Communities Involved In Running Coastal Fisheries

MIMRA’s Coastal and Community Affairs Division carries out a wide range of activities in support of sustainable management and development of the domestic fishery, including aquaculture, particularly focused on remote outer islands.

These activities include:

  • Engagement with local governments and the communities they represent to develop marine resource management plans as part of the Reimaanlok (Looking to the Future) process, a major initiative of MIMRA over recent past years to engage with and activate local communities to take ownership of their marine resources through sustainable fisheriesmanagement plans.
  • Outreach education to schools in Majuro to increase elementary and high school students’ awareness of the importance of protecting and enhancing marine resources.
  • Support for national engagement programs such as the first National Oceans Symposium held in 2017.
  • Conduct of a wide-range of research activity, from underwater surveys to determine the condition of coral reefs and their eco-systems and community surveys to gauge awareness of the community and knowledge of traditional practices, to specific research on ciguatera fish poisoning and developing a “National Radioactivity Monitoring Capacity” through a program supported by the International Atomic Energy Agency.
  • Provision and maintenance of targeted fish aggregating devices (FADs) around Majuro Atoll for the benefit of local fishermen.
  • Management of two fish markets on Majuro and Kwajalein that link with outer island fishers and fish bases to deliver fish to these markets in the two urban centers of the Marshall Islands.
  • A maintenance and repair program for MIMRA’s fleet of ocean transport vessels; Majuro and Ebeye fish markets; Arno and Likiep giant clam hatcheries and a hatchery in Woja, Majuro; a radio network system; fish bases on Wotje, Arno and Ine, Arno subfish base; small fishing boats provided to support local commercial fishing on remote islands; and MIMRA vehicles.
  • Supervision and regulation of marine ornamental exports from the Marshall Islands, which include live fish and corals for overseas aquarium markets.
  • Oversight of harvests and exports of sea cucumbers and aquarium fisheries based on policies adopted by the Marshall Islands national government.
The Coastal Division’s partnership with the Coastal Management Advisory Committee (CMAC) brings together a broad range of agencies and people involved in all aspects of fisheries, marine resource management and climate programs. This collaborative approach is essential to developing successful and effective sustainable management of domestic marine resources.
Community-based consultatiions leading to development of sustainable marine resource management plans continued in Majuro Atoll and expanded to new outer islands in 2017, building on successful engagement with outer islands in previous years. The Coastal Division’s step-by-step process of engaging with local communities is the core program of Reimaanlok. The partnership that develops over time between MIMRA and these communities through the Reimaanlok process helps empower local communities to identify needs, problems and solutions for sustainable resource management.
The Reimaanlok process links directly to Marshall Islands commitments to the Micronesia Challenge, a regional effort to ensure that 30 percent of near-shore marine resources and 20 percent of land areas are under effective conservation management by 2020.
The World Bank’s Pacific Islands Regional Oceanscape Program (PROP) assisted the Coastal Division to expand its Reimaanlok work on the outer islands in 2017. PROP is a multi-year capacity-building program for fisheries management in the Marshall Islands and three other Pacific nations. With support of the International Atomic Energy Agency, Coastal staff continued research on causes of ciguatera fish poisoning on outer islands. In response to a request from the local government at Ailinglaplap Atoll, Coastal staff undertook a survey to sample fish in the atoll, which were subsequently brought to Majuro for laboratory analysis. This allowed MIMRA to share information with the Ailinglaplap community about fish containing ciguatera toxins in their lagoon.