Belau Offshore Fishers Incorporated (BOFI) received its second fishing vessel, a 50-footer pole-and-line vessel acquired through Japan Grassroots Grant Program. The vessel aims to help expand the local fishing company’s efforts.
The arrival of the second vessel which was scheduled to arrive last year was delayed due to COVID-lock downs in Japan.
Getting the second vessel is part of the BOFI business plan to grow the domestic fishery, fulfilling one of the mandates of the Palau National Marine Sanctuary.
The boat will go into operation after the formal handover from the Japan Embassy. It will be manned by 5 to 10 crew members with a Palauan captain.
There are not enough Palauans to meet the fishing crew demand and recruitment is ongoing for more crew members.
Meanwhile, debate continues on the proposal to re-open Palau’s marine sanctuary to fishing again. BOFI (a locally owned and operated fishing company) has asked OEK (House of Delegates) not to let the foreign fishing boats in and to help develop more local fishing companies like BOFI to step into the gap left by the foreign fishing companies. (By: L.N. Reklai)