- History of Aquaculture Development:
Aquaculture was traditionally practiced throughout Micronesia. The potential for aquaculture development in Pohnpei state was investigated by the Economic Development Agency (EDA) and a five-year development plan (1981-1987) for marine resources was completed.
Investigation into the farming of eucheuma seaweed around Pohnpei was recommended by an expert from Hawaii. In 1983, M. Doty who was instrumental in developing the seaweed industry in the Philippines headed the seaweed project.
Sponge culture was carried out by Japanese in Pohnpei and Truk and proved commercially feasible.
Reports of turtle culture in Pohnpei during the Japanese administration. Also small-scale private turtle farms were in operation. In Yap turtles were raised as pets and later released once they had reached maturity.
Milkfish (Chanos chanos) was stocked into a brackish water pond together with shrimp in Yap as part of the Yap Mariculture Programme. The intention of the farm was to supply baitfish for the longline industry. It was not successful due to cheaper imported baitfish and the decline of the longline industry at the time.
Trochus was endemic to Yap. Trochus transplanted from Palau to Chuuk between 1927 and 1931 eventually led to the establishment of trochus in all four states and the first harvest was recorded in 1939.
- National Aspirations:
- Aquaculture facilities and activities to be developed
- Human resource development in the marine resources sector
- Management of and investment in the marine resource base such as aquaculture development to "kick start" the waning economy.
- Provide non-government employment to coastal communities
- Generate export income
- Management and conservation of marine resources through aquaculture development
- Constraints and Impediments :
- Lack of Aquaculture Development Plan
- Feasibility studies ignored social and economic viability
- Lack of trained technical and extension staff in the field of aquaculture and marketing
- Lack of seed for some potential sites
- Lack of legal rights to use coastal areas in some states
- Inadequate national and state budget for potential projects
- Inadequate facilities
- Lack of motivation by rural communities to undertake new ventures
- Main Features of the Industry :
The office of Marine Resource Development of Pohnpei operates an aquaculture facility. Activities are limited to stock enhancement of giant clams and trochus shells, training and research.
Pearl farms were established in the lagoon of Nukuoro Atoll with funds from the state government and external technical assistance. Farms are owned by the communities and managed by the municipal government of Nukuoro. Harvests from the pearl farms are intended for market trials in Hawaii.