Fisheries, Aquaculture and Marine Ecosystems

Local fishers receive training on Eua Island, Tonga

Members of the Eua Island Fishermen Association in Tonga recently received training in practical skills and awareness on nearshore fish aggregating devices (FADs). The workshop trained the fishers on constructing and deploying nearshore FADs for their artisanal fishing needs.

Support for the training workshop was provided through the Development of Tuna Fisheries in the Pacific ACP Countries Phase II (DEVFISH2) project funded by the European Union and implemented by the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC).


William Sokimi from SPC was the lead facilitator for the training. Sione Mailu and Viliami Fatongiatau from Tonga’s Fisheries Division supported Mr Sokimi in translating the instructions and demonstrating each component of the process of FAD construction and deployment.

At the conclusion of the week-long workshop, two submerged FADs were rigged and deployed at sites selected and surveyed in the waters around Eua Island.

Eua Island Fishermen association is located on one of the main outer islands, an important source of fish for the capital – Nuku’alofa.


‘We are very happy that our local fishermen can now have access to two more additional FADs around the waters of Eua Island. Previously, fishermen were only utilising the one existing FAD. This increased capacity will increase the effective and efficient opportunities to our local fishermen’s fishing. I am also confident the local fishermen have gained important lessons during the training and will ensure the deployed FADs are looked after and […] construct and deploy their own FADs where required,” said Tonga Faeamani, local government representative for the island.


During the training, waterproof pouches for mobile phones produced by DevFish2 as a sea safety measure were distributed to the fishers.

Kiki, one of the trainees, immediately acknowledged the usefulness of the pouches during the FAD site survey boat trip, saying: ‘We often never bring our phones with us when going on our open boats. And when we bring them, we normally wrap them up tightly and place [them] inside buckets and so never hear them ringing. Now, I just have [my phone] hang around my neck and hear it ring in the first instance. And it will be safe and dry when I need to call in a situation when I need help.’




The fishers are confident they will have productive and profitable catches around these FADs that they can transport to Nuku’alofa for sales. Fishers sell their catch on the island, but when catches are more than 100 fish then they normally take their catch to Nuku’alofa. 

Leftover FAD materials and gear purchased by DevFish2 were provided to the Ministry of Agriculture and Food, Forests and Fisheries (MAFFF) to maintain as a reserve for repairs and maintenance for the Eua Island FADs and also to develop required FADs for other outer islands.


The DevFish2 project also liaised with the staff of MAFFF and had a FAD poster and brochure developed by SPC translated into Tongan. These were circulated and used during the workshop presentation to support explanation of the technical information on FADs.

The DevFish2 project continues to support small-scale tuna fisheries in Pacific Island countries and Timor Leste. This support contributes to strengthening food security and developing local income generation opportunities.


For more information on the Eua Island FAD project or the DevFish2 project, please contact Jonathan Manieva, Fisheries Development Officer


Photo captions:

Kiki with his mobile phone safely placed in a watertight pouch.

Sione Mailu explaining FAD components to fishers.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 29 April 2014 11:12