PACIFIC BRIEFS Fisheries skills training

Posted on Jun 08 1999

Fisheries skills training

How do you make a fish smoker? How to make a fish smoker is one of many skills that women studying at the SPC Community Education Center in Fiji will learn in September 1999.

As of this year, the trainees undertaking a seven-month course for a Certificate in Community Development Studies will be offered a course in fisheries skills.

The two-week fisheries module has been developed by SPC’s Community Fisheries Adviser working in collaboration with USP’s lecturer in Postharvest Fisheries.

The module will include practical skills training in sustainable harvesting techniques, gear technology, seafood processing and preservation, and marketing.

Apart from learning how to market seafood and develop a community fisheries program, the trainees will be expected to make and test fishing gear, assess the quality of seafood, and process and preserve various marine resources using a variety of processing equipment. The module will take place from 20 September to 1 October 1999.

Young women of Futuna
learn to mend fishing nets

Eighteen young women recently benefited from a three-day SPC workshop on mending fishing nets, held on the island of Futuna. The workshop taught participants the knots needed to mend existing fishing nets and to make new ones. Selected for their interest in fishing and learning new skills, the women are considering forming an
Association of Net Menders to hire out their services to the local fishing community.

The SPC Community Fisheries Officer, Lyn Lambeth, conducted the workshop, which was jointly organized by the SPC Community Fisheries Section, the Pacific Women’s Resource Bureau, the Wallis and Futuna National Council of Women and the Fisheries Department.

In 1997, the SPC Pacific Women’s Resource Bureau, under the Small Grants Scheme, gave the women of Futuna 10 fishing nets. Following several informal requests to PWRB staff for a workshop to be conducted on how to mend these nets, Wallis and Futuna submitted a formal request in 1999. Nets are difficult and expensive to obtain in Wallis and Futuna, and mending old nets may be an attractive option for many fisherwomen.

The majority of the working population of Wallis and Futuna (80%) live off traditional agriculture and fishing. In Futuna, the women are very involved in fishing, as well as reef gleaning. The men look after the gardens, which are often located a long way from the villages, on the steep slopes of the hills, while the women need to stay closer to home. Fishing and reef gleaning enable them to work close to the family. Men do go fishing in small boats (trolling and bottom fishing), use cast nets and spear lobsters at night, but it is mainly the women who provide the daily seafood on Futuna.

Each woman received a certificate at the completion of the workshop. The closing ceremony was filmed by the local television station, RFO, and attended by representatives from the administration and the Fisheries Department.

This was the first time a workshop had been conducted for women involved in fisheries in Wallis and Futuna. It was also the first time the SPC Community Fisheries Section had worked in this small French Territory. The Community Fisheries Officer took advantage of the opportunity to carry out a survey on fisheries and a needs assessment for the fisherwomen of Futuna, and hopes to return for further work in the future.

Disclaimer: Comments are moderated. They will not appear immediately or even on the same day. Comments should be related to the topic. Off-topic comments would be deleted. Profanities are not allowed. Comments that are potentially libelous, inflammatory, or slanderous would be deleted.