Ice plants not feasible for maritime islands: Koroilavesau

Minister for Fisheries Semi Koroilavesau in Cikobia this week. Picture: LUKE RAWALAI

THE Fisheries Ministry is hesitant to install ice plants on remote islands because it demands a lot of water, a scarcity in many of Fiji’s maritime zones.

Responding to requests for such plants on Kioa and Cikobia, Fisheries Minister Semi Koroilavesau said establishing one ice plant cost about $800,000.

Mr Koroilavesau said the operations of the plant needed large volumes of water, which would be a problem for islands in the maritime areas, especially during prolonged dry periods.

He told villagers they needed a constant and strong supply of water to feed the daily demands of the plant.

He said this was why the ministry was focused on providing villages with the solar-powered freezers, two of which were handed over to islanders of Kioa and Cikobia.

Mr Koroilavesau said the operation of the freezers was efficient and for the time being, it would address their needs as they looked for better options.

In Kioa, fishermen requested Mr Koroilavesau for an ice plant.

The fishermen said they faced a lot of difficulties in procuring ice from the neighbouring islands of Taveuni and Rabi.

The same concerns were raised in Cikobia where islanders said most times their catch was wasted because of ice shortage.

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