Moi farm expansion set

College of the Marshall Islands students recently visited the moi fishing farm in Majuro lagoon, and checked out the cages where the fish are grown until they are large enough to market. Photo: Sabrina Bejang.
College of the Marshall Islands students recently visited the moi fishing farm in Majuro lagoon, and checked out the cages where the fish are grown until they are large enough to market. Photo: Sabrina Bejang.


REBECCA LATHROP

Hilton Kendall speaks proudly about the moi fish farm project that Aquaculture Technologies of the Marshall Islands (ATMI) piloted in 2012 and which currently employs nearly 40 local workers.

The company has six cages that house the moi until they reach at least one pound, when they are marketable at $4 per pound. While the company has exported its moi to Hawaii on a limited basis, the current focus is supplying the local market 500 to 800 pounds per week.

The future? Kendall says they plan to expand. With enthusiasm he exclaims they want to “feed the world!” While that is a energetic target, the short term tangible goals are impressive.

Later this month, six more cages will be constructed in the Delap Park area, ready to join the other six located in the lagoon along the north shore of Majuro. This will result in expansion of both the production and the ATMI workforce. By next year, ATMI anticipates 130 employees. Three additional cages are also planned for Rongelap in 2018. They aim to grow their fish numbers to the point where they can meet Hawaii’s demand for 5,000 to 10,000 pounds per week.

Aquaculture Technologies currently sells their fish to Marshall Islands Fishing Venture, which conducts quality control and packages the fish for market. The company has a partnership with KMI which houses their feed machine and cold storage facility. Kendall sees potential in PNA/Pacifical and KMI’s canning venture and sees that as a future goal for their company, but also hopes to be more independent, eventually in charge of their own processing.

Read more about this in the October 27 edition of the Marshall Islands Journal.