National Fisheries Development (NFD), a wholly-owned subsidiary of firm Tri Marine International in the Solomon Islands, is facing a "huge challenge" related to fish piracy involving local fishermen illegally collecting fish from the fishing boats in open waters, the firm’s managing director Frank Wickham told the Solomon Star News.

Wickham claimed there has been an increase in incidents between with local fishermen, who board their fishing boats to help themselves to fresh fish.

The company is concern that captains and crew are being threatened by some pirates on the open sea, he said. Wickham alleged that these local fishermen move around in open water on motorized canoes using global positioning systems to locate the movement of company’s fishing boats.

Last month, NFD added a fifth pole-and-line vessel to its Solomon Islands flag fleet, Tri Marine said. Upon arrival from Japan, where the boat was purchased, the Solomon Hunter was inspected by the Solomon Islands' maritime authorities, for permanent registry under Solomon Island flag, said the company.

Solomon Hunter will join NFD’s fleet of seven purse seiners and four other pole-and-line fishing vessels. The fleet is based at Noro, where SolTuna, the Solomon Islands’ only large-scale tuna processor, is located.