The Fisheries Extension and Quarantine Unit is one of the Units within the Fisheries Division responsible for coordinating and implementing programs and activities targeting fisheries developments in the outer islands. The Unit main responsibility centered on 2 key aspects, extension and outer island programs and fisheries quarantine through package checking and inspection on marine exports sent through personal consignments.
In achieving the Division’s objectives the Fisheries Extension and Quarantine sets its work program to align with the Government of Kiribati Development Plan and the MFMRD Strategic Plan.
The major Objectives of the Unit are to:
In order for the Fisheries Division to fulfil its programs in the outer islands, Fisheries staffs are posted to the outer islands to implement and promote fisheries activities on the outer islands. So far there are a total number of 12 Extension Officers stationed in the outer islands with 9 remaining islands still in need of a Fisheries Assistant (FA). These 9 islands were Arorae, Onotoa, Tab South, Tab North, Abemama, North Tarawa, Marakei, Banaba and Tabuaeran. Due to the shortage of Fisheries Assistants some of islands were filled by the Fisheries Technicians while some by the retired FAs (fig 1).
The main responsibilities of the Fisheries staff stationed on the outer island are as follows;
To represent the Fisheries Division in the outer islands
Due to the scatted nature of the islands the Extension Officers on the outer islands were monitored through their monthly report submission followed by an outer island visit by the officer in charge of the unit to confirm their program. Issues encountered by the FAs were also reported through the monthly report and were addressed accordingly.
The mechanical workshop is another arm of the Extension Unit and it provides support to the outer islands in terms of repair and maintenance work to the Fish Centre. Beside the repair work they also assisted the Training Unit by conducting basic mechanical training on outboard motor engines to local fishermen.
The Mechanical workshop also provides repair works to local fishermen around Tarawa by providing advice on the work needed to be done to their engines.
Outer Island Trips
The trips to the outer islands is an annual activity carried out by the FD in which all the units activities are carried out at once. The trip targets the Southern, Central and the Northern Group and usually conducted using the FD research vessel RV Tetiakawa. RV Te Tiakawa is no longer operational and trips to Outer island were made by charger vessel.