Coastal & Community Affairs

The Coastal Fisheries Division continues its commitment to ensure that communities benefit from Outer Islands Fishing Projects and aquaculture/mariculture projects. MIMRA continues to encourage the development of culture fisheries and aquaculture for their potential to contribute to improving national fisheries production capacity and to stimulate local economies.

The Coastal Fisheries Division deals mainly with the development and management of community-based projects that provide benefits to the people in the community. It is required to coordinate and consult with traditional leaders and local government councils during the planning and development stages of projects. Additionally, it is required to coordinate and consult or advise local communities with respect to the development of sustainable management plans for inshore or coastal fisheries resources. It is also required to ensure community awareness of MIMRA policies or plans, and MIMRA’s role and capacity to provide assistance to communities.

At the same time, the division ensures the implementation of action plans and strategies. These plans and strategies must reflect policy decisions made by the Board, recommendations made by sub-regional, regional and international organizations that RMI is a party to, and other policy-related activities that concern coastal fisheries. MIMRA continues shifting management measures towards sustainable resource practices to allow for continued and longterm achievement of community and local government fisheries development plans and projects. In-house capacity building, as well as community trainings, are a main objectives for ensuring communities continue to be self-sufficient and take charge of their resources.

This year, the Coastal Fisheries Division marks the OIFMC’s first year in the new fish market facility donated through Japanese overseas development assistance (ODA). More atolls have been added to OIFMC’s fish collection run, including Wotje Fish base (donated through Japan’s OFCF), and Mili Atoll. KAFMC also marks its first year of FV Laintok’s transfer to resume fish collections for KAFMC supported atolls. High prices of fuel and limited availability has forced both markets to maximize each trip made to the outer atolls resulting in fewer trips, but higher volume of landed fish.

The Coastal Fisheries Division has also finalized work on Sea Cucumber Regulations, and initiated the process for Aquarium Fishery Regulations. The Policy, Planning and Statistics Section of the Coastal Fisheries Division aims to improve fish data collection with the introduction of biological sampling and plans for more dive surveys to compliment on-going work with CMAC. It is also assisting outer atolls with the development of resource management plans and ordinances, with Ailuk Local Government Council passing the first ever Fisheries Management Ordinances. The Coastal Fisheries Division continues to remain focused on improving and streamlining its programs to outer atoll communities.

Bagan Project

Majuro, Marshall Islands

The bagan bait fish project aims to research the potential for utilization of an Indonesian style lift net platform (“bagan”) for the purpose of catching small pelagic fish for food. It is anticipated that the fish will be consumed fresh and in value added form (salted, dried, smoked, etc.) on the local market. A second phase of the project will assess the potential for establishing a small- scale pole-and-line industry in RMI which could source live-bait from the bagan project. The project, implemented by MIMRA in conjunction with SPC and FFA, began in October 2011 when the bagan was constructed in Tarawa (Kiribati) and transported to Majuro, where it was assembled and launched in February 2012.

Finfish Sampling for Growth Monitoring

Coastal Division

This project forms part of SPC’s ‘Monitoring the Vulnerability and Adaptation of Coastal Fisheries to Climate Change’ project, funded by AusAID under Australia’s International Climate Change Adaptation Initiative (ICCAI), which aims to detect possible changes in coastal fisheries connected to climate rather than to other pressures on the resource, such as overfishing and habitat degradation.

Deep Sea Minerals

Coastal Division

Realizing that the 15 participating countries of the SPC-EU Deep Sea Minerals (DSM) Project were lacking capacity needs to effectively regulate and facilitate meaningful participation in the deep sea minerals industry; the DSM Project conducted a “Regional Training Workshop on Geological, Technological, Biological and Environmental Aspects of Deep Sea Minerals,”

Mariculture/Marine Ornamental Export

Coastal Division

MIMRA operates a giant clam hatchery on Loto, Likiep that provides juvenile clams for restocking reef areas and supplying local farmers for grow-out and for Marshall Islands Mariculture Farm (MIMF).

Conservation Efforts

Coastal Division

In October of 2009, MIMRA launched an education and awareness program on Majuro and Wotje atolls in an effort to strengthen marine turtle conservation by effectively increasing public awareness, knowledge, and understanding regarding the significance of turtles and the urgent need to protect turtle populations as part of the “Reimaanlok: Looking to the Future:

National Conservation Area Plan for the Marshall Islands” Reimaanlok.Collaborative partners included Marshall Islands Conservation Society (MICS), Ministry of Education (MOE), and Ms. Regina Woodrom Rudrud, a sea turtle biologist at the University of Hawai’i at Manoa (UHM). The updates of the activities are included:

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