Fisheries and Cultural focus at Nonouti

Another team of 11 officials from Fisheries and Culture visited Nonouti from 24 November to 10 December to undertake activities of the Food Security project known  as the LDCF project which is managed by MELAD with funding support from the Global Environment Facility (GEF) through UNDP. This is the fourth wave of team visiting the island under this project in this last quarter of 2017.

The team convened a full island council meeting which selected Autukia village to pilot the community based fisheries management planning (CBFMP). Consultations with Autukia villagers began to commence the management planning for several days that was attended by all household representatives such as elders, middle aged men and women, as well as their youth. The developed management plan has the village’s vision of looking at “20 years’ time, to prosper through a well-managed marine resource, cleanliness of village, strong cultural values and support toward their children for formal education” In order to achieve this vision, the management plan contained actions to address issues and concerns concerning their fishery and beyond.  The plan is owned by the villagers and is adaptive hence can be revised and changed periodically according to the interest of the community.

As consultations rolled out at Autukia, several members of the project team spent time undertaking 15 creel survey with fishermen at Tabiang (Taboiaki South), Mwakauro (Taboiaki North), Matang and Temwanoku villages, while at sea, several marine surveys using scuba diving were done to make fish counts and  collect biological samples for later analysis at a laboratory. This is part of the project fisheries monitoring program useful to collect data to inform decision making on fisheries management both at the island and national level.

Simultaneously, a fisheries post-harvest training was held at the Fish center involving 10 participants from every ward on the island. The demonstrations included canning of fish, smoked fish, fish jerky, pickle clam, and seaweed value adding such as pawpaw jam and ice-cream. an additional day was given to school teachers and its committee members. All participants were appreciative of these useful demonstrations.

The cultural component of the visit involved a one day workshop on food security and cultural industry awareness program, followed by a consultation and survey based on traditional food security methods at every village/ward.

The mayor concluded the workshop and said that the Island council of Nonouti including those who participate from different organizations will give great support in future activities of the Project as it is very important for the people of Nonouti in terms of promoting economic activities and preserving their traditional culture which all contribute to food security.

The team left Nonouti on Monday 11 December, 2017. These same activities will also be rolled out in 2018 at the other two pilot islands of the project, Maiana and Abemama.