Likiep’s fishing blast

The second annual Likiep Atoll Fishing Tournament and Expedition generated great interest from Likiep and Majuro fishers when it was held at the end of last month. Photo: Chris deBrum.

Last year’s first Likiep Atoll Fishing Tournament and Expedition was a big hit with local fishermen and the community, generating momentum for holding the second annual competition late last month at Likiep.

“I started this Likiep Atoll Fishing Tournament and Expedition one year ago with my brother Nicky deBrum with the good support from MIMRA and Likiep local fishermen,” said Chris deBrum, who is the Majuro Urok Club president. “The aim was to have MIMRA boats increase visits to Likiep Atoll, to come to Likiep to weigh-in and buy the catch from the local fishermen. So the main purpose was to increase the number of MIMRA boat visits to Likiep Atoll, and at the same time to bring people together and share or create opportunities available out there.”

The second tournament held late last month was dedicated to the late MIMRA Captain Dickland John from Likiep Atoll who was the captain on the first trip last year. He passed away unexpectedly early this year. 

“He and I planned this second one for him to be the captain again,” said deBrum. “His wife Diana John and and their families have been a great supporter and partner in this second tournament.”

The Johns’ daughter Lynn John was Miss Likiep Second Annual Fishing Tournament. The main supporters and sponsors for this year’s tournament at Likiep were MIMRA and Likiep Atoll Local Government, with Majuro Urok Club a partner and great supporter, said deBrum.

Not to be outdone by the men, Likiep ladies turned out in force for their first Kamomo Fishing Tournament at the northern atoll last month.

The afternoon tournament brought together 21 women from the Likiep, Melan and Jebal communities. It was the first time for a Kamomo Fishing Tournament at Likiep, which came about after last year’s First Annual Fishing Tournament at Likiep sparked their interest. “Kamomo” is the name for the type of fishing.

“This was arranged for the Friday before the Saturday of the Second Annual main tournament,” said deBrum, adding that it was a success with great participation.

DeBrum pointed out the tie-in of the fishing events with outer islands development initiatives of the national government. “If all goes well, by next year we will have Marshall Islands Resort run the Likiep Plantation Haus/Hotel, which will open more opportunities for jobs for the local communities on Likiep Atoll,” he said. “This is basically the Neighboring Islands agenda of the new administration and Likiep Atoll is approaching it.”

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