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Boat Building and Fisheries Project PDF Print E-mail
fishing boatsFishery offers enormous possibilities for Timor because of the great resources of fish. Unfortunately the fishing sector is almost completely in the hands of people from outside (who often use harmful fishing techniques for the environment). These are especially people from South-Sulawesi, but also in the last several years people from Java with big ships and also from Thailand and The Philippines. Many of the caught fish disappear immediately to Java or with large transportation ships to foreign countries. The federal government wants to stop these practices and supports initiatives in the area of quality improvement and the setting up of a local processing industry so that the rich resources of the sea will bring more prosperity to the local population.

Wooden boatAt the moment the average Timorese does not have a chance to make a living fishing. Some do have a small boat, but they cannot go far out on the sea. Boats typically are made of wood and partially because the climate is dry and the vegetation is poor, the good quality kinds of trees have almost disappeared. So people use soft wood instead, which only shortens the lifespan of a boat. Sailing boats made from polyester are a good solution while the combination of motor and sailing power has a big advantage in terms of fuel costs.

The first phase of the project focuses on underprivileged fishermen (and young adult orphans and refugees) who receive knowledge and instruction in order to develop small scale and sustainable skills in fishing whereby polyester boat building is combined with a capacity building programme. The goals for 2007 and 2008 are to build two to three large (8-9 meters) polyester sailing boats and about fifteen smaller boats of about 3-4 meters.

Fish marketIn the area of quality improvement (and thus higher prices) of the fish there are big possibilities through a process of awaking and training. With polyester boats there are more possibilities for ice packaging than with wooden boats. That is why there will also be education in fishing techniques and quality improvement of the caught fish, which can raise the sales price up to three times the 'normal' price.

The points to pay attention to for the long term are:
  • (polyester) boat buildingCatch
  • Improvement of fishing techniques
  • Principles of cooperating together
  • Quality improvement of the fish
  • Local fish processing and cooled storage
  • Enlargement of the market
The goal is that after the first phase the project will continue so that eventually people will be able to take care of themselves. The training will continue after 2008 with extra courses like:
  • Processing of fish
  • Marketing
  • Export
  • Business management
There are contacts with the fishing industry of Urk (one of the main fishing centers in The Netherlands), from which support in these areas can be received. Also there will be looked at cooling facilities for Kupang in cooperation with the fishing department of the local government or the private sector.

Students who have finished their studies will be able to receive a boat on credit to help them make a living on their own. A number of boats can be used for further training, sailing skills and fishing.

This project has been cofinenced by Cedar Fund and Metterdaad.

Metterdaad Cedar



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