24 Apr 2019

Pearl and sea cucumber farming part of Tonga's fish pathway

11:21 am on 24 April 2019

Tonga's Fisheries Ministry says pearl and sea cucumber farming are in its future plans and it is grateful to the World Bank for a grant to help protect coastal fish stocks and develop new marine resources.

Fishing boats in Tonga

Photo: Tonga Fisheries Ministry

The Ministry's chief executive said the $US10 million grant will be spread over six years to implement Tonga's Pathway to Sustainable Ocean Project.

Dr Tu'ikolongahau Halafihi said special management areas will be established throughout Tonga to delegate the management of coastal fisheries to the communities.

He said as well as managing current fish stocks the plan looks to develop new marine resources such as pearl in the future.

"Because you know the impact of climate change, the impact of like growing population, and also pollution and all these factors; we are now, we think that aquaculture is the other alternative that we can look at.

"So that's why we start with pearl because it's successful now. And not only that we have to look at the farming of sea cucumber and also other commodities."