10 newly recruited observers now qualified to work as the eyes and ears of Tuvalu in our oceanic fishery. There were 9 gentlemen and one young lady. The training was held in the Fisheries Department office over five weeks with a break for Christmas. It started on the 7th of December 2020.
The training was facilitated by Manoi Kutan, certified observer trainer, and three trainee trainers, Alipele Etoma, Gagati Falaima and Vaelei Failautusi.
The recruiting and training of new observer in response to the need to retain the number of observers within the Tuvalu National Observer Programme TVNOP at around 80. These 10 new observers will replace a few that have left the Tuvalu Observer Programme.
These 10 new observers were trained on how to record and to understand the information that needs to be collected according to each fishing gear type whether onboard a purse seiner or longline vessels.
Manoi Kutan, certified observer trainer said, “observer work is for both men and women, so whenever there is recruitment, girls are encouraged to apply. This training there was only one girl selected in the pre-course test and she successfully passed the course”.
The impact of Covid-19 is the reason the placement of observers is currently suspended in the whole region. The suspension may end as soon as the 15th February, but the re-starting of the observer programme is subject to approval by the members of regional secretariats, WCPFC, FFA, PNA as well as the Tuvalu Government.
This training was delivered to the Pacific Regional Fisheries Observer PIRFO training standard and these observers will be certified as PIRFO Observers. The training was funded by the Pacific Regional Ocean-scape Programme PROP.