Da’ok students learn about sustainable fishing from SFA

Posted on Jun 03 2019


The Saipan Fishing Association and the Da’ok Academy and its students kicked off over the weekend a pilot program that teaches about sustainable fishing and the environment.

Last Saturday was Day 1 of five weeks of teaching students about sustainable fishing at the Bureau of Environmental and Coastal Quality building along Middle Road.

The first week consists of presentations from representatives of BECQ, the Micronesia Islands Nature Alliance, and the Department of Public Safety Boating Safety.

“…It’s basically about giving back to the community. We have been running SFA for 35 years and it’s time to work with the Public School System,” said SFA outreach program vice chair Alex Castro Jr. in an interview.

The program is a pilot, according to Castro, adding that the association wants to make this an annual activity. “We are just trying to settle this thing and, once we get our heads out of the water, it’s going to be full force,” he said.

The first meeting last Saturday afternoon was the introduction of the program. Next Saturday onwards, the student would be heading out to the sea for a more hands-on experience.

“Next week would be teaching the students how to tie the lures; basic introductions to the equipment settings on the boat. …We are even going to have a mini-derby,” he said.

Da’ok teacher and fishing club advisor Joan Torres noted that the program is also important culturally, noting that indigenous culture relied heavily on the sea as a source of food.

“It teaches [the students] how to embrace their culture,” she said, “I [believe] it’s very important that the students embrace their culture and keep the tradition going.”

The Da’ok Academy currently has 13 students signed up for the program. Torres noted only eight students showed up last Saturday because some of them had transportation issues as well as other familial obligations to attend to.

SFA president Gene Weaver gave Saturday’s introductory speech.

Erwin Encinares | Reporter
Erwin Charles Tan Encinares holds a bachelor’s degree from the Chiang Kai Shek College and has covered a wide spectrum of assignments for the Saipan Tribune. Encinares is the paper’s political reporter.

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