Islanders get new fish device

National, Normal

THE National Fisheries Authority (NFA) deployed a fish aggregation device (FAD) just off Pere Island in Manus on July 9.
The installation followed numerous appeals to relevant authorities by Pere community to replace a similar device that went adrift in May, after it was vandalised.
As an alternative livelihood, the device takes off pressure on marine protected zones, complementing the efforts of Pere in conserving its marine resources.
Since the first FAD went adrift, there were fears of people exploiting the protected areas.
“FAD i tirip pinis na mipla i poret olsem ol pipol bai i go bek gen long ol tambu area long kisim pis (with the FAD gone, we fear our people will go back to fish in the protected areas),” Pere executive council representative Piwen Langarap said when she first reported the matter with SeaWeb International, requesting that NFA be notified.
The FAD benefitted the Pere islanders immensely in terms of food security as well as economically.
Interestingly, community leaders attributed the zero rate of social and youth problems in Pere to the impact of the device.
Pere environment and conservation committee secretary Rabbie Kanamon explained to a team of mainstream journalists that visited Pere recently.  
Since 2004, Pere has become a model in marine conservation in the province, through its efforts in combining traditional knowledge of managing marine resources with Western management tools
The first FAD was funded by NFA at a cost of K10,000 and installed 12 months ago.
The deployment of the FAD coincided with mangrove planting in Pere.  
According to The Nature Conservancy (TNC) officer in Manus Manuai Matawai, who was in Pere for both events, the mangrove planting exercise was an initiative of the villagers to save their island, especially their shoreline from rising sea levels and strong waves.