Cook Islands Provides Help To Fisherman On Northern Islands

Fisheries development fund from licenses supplies chillers, freezers

By Losirene Chand 

RAROTONGA, Cook Islands (Cook Islands News, July 11, 2016) -- The Ministry of Marine Resources’ fisheries development fund has finally been able to assist the northern group islands as it assists in providing freezers and chillers for local fishermen.

Finance minister Mark Brown said the funding initiative started in 2011 when the minister for MMR was Teina Bishop.

“We decided that the revenues from fishing licenses were expected to be around $200,000 [US$146,000] a year and we decided to set up a fisheries development fund to assist local fishermen,” Brown said.

Assistance through this fund is given to individual fishermen and fishing associations to purchase boats, engines and safety equipment.

Funding has been in place for the last four years and last year government increased the allocation to $300,000 in light of the extra revenue the government was getting from licensing.

“So it is a significant amount of money and during last year and on this year’s recent trip to the Northern group islands we travelled with marine officers who helped explain to the northern people about this particular fund.”

Brown said many people in the northern islands did not know much about the fund as the money had previously assisted mostly the southern islands.

In the north, money is needed more for storage, ice makers and freezers and this year government approved 93 applications by fishermen there.

“The storage and ice makers are the major requests from the north and what we see is that the product from the north has been finding its way to the market here, which is providing income for our fishermen,” said Brown.

Cook Islands News
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