20 participants, comprising fishermen from the Fishermen of Funafuti Association (FOFA) and their wives, had the advantage of learning at an in-country training on post-harvest as well as a refresher training on sea safety, conducted on the 27 and 28 of May, 2019 at the Tuvalu Fisheries Department (TFD) office.
The training was jointly organized by the Fisheries Department’s Operation and Development section and a technical expert from the Overseas Fishery Cooperation Foundation of Japan (OFCF), Mr. Keizo Takahashi.
The training was an Operation and Development milestone in the TFD Annual Work Plan for this year, and was part of the support that the Fisheries Department provides fishermen and women in strengthening food security in Tuvalu.
Mr. Keizo said, “This training is important to fishers and women because usually 80% of the fishermen in Funafuti and their wives sell all their catches and only 20% of them processed the discarded fish and preserve them.”
He said the most significant thing is for the Government of Tuvalu and the Government of Japan to join and operate in concert to strengthen these types of processing and preservation of fish when the Fish Market is ready.
During the two-day training, morning sessions were dedicated to refresher training on sea safety and the using of grab bags for fishermen, while the afternoon sessions focused on the post-harvest training for women.
The post-harvest training, facilitated by Mr Keizo and Mr Neli Seniola, the Fisheries Assistant Training & Development Officer, trained the women on how to make tinned fish using glass bottles as well as smoked fish and packaging using a vacuum sealer.
Mr Viliamu S Petaia, the Fisheries Training & Development officer commented that not all the fishers and their wives attended the training and he urged that in future, fishers and especially their wives, attend this sort of training as it is important for them.
Mr Keizo added that they have also conducted this post-harvest training at Vaitupu Island during their visit in the last two weeks.