The Holona Fishing Cooperative Society Ltd of Pak Island, Hahai Village Ward 2 in the Rapatona LLG of Lorengau, Manus Province has been facing issues with the Fisheries Aggregated Device (FAD) and their fisheries businesses.
The officials of NFA and invited delegates traveled rough seas to Pak Island shores to deliver a need that is hoped to impact the people for the better.
On behalf of Pak as a whole, Councilor George Sale wasted no time in expressing their concerns saying that the seaweed project was failing and they sought solutions from NFA amongst other of their projects.
He said money made from the fish they catch and sell can only cover fuel costs and it is an extra struggle to meet school fee expenses amongst other needs.
Councilor George said, "I leave our concerns in your capable hands that you take them to the necessary discussion amongst your departments and identify a solution that will help improve our situation."
His hope is that NFA provides assistance to strengthen and make their FAD meaningful and sustainable for people’s lives from the village to ward level.
NFA Deputy Managing Director Pakop Nowan explained how the Japanese Government and other stakeholders have collaborated with NFA to bring about opportunities and resources to assist and support the local fishermen and coastal fisheries areas.
"We are happy that there is interest for the Seaweed Project and do acknowledge the issues you have raised regarding this project and fisheries here in your community and will do what we can to resolve these. We have brought along supportive representatives from Japan and others to witness what is needed or required to improve or upgrade the people’s fisheries programs and projects," said Nowan.
Kanai Shangke, Chairman of the Mulirem Village FAD, Ward 1, Paktong Fishing Cooperative in his remarks was grateful that NFA showed concern not only those in bigger businesses but the villages as well.
"From your presence here we hope that you recognize our plight. We use fisheries mainly to sustain our food security only and not too many things and this is because the market in Manus is quite poor," said Shangke.
He believes the economy in Manus is not healthy and begs the question "If we come to sell our catch at the market where else will it go and who else will purchase it?"
This, amongst other issues is of great concern to the people and they asked for solutions.
In receiving the Cooperatives certificate, Chairman of Holona Fishing Cooperatives Felix Meli also mentioned the struggles faced by his people and conveyed his thanks to NFA. He and his people look forward to making beneficial changes through the initiatives of NFA and JICA and the PNG government.