CNMI getting $889,984 for 8 fisheries projects

12 palapala, among 8 projects, will be built at Garapan Fishing Base where vendors can sell their newly caught fish

Gregorio Kilili C. Sablan

The CNMI is receiving from the U.S. Department of Commerce Pacific Islands Regional Office $889,984 for eight projects, including money to build 12 pavilions or palapala at the Garapan Fishing Base on Saipan where local vendors can sell their freshly caught fish.

Delegate Gregorio Kilili C. Sablan (D-MP) disclosed in his e-kilili newsletter Saturday that the eight projects are intended to support stability for fisheries resources, recovery of threatened and endangered species, and enhanced opportunities for commercial, recreational, and cultural activities in the marine environment.

Sablan said the projects are $149,000 for the Palapala Open Market; $67,544 for North Island Mooring; $58,000 to hire a marine conservation plan coordinator; $50,000 for the U.S. Pacific Territories Fishery Capacity-Building Scholarship Program; $48,000 to hire Rota and Tinian data collector; $269,329 for fishing community assessment; $229,702 for the development of the Mariana Islands Ika and Monchong Fishery; and $18,409 for data collection and entry in interjurisdictional fisher resources.

Under the Palapala Open Market, a series of 12 steel pavilions or palapala will be built at the Garapan Fishing Base to provide local fish vendors a central, shaded, and convenient area to market their fresh, locally caught fish.

With the North Island Mooring Project, the funding will be used to explore the possibility of installing vessel mooring site locations off the coast of Pagan.

With respect to a marine conservation plan coordinator, a half-time MCP coordinator will he hired to oversee projects funded under the Sustainable Fisheries Fund for two years.

Pertaining to U.S. Pacific Territories Fishery Capacity-Building Scholarship Program, the funding will support one student from the CNMI to participate in the council’s Capacity-Building Scholarship/Fellowship program for one year.

The participating student, upon graduation, will be required to work for their local fishery-related agency for one year for each year the scholarship was received.

Regarding the Rota and Tinian data support, the funding will be used to hire one data collector for each island of Tinian and Rota. The data collectors will train in survey protocol and implementation, strictly follow survey protocol to collect the fishery-dependent data, and transmit the collected data to the CNMI Division of Fish and Wildlife.

Under the fishing community assessment project, the funds will be utilized to determine a community-focused fishery management strategy for the five most caught fish species and/or most valuable fish species in the Marianas coral reef fishery.

With the development of the Ika and Monchong Fishery, the funding is intended to explore how fresh monchong—a highly regarded and valuable seafood product in Japan—can be marketed to Asian seafood markets.

The Marianas fishing community will benefit by receiving practical information needed to participate in an unexploited fishery.

On data collection and entry project, the funding will be spent to record data of Mariana fisheries. The data will guide the development, implementation, evaluation, and amendment of fishery management plans.

Sablan said these eight projects will support CNMI’s efforts to achieve healthy marine ecosystems through science-based conservation and management.

Ferdie De La Torre | Reporter
Ferdie Ponce de la Torre is a senior reporter of Saipan Tribune. He has a bachelor’s degree in journalism and has covered all news beats in the CNMI. He is a recipient of the CNMI Supreme Court Justice Award. Contact him at

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