Bagan Project

Bagan Fishing in Majuro, Marshall islands

The bagan bait fish project aims to research the potential for utilization of an Indonesian style lift net platform (“bagan”) for the purpose of catching small pelagic fish for food. It is anticipated that the fish will be consumed fresh and in value added form (salted, dried, smoked, etc.) on the local market. A second phase of the project will assess the potential for establishing a small- scale pole-and-line industry in RMI which could source live-bait from the bagan project. The project, implemented by MIMRA in conjunction with SPC and FFA, began in October 2011 when the bagan was constructed in Tarawa (Kiribati) and transported to Majuro, where it was assembled and launched in February 2012.

A pole-and-line specialist and a bagan operations specialist from Indonesia were engaged to conduct fishing and value adding demonstrations for two weeks, to produce recommendations for design and operation improvement, and to make amendments for future project replication. Subsequent to the consultancy, MIMRA has committed to continue fishing trials (10 fishing days/month) to allow for sound time-series catch and data collection over 12 months for baseline data, with the produce being marketed through OIFMC. Once a good operation and business model has been defined, MIMRA will transfer ownership and operation of the bagan to a community group, who will have the opportunity to conduct the bagan fishing and marketing of their produce through the OIFMC. If successful, this project will provide an alternative source of food and income from a sustainable fish resource, which is not currently exploited in the RMI.

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