Operations & Development Division

Tala Moana
RV Tala Moana

Fisheries remains an important source of food, income and cultural identity for the people of Tuvalu. While the majority of fish consumed locally comes from coastal fisheries, production has decreased significantly in the last decade despite indications in our island communities of increasing fishing pressure. This suggests that the marine resources that support coastal fisheries in our communities are fully or over-exploited. This situation is likely further exacerbated by the impacts of climate change in coastal areas.

In order to maintain current levels of consumption of fisheries marine resources, TFD will need to develop improved fisheries management of near-shore resources as well as utilize adaptive responses that assist with the reduction in pressure and threats to marine resources. Thus, greater efforts are required to promote the contribution of small-scale fisheries to food security and nutrition at the same time as enhancing the socio-ecological resilience of our island fishing communities.


“Supporting sustainable development of small-scale fisheries for livelihoods, food security and healthier diets”

Major Tasks

The Operation and Development section is responsible for a range of activities which are divided into 4 main tasks, which includes:

  • Livelihoods
  • FAD Program
  • Safety at sea program
  • Vessel operation

 Task One: Livelihoods

Revenue generating activities (RGAs) related to near-shore fishing are promoted and piloted in the target sites, including for youth and women. The following activities are to be carried out under this component;

  1. Training on fish processing, fish handling and production of smoke fish, tuna jerky and bottling
  2. Develop a packaging and marketing strategy for domestic / export sales of new products in or from Tuvalu
  3. Study on post-harvest products from tuna/pelagic and undertake trials to assess economic viability in Tuvalu.

 Task Two: FAD program

Awareness raising will be conducted to disseminate information on benefits of FADs and new fishing techniques (to be done together with the safety at sea programming). FADs will be deployed based on the adopted selection design and method in select areas to pilot new community FAD programmes. Training on FAD fishing will be given to trainers in the fisheries administration and fisher associations (training of trainers) and as well as directly to fishers. Partnerships between experts in FAD design and deployment within Fisheries sector and Fisher’s Associations will be supported with a focus on new fishing techniques, the maintenance of FADs and on other related aspects such as safety at sea and fish handling. Technical assistance will be procured to promote innovative local governance arrangements (FAD management plan and FAD MoU) to help fishers use and maintain the FAD adequately, safely and sustainably. O&D envisioned that all FADs construction in the future will be carried out by fishermen, but O&D will assist in the deployment. The following activities are to be carried out under this component;

  1. Rig and Deploy 9 FADs (including the >5n.mi offshore FAD in Funafuti), one on each island except Niulakita.
  2. Maintenance and Repair of existing FADs
  3. Training on FAD Fishing Technology
  4. Develop Anchored FAD management plan
  5. Signing of Revised FAD MoU

Task Three: Enhanced Safety at sea program

Assistance will design to improve training programmes on safety at sea, prevention of accidents and search and rescue (SAR). Trainings will be practical and include testing in real conditions with appropriate equipment including training of trainers through partners and regional institutions. Large-scale awareness raising will be promoted to reach out to fishers and their communities (including women and youth), so that fishers are better equipped and trained to prevent or handle any incident at sea during fishing operation. Activities under this component are as follows;

  1. Procure and distribute more Grab Bags to outer islands
  2. Training on how to utilize Grab bag items – at least one training on each island
  3. Training in maintenance and repair on Out board motor – all islands
  4. Checked and Maintained grab bag items yearly (Metronome trips)
  5. Procure and Install VHF repeater for Funafuti

Task Four: Vessel Operation

TFD is operating 2 vessels (RV Manaui and RV Tala Moana). Maintenance of both vessels continues to be a priority activity given their old age. The fact is both vessels has reached the stage where continuous repairs and maintenance has become the norm. Therefore, keeping both vessels operational and sea worthy is a big task for our section. A project to replace RV Manaui is now in progress with the support of JICA.

Despite both vessels’ old age and frequent breakdowns, both vessels will continue to provide services to both the Government and the people of Tuvalu. Thus, O&D will ensure both vessels operate in a safe condition and meets the Maritime standards. However, O&D will undertake the following activities to ensure both vessels provides the best and safer service to the Government and the Public;

  1. Execute 20 charters per vessel
  2. Generate revenues to meet operational cost for Tala Moana.
  3. Regular maintenance on both vessels
  4. Liaise with JICA on new Manaui status