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Solomon PM: Foreign Fleets Benefitting More Than Us

Prime Minister Dr. Derek Sikua has ordered the Ministry of fisheries and Marine Resources to develop “our tuna fish resource because it is our future”.

He made the order after he was told during his recent visit to the ministry that although Solomon Islands is entitled to receive maximum benefits from its fisheries, it has not been receiving what it should have been getting.

The prime minister was told that foreign fishing companies that have fishing licenses to fish in Solomon Islands Exclusive Economic Zone have been benefiting more than his country.

He was also told that both multilateral and bilateral fishing operators that fish in Solomon Islands have been the main beneficiaries.

Dr. Derek said it is high time the scenario is reversed adding marine resources could be developed into becoming the big alternative revenues to Solomon Islands after the logging industry is halted.

Fisheries and Marine Resources Minister Nollen Leni said there needs to be a policy shift in the fisheries sector – a shift that could ensure inshore investment have access to Solomon Islands waters.

He said the ministry needs political support to ensure the turn-around in economic benefits for Solomon Islands from its fisheries resources, adding the best fishing grounds are found in the country.

Still in the fishing front, Solomon Islands people eat 18 tons of fish annually, but with a 3.4 percent annual population growth, they could eat up to 30,000 tons of fish annually by 2030.