The Coastal Division in Majuro conducted 41 trips to outer islands to buy fish, nearly the same as in 2016, when 43 trips were made. The fish purchased from different outer islands is sold by MIMRA’s Outer Islands Fish Market Center (OIFMC) in Majuro.
The volume of fish brought in from outer islands increased in 2017 compared to the previous year, as did payments to outer island fishers. OIFMC revenue from fish sales increased 19 percent over the previous year, from $140,130 to $166,904. Payments to all of the outer islands providing fish to OIFMC have averaged $130,185 annually 2015-2017.
The visits by OIFMC vessels not only picked up fish and injected significant amounts of money into these remote island communities, the trips also provided transportation options for islanders going to and from the seven outer atolls served during 2017.
OIFMC purchased fish from Arno (26 trips), Aur (6 trips), Maloelap (5 trips), and Jaluit, Likiep, Namu, and Wotje (one trip each). Arno fishers received $90,303 for 99,938 pounds of fish; Jaluit fishers received $2,819 for 3,821 pounds of fish; Maloelap fishers received $13,443 for 12,985 pounds of fish; Aur fishers received $16,655 for 15,855 pounds of fish; Likiep fishers received $1,939 for 1,867 pounds of fish; Namu fishers received $2,000 for 2,905 pounds of fish; and Wotje fishers received $3,743 for 2,495 pounds of fish.
The monetary benefits that the fishermen of these eight atolls received directly totaled $130,905 for the 139,866 pounds of fish purchased.
The OIFMC continues to enforce quality and size limits on the fish that are brought in from the outer islands and with fuel costs remaining high, OIFMC has also initiated grouping atolls in one trip to maximize the amount of fish per trip landed on Majuro. Although the number of trips to individual atolls has decreased for some, the total number of trips made by OIFMC vessels totaled 41 in 2017, nearly equal to the 43 in 2016.
Improvements are ongoing to promote efficiency throughout the entire cycle of the OIFMC’s outer islands fish system, including fish collection and distribution activities on trips to the outer islands, transportation to the OIFMC, sorting and re-weighing, value adding to products, facility security and safety, accounting procedures, and sales to customers.
Fish Purchased/Sold FY2017
Kwajalein Atoll Fish Market Center
Trips to purchase fish from outer islands have remained limited for the Kwajalein Atoll Fish Market Center (KAFMC). Although the KAFMC has a vessel to use for trips to its fish base partners in the outer islands, due to limited availability and high cost of fuel on Ebeye, visits have been inconsistent. Another constraint faced by KAFMC is that maintenance on its vessel must be performed in Majuro, which increases time out of service. Nonetheless KAFMC continues to supply limited amounts of fish to the Ebeye community through direct purchase of fish and local produce from Namu, Ailinglaplap, Ailuk, Likiep and Ebeye fishers as well as providing assistance in fuel and ice provisions.More...
Photo taken from OIFMC Facebook page