The Fisheries Research Vessel, Tala Moana will soon dock in Suva, Fiji for maintenance and repair. The Tala Moana is planning to dock next month for a one week period from the 2nd to the 6th December 2019 to fix it starboard main engine. It is planned that the vessel will leave Funafuti on the 21st November 2019.
The vessel has 9 crew, including the Skipper, Mate, Chief Engineer, Second Engineer, and the Bosun, the Second Able Seaman, an ongoing Seafarer and two qualified motormen.
The Fisheries Department operates the Tala Moana vessel and has confirmed when the Tala Moana will be leaving for Suva. The purpose of the work is to carry out normal maintenance and get the Tala Moana back to its full operation. This vessel provides an important service to the Tuvalu Fisheries Department TFD, and for other Government Departments and as well as outer island Projects and field missions. One of the regular uses of the Tala Moana is for the Coastal and Operations & Development sections to go on their quarterly “Metronome” trips to gather data and assist the Kaupules, fishermen and communities with fisheries-related matters.
The RV Tala Moana has completed at total of 69 TFD, Government, Project and Private sector charters since its arrival in late 2015.
The Tala Moana, a 32- metre steel vessel, was procured by UNDP using GEF funds allocated to Tuvalu primarily to support the operations of the NAPA2 and Ridge-to-Reef (R2R) Projects in which the Department is heavily involved. The Tala Moana was delivered in December 2015 and is better suited to passenger transport and outer-island fieldwork than the Extension Vessel Manaui. The vessel is much larger than anticipated which makes it more costly to run but also enables it to be used for Monitoring Control and Surveillance (MCS) patrols.