The first fresh water prawn farming project to be established outside of Efate and Santo in Vanuatu has opened on Maewo.
The project was launched by the Minister for Agriculture, Livestock, Forestry, Fisheries and Biodiversity, Matai Seremaiah this week.
As part of the launching the people harvested the first stock of prawns from two ponds at Naone on the north of the island that were constructed in December last year by the people of the village with assistance from the Department of Fisheries staff who stocked the ponds straight after the ponds were completed.
Then in just four days on March 24 to 28, the people of Talise village – men, women and young people, with help from two Department of Fisheries’ staff constructed two 15-by-8 metre ponds at the village. The two officers are Andrew William, the department’s Aquaculture Officer from Port Vila and Malcolm Tambe, Extension Fisheries Officer for Penama Province at Saratamata on Ambae.
The two officers accompanied the minister this week back to Maewo where they helped the people harvest 4,000 fresh water prawns from the two 20-by-10 metres ponds at Naone and then restock the ponds. Then they visited Talise and stocked the village ponds with 3,000 prawns. Both stocks totaling 7,000 prawns will be ready for harvest after four months.
This particular project and its roll out is funded by the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC), based in Noumea, New Caledonia.