Marketing fish in Majuro and Kwajalein Atolls

Location

Outer Island Fish Market Center

Coastal Division carried out 43 trips to the outer islands to purchase fish for marketing through the Outer Islands Fish Market Center (OIFMC) in Majuro. Although the number of trips declined by 25 percent compared to 56 made in 2015, the OIFMC purchased almost the same number of pounds of fish as it did with the higher number of trips the previous year.

And fishers on the eight outer atolls serviced received more money than in 2015 for purchase of their fish.

OIFMC bought fish from Arno (27 trips), Maloelap (7 trips), Wotje (4 trips), and from Aur, Jaluit, Namu, Mili, and Likiep (1 trip each).

These visits by MIMRA vessels continued to provide fishers on these remote atolls with income by purchasing fish and fish products.

Arno fishers received $84,614 for 62,753 pounds of fish; Aur and Maloelap fishermen received $21,235 for 22,153 pounds of fish; and Jaluit, Likiep, Namu, Wotje and Mili fishers received $24,500 for 17,976 pounds of fish.

The monetary benefit the fishermen of these eight atolls received directly from MIMRA totaled $130,349 for the 102,882 lbs of fish purchased, compared to 109,874 pounds purchased in 2015 for $129,306.

Outer Islands Fish Market Center, Majuro

Fish Purchase/Sold FY2016

Island

Arno
Aur, Maloelap
Wotjie,Mili,Namu,Likiep
Total

Lbs. Purchased

62,753
22,153
17,976
102,882

Price

$84,614
$24,500
$21,235
$130,349

Lbs. Sold

44,237
13,395
10,456
68,088

Sales $

$90,656
$28,016
$21,458
$140,130
The OIFMC continues to enforce quality and size limits on the fish that are purchased from the outer islands.  With fuel costs continuing to remain high, OIFMC initiated a system of grouping atolls (Wotje-Lik-iep, Wotje-Ailuk,  and Aur-Maloelap) in one trip to maximize the amount of fish per trip landed on Majuro.

The number of trips to the eight atolls decreased from 56 last year to 43 trips this year. 

A combination of factors caused this decrease in visits: unfavorable sea conditions, extra repairs needed to facilities/boats, and the priority placed on use of MIMRA vessels to accommodate emergency medical evacuation charters requested by the Ministry of Health.

This fiscal year, repairs to Jaluit community boats took place putting Jaluit  fishing boats out of commission for a long period of time. Work continues to promote the efficiency of fish collection and distribution activities from trips to the outer islands, the transportation to the market, the sorting and reweighing, value adding of the products, facility security and safety, accounting procedures and sales to customers.
kwajalein_fish_market.jpg

KAFMC

The Kwajalein Atoll Fish Market Center (KAFMC) now has a vessel to use for trips to its fish base partners and projects on the outer islands, but due to limited availability and high cost of fuel on Ebeye, trips have remained limited and inconsistent.

However, KAFMC was able to increase its total trips to the outer islands to six in 2016, an increase over the four the previous year. These six visits to outer islands included Ailuk, Namu, and Likiep to purchase fish and local produce. KAFMC also purchased fish from Ebeye Island fishers.

From January through the first half of April, no trips to the outer islands were conducted for safety reasons, as major repairs were needed on F/V Laintok. Nonetheless, KAFMC continued to supply limited amounts fish to the Ebeye community through direct purchase of fish from Namu, Ailuk, Likiep and Ebeye fishers as well as providing assistance with fuel and ice provisions.
For this year, fishers received $19,906 for fish and $3,768 for local produce sold to the KAFMC. Purchases of fish from Ailinglaplap Atoll remained on hold due to ciguatera fish poisoning concerns.

Ailinglaplap was one of several atolls that Coastal Division staff collected plankton samples from as part of a Marshall Islands-wide  assessment of ciguatera fish poisoning.

This will be followed up in the next fiscal year with the dispatch of a MIMRA team to continue assessment of the situation with the support of World Bank funding.

KAFMC continued to look for avenues to secure fuel to increase trips to the outer islands to purchase fish and local produce from the fish base-communities of Likiep, Ailinglaplap, Namu and Ailuk.

Outer Islands Fish Bought/Sold in Majuro and Kwajalein FY 2015/16

Year

2015
2016
2015
2016

Site

OIFMC*
OIFMC
KAFMC*
KAFMC

Lbs. Purchased

109,874
102,882
N/A
15,388

Price

$129,306
$130,349
$29,011
$19,906

Lbs. Sold

81,914
68,088
N/A
N/A

Sales $

$157,924
$140,130
$21,667
$20,892
boat_lentanir.jpg

The MIMRA boat Lentanir, hauled out for maintenance purposes.

HIGHLIGHT

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