for consolidating progress made so far is a key concern for the northern islands of Pukapuka, Nassau, Rakahanga, Tukao and Tauhunu, Omoka and Te Tautua, says the association’s Vaine Wichman.

Wichman is winding up a two-week visit to the Northern Cook Islands to meet with club executives and their members to finalise their third round of strategic plans to be submitted to CIF.

“These strategic plans will assist CIF in its delivery of grants and support to each island, as well as its leverage and base document to development partners and funding envelopes keen to support the small remote fishing communities of the Northern Cook Islands,” said Wichman.

“Past strategic exercises by CIF have included capacity building to encourage each fishing association member to explore with CIF and the Ministry of Marine Resources, technical support funding alternatives aligned to marine resource development requirements.

“With membership comes responsibilities and CIF is always keen to support MMR’s message for fishers to file their log catch sheets, as this provides clear indication to MMR and the wider public on the output of catch and effort.”

Wichman said so far Rakahanga had been one of the best performing clubs, with fish catches averaging 19 tonnes from 2012-2014.

“Nassau, one of the smaller members, follows in catch averages, before Pukapuka, then Manihiki and Tongareva.

“Filing catch logs will always be an issue but the more efficiently these are sent in, the better the allocation of grant funding support is, as figures tell the facts about the level of operation and strength of an association.

“In the future, associations are keen to develop proposals to seek funding to build fishing facilities for their activities. These will become centres for developing and strengthening their planned activities.

“They will serve the dual purpose of being a meeting and training area as well as a place for storing and operating ice machines, cool storage space, and outboard motor and spare parts servicing for fishing club members.

“All island clubs are keen to run fishing competitions this coming Easter, as competitions strengthen community and member participation, especially among the youth and women.”      - Release

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