The CNMI’s new generation of fishermen were recently assured of full government support, with no less than Gov. Ralph DLG Torres and Lt. Gov. Arnold I. Palacios both promising to provide whatever they can to be of help.
Torres and Palacios surprised the young fishermen with a visit last Saturday at the Head Start center on Capital Hill, where they have been spending their Saturdays to learn the rudiments of fishing.
Both expressed appreciation and support for the students’ interest in learning how to fish.
“We are very blessed for what we have here in our islands,” Torres said. “Our waters are just right there. People around the world travel to other places just to go fishing, to try that blue lagoon like what we have, and we live here. This is our treasure.”
“We have our water out there. Mother Nature is growing, raising, reproducing our fish. All you got to do is make sure that’s part of you, that you love it out there, that you love to fish,” he added.
Torres said he himself loves to fish and that he teaches his children how to fish. “One day, if not already, you will bring fish to your family. In due time, you’ll be providing for yourself, your friends, for the party.”
The governor also reminded the members of the Saipan Fishermen’s Association’s Youth Fishing Club that the most important thing about fishing is respecting, protecting, and appreciating the environment.
Torres shared that he, along with Palacios, attended the International Conference on Tuna in Hawaii about a year and a half ago, where they saw an opportunity for the CNMI fishing grounds. From there, they decided to help the islands’ fishing industry.
“There’s a lot of younger folks that are very interested in fishery resources, whether it’s for harvesting, marketing, [or] conservation issues,” Palacios said. “[SFA] already has a module for training, focused on high schools, and even younger ones, and the governor and I are very happy that they already got it. All we got to do is show our support and provide whatever help we can to facilitate the success of this program.”
SFA’s youth fishing program runs for eight months, and is intended to give young members of the community an understanding of ocean preservation and the fishery industry in the CNMI.
SFA president Gene Weaver expressed appreciation to Torres and Palacios for their support and also acknowledged the lieutenant governor for being among the first members of the fishing association.
“We are passing on knowledge, from all the presenters, from all experts to you. We are just passing the knowledge down from generation to generation,” Weaver said, addressing the members of SFA Youth Fishing Club.
For more information and/or to support the Youth Fishing Club, contact SFA at https://www.facebook.com/sfacnmi/.