The Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources (MFMR) and Solomon Islands National University (SINU) this morning signed a partnership deal to establish a quarantine facility for post entry of aquatic species in Solomon Islands.
Minister of Fisheries and Marine Resources Hon Nestor Giro while speaking on the occasion described it as historical milestone for SINU and the MFMR.
Under this partnership deal, both parties will collaborate on the establishment, operation, maintenance and research works pertain to the Post Entry Quarantine (PEQ) facility which SINU will host at its Department of Fisheries Studies, Ranadi Campus and Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources will use when it imports tilapia and other aquatic species for aquaculture purposes.
Minister Giro said this will be the first PEQ facility to be established purposely for the post entry quarantine of aquatic species in Solomon Islands.
“The signing speaks volume of the cooperation and the heart we all have towards development of the aquaculture sector,” he said.
Hon Giro said MFMR places high priority on the aquaculture sector and that is reflected in the Ministry’s policy and development commitments.
The national hatchery and research Center project currently under construction at Aruligo, Northwest Guadalcanal compelled the Ministry of Fisheries and SINU to set up a post-entry quarantine facility to meet the country’s national biosecurity and quarantine requirement.
The Fisheries Minister said his Ministry recognized SINU as a very important partner responsible for human resources development including in fisheries and aquaculture.
“So this facility will be a bonus to enhance student learning and development in the near future when it is completed and operational, he added.
The signing of the MoA this morning has paved the way for greater cooperation and commitment between MFMR and SINU to establish this important facility.
The Fisheries Minister warned there will be challenges along the way and urging both parties to remain focus and committed to this important project.
“My Ministry will make sure this project is running well and delivering the obligations on our part and hence, bring fort benefits to our people.
“We will support the project in areas stipulated under this MoA and will continue dialogue and work closely with your institution to resolve any dispute amicably that may arise in the future,” he told the SINU Management.
Pro Vice Chancellor and Acting Vice Chancellor Dr Jack Maebuta praised the Ministry of Fisheries saying the signing of the Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) will benefit both the Ministry of Fisheries and SINU students doing fisheries and aquaculture program.
“I see the signing today as important because both parties are legally bided to collaborate on practical activities of mutual benefits to students and further enhance benefits to wider communities,” he said.
MFMR is represented by Permanent Secretary Dr Christain Ramofafia and other fisheries officials while SINU its Pro-Vice Chancellors, Dr Maebuta and other heads of departments.