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Project News


Handing over ceremony to Lautoka Fishers Cooperative Limited (LFCL)

On May 19, 2023, a handover ceremony was held at Lautoka Fish Port in Fiji, marking the official supply of equipment to Lautoka Fishers Cooperative Limited (LFCL). The ceremony was graced by the presence of Honorable Kalaveti Ravu, Minister of Fisheries and Forestry of Fiji, and Jonetani Nasau, Chairman of LFCL.

Lautoka Fishermen Market is the sole fully equipped fishing port in Fiji, boasting facilities such as a fish landing site, ice-making machines, and a fish market. Additionally, the Western region of Fiji is known for its thriving tourism industry, with numerous hotels and restaurants, resulting in high demand for seafood. Considering these circumstances, the Western Division of the Ministry of Fisheries initiated a small-scale project titled "Maximize economic return/opportunities for LFCL's members through sustainable utilization of fisheries resources," in collaboration with the JICA SDG14 Project.

The primary objective of this small-scale project is to strengthen the collaboration between fishermen, middlemen, and the government, aiming to maximize the economic benefits and opportunities surrounding Lautoka Fish Market. During the ceremony, a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was signed between the Ministry of Fisheries and LFCL, encompassing the collaboration between the two entities, the sharing of fisheries data, and the improvement of livelihoods for individuals involved in the fisheries sector.

Furthermore, as part of our ongoing support to enhance LFCL, we have partnered with the University of the South Pacific (USP). Since January 2021, USP lecturers, Ms. Janice Natasha and Mr. Binesh Raj, have been conducting capacity-building training sessions on "Post-Harvest and Seafood Processing" for the staff of the Ministry of Fisheries. This year marks the third year of implementation. The training sessions encompass lectures and practical exercises focusing on post-harvest techniques, handling methods, and processing procedures to improve the quality of seafood and increase its value. Participants from the Ministry of Fisheries, USP lecturers, and JICA experts engaged in discussions on methods to enhance the quality of seafood at Lautoka Fishermen Market. Subsequently, the procurement of essential equipment, including chest freezers, aluminium racks for seafood display, trolleys for transportation, thermometers, and core temperature monitoring devices, was carried out. During the ceremony, these procured equipment was officially handed over, with the expectation of contributing to the maximization of LFCL's profits through their effective utilization.

During the ceremony, Mr. Tamura, the Chief Project Advisor, delivered a speech outlining three recommendations for the efficient operation of the cooperative:

i) Ensuring the stable operation of LFCL and undertaking activities such as member recruitment and clarifying individual roles.

ii) Improving the quality of seafood products and engaging in the sale of processed products (e.g., smoked and dried seafood) to enhance the added value of fishery products. In line with this, commencing from June of this year, JICA experts and USP lecturers will visit Lautoka Fishery Port to initiate training programs specifically designed for LFCL members.

iii) Promoting the collection and analysis of accurate fishing data for effective resource management. Consequently, LFCL members were requested to diligently provide fishing data to the Ministry of Fisheries on an ongoing basis.

As previously mentioned, JICA remains committed to supporting collaboration between the Ministry of Fisheries, LFCL, USP, and stakeholders in the fishing industry, thereby ensuring continuous assistance toward maximizing the economic benefits and opportunities in the fisheries industry surrounding Lautoka Fishery Port.

PhotoGroup Photo

PhotoMr. Ravu, Minister of Fisheries and Forestry (left), and Mr. Nasau, Chairman of LFCL (right), signing MOU

PhotoMr. Nanise, Principal Fisheries Officer of the Western Division of MoF, delivering the opening speech.

PhotoThe scene of the equipment handover ceremony

PhotoThe minister conducted interviews with the fishermen, seeking their valuable insights and experiences.

PhotoEfforts are being made to improve the zoning methods within the fish market.


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