Hopes are high in Lautoka, Fiji that a planned $36million investment by a Taiwanese company Gilontas will give the city an economic boost.
Local company West and Central Pacific Seafood Limited says it plans to recruit 200 more workers after Gilontas’s Fiji-based long-line fishing and fish processing plant is fully operational.
The Fiji Times reports that West and Central Pacific Seafood operates 15 fishing vessels from Lautoka, but plans to extend this to 50.
“Once we have all 50 vessels in operation out of Lautoka we will require $2million worth of dry food, 20 million litres of fuel, 450 thousand litres of bottled water and 750 thousand tonnes of bait annually. This will be an added incentive for milk fish farms in Ra to supply us with bait and provide fruit and vegetable growers in the Western Division with a guaranteed market for their produce,” says WCPSL executive director Jenny Zo-Yang.
Zo-Yang says fishing would be done outside of Fiji’s waters to ensure fish stock in the country remained sustainable.
The second phase of the operation is the building of a $6million fish processing plant on the Lautoka Wharf, scheduled to be in operation early next year. Phase three is the construction of a slipway and ship repair centre for fibreglass vessels.