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The Tonga Aquaculture Commodity Development Plan is a national sectoral plan of Tonga for the period 2010-2014. It contains multiple community development plans covering the following priority aquaculture commodities: sea cucumber, coral and live-rock, seaweed, mabe pearl, trochus, marine finfish and giant clam.
The Plan seeks to make aquaculture more productive and sustainable. To this end, it aims to minimize environmental impacts and support fisheries restrictions for sea cucumber. The Plan also aims to conduct scientific literature review of sustainability issues for live rock, re-establish live rock quota with a commitment to consider the outcome of studies in years 2 and forward, limit aquaculture licenses to competent companies, support ecotourism, and ensure that all industry players complete environmental impact assessment prior to wild harvest. For giant clam, the Plan aims to develop ecotourism in association with coral. In the case of marine finfish, the Plan targets to control illegal and destructive fishing practices that impinge on juvenile capture, enforce net size restrictions to protect broodstock, provide education on ways to reduce environmental impacts, and identify environmental risk factors such as poor water quality and nutrient levels. Finally, the document provides to assess trochus management regime in order to have no detrimental environmental impacts and to be ecologically sustainable.
In order to enable more inclusive and efficient agricultural and food systems, the following measures are set out: refining culture techniques to improve product quality, reviewing farm-gate prices, increasing export opportunities, expanding farming sites and areas, and refining processing techniques for sea cucumber. For coral and live rock, the Plan provides for establishing and stabilizing market price paid to contractors, investigating duty and tax concessions in place for similar industries (5-year period), and establishing realistic community expectations of market value of ornamental products, and stabilizing the market and exploring the possibilities of new product. For mozuku seaweed, the Plan sets out measures pertaining to its harvesting, processing and marketing/exporting. For mabe pearl, the document envisions pearl farmers association being operational and transparent, moving farmers to proper licensing class (protect their tenure), assessing market demand, size, domestic versus international market and carrying out trial exports. For giant clam, the document includes the following measures: re-establishing and maintaining the central giant clam hatchery at Fisheries, beginning grow-out of giant clam in communities for ornamental species and investigating prospects for transferring technology and education to enable communities to breed (simple, static-flow hatchery) and grow their own clams. In the case of marine finfish, the document provides for market analysis, refining diet and husbandry techniques to improve growth rates, reviewing markets and/or economic importance of cultivated species, expanding farming sites and areas, and refining post-harvesting techniques and value-added products. Finally, for trochus, the Plan aims to undertake multiple measures for harvesting, processing, exporting/marketing and monitoring and management of the resource.
The Ministry of Fisheries of Tonga and the Secretariat of the Pacific Community undertook formulating the aquaculture commodity development plans.
Tonga Aquaculture Commodity Development Plan 2010-2014
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