10 Nov 2003

Fisheries management plan to be extended in Marshall Islands

4:23 pm on 10 November 2003

The Marshall Islands Marine Resources Authority is planning to extend its community-based fisheries management programmes to all its atolls.

The chief of coastal fisheries, Florence Edwards, says programmes are being developed for Arno and Likiep atolls while one is already in place for the island of Majetto.

She says villagers are consulted about whether there should be seasons or size and quantity limitations and whether certain fishing methods should be restricted.

Ms Edwards says Arno atoll called in the authority to help draft a plan.

"We have a fishing base over there which brings in fish about twice a week from the islands to Majuro...we are talking about maybe a thousand pounds of fish a week ...fishermen there have been noticing that their fish catches have been getting noticeably smaller."

Ms Edwards says a draft plan for Arno will be sent to the atoll for discussion within the next couple of weeks.

And, she says other atolls will also be approached to develop fisheries management programmes.