A total of 198 applications were received from all of the islands in the Cook Islands.
The applications were assessed by the selection committee, consisting of MFEM, Cook Islands Fishing Association and Ministry of Marine Resources representatives. Applications were also vetted by various fishing association members on each of the outer islands as well as executive officers and fisheries officers. A total of 97 applicants were granted funding approval with grand total of $177,257.
The most requested items were near shore/lagoon and offshore fishing gear, which includes fishing reels and rods, fishing lines, spearfishing gears, and various assorted fishing gears.
The second next most requested items were freezers and coolers, mainly destined for the northern group islands, with other requests including repairs, materials or boats and canoes and fish processing equipment.
“It was quite challenging for the committee processing the applications received and some are of high calibre, while at the same time there’s only a few which were not completed as compared to previous years,” said director of Inshore Fisheries and Aquaculture, Kori Raumea.
“For this year, we are expecting around the same number of applications and we encourage those whom are interested to lodge their application.
“Although, we originally made the deadline January 12, we have now extended it to January 31.”
“Application forms can be downloaded from MMR’s website or else come into office and collect a copy.
“We would like to encourage interest individuals, particularly in the outer islands, to see their local fisheries officer for assistance in completing their applications.”