Friday, 12 December 2008 1:23 PM

Marau Sound Turn to Seaweed

The Marau Sound communities of East Guadalcanal have turned to seaweed farming and land agriculture as alternative means of income generation while Marine Protected Areas rejuvenate.

The decision to establish Marine Protected Areas (MPA) was deemed necessary by the Marau Sound people because of a general reduction in marine food species in their traditional fishing grounds.

A statement from the Foundation of the Peoples of the South Pacific International, FSPI says this undesirable marine ecological status was caused by human population increases, heavy harvesting and the effects of climate change.

The Marau plan is to conserve marine food stocks for long term benefits.

FSPI reports this necessitated the adoption of alternative means of livelihood extending from seaweed cultivation to bee-keeping, vegetable farming and village tourism.

The Marau Sound leaders were advised by FSPI's Communities and Coasts Programme to establish "Tambus" on sections of their reefs.

The people also established sustainable harvesting practices in unprotected areas.

The project involved consultation and cooperation with the Solomon Islands Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources.

Source: SIBC