Empowering Tonga’s Seafood Entrepreneurs: Graduates Celebrate Success in Micro-Qualification Training


6 June, 2024, Nukualofa, Tonga – Approximately 20 participants successfully completed a micro-qualification training on Establishing and Operating a Small Seafood Business in Nukua’lofa, Tonga on 17 May 2024.

“This training supports our efforts at the Tonga Ministry of Fisheries by enhancing business knowledge and seafood handling skills among our local vendors and fishers,” said Manatu Samani-Maile, Principal Fisheries Officer, Fisheries Management and Development Division, Ministry of Fisheries. It helps improve the quality of fish products while ensuring they remain fresh”.

The micro-qualification is targeted at small-scale seafood businesses, entrepreneurs, market vendors, fishers and seafood sellers.

According to USP Tonga Campus Director, Robin Havea, “whilst the University of the South Pacific is known for formal education, it also offers short-term training and micro-credentials. The USP PEUMP Micro-Qualification in Establishing and Operating a Small Seafood Business is aimed at professionals in the seafood industry to upskill their business skills to suit the continuously evolving seafood industry.”

The holder of this qualification will gain knowledge and skills on the fundamentals of establishing and operating a small business, marketing for small business, developing customer-driven marketing strategies, basic bookkeeping, and writing a business plan.

Nehusita Lopeti, a small seafood business owner, expressed gratitude for the eye-opening training, noting its potential to expand and think innovatively about business operations.

“I have learned the importance of diversifying my small seafood business into two or three additional ventures to protect it from economic downturns,” she said. “Additionally, I understand the value of offering my customers high-quality products, such as ensuring they receive the freshest fish possible.”

This training will be followed by other upskilling programmes such as seafood safety and quality, value chain analysis, upscaling community-based management, financial literacy and leadership trainings.

This was made possible through the USP Pacific European Union Marine Partnership (PEUMP) programme, funded by the European Union and the Government of Sweden.

USP is one of four key implementing partners of the PEUMP Programme, a EUR 45million program which promotes sustainable management and sound ocean governance for food security and economic growth while addressing climate change resilience and conservation of marine biodiversity.

It follows a comprehensive approach, integrating issues related to ocean fisheries, coastal fisheries, community development, marine conservation and capacity building under one single regional action. The PEUMP Programme is housed within the Institute of Marine Resources within the School of Agriculture, Geography, Environment, Ocean and Natural Sciences (SAGEONS).

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