A canning industry is seen as a huge ‘untapped potential’ for Palau, leading the Ministry of Natural Resources, Environment, and Tourism (MNRET) to initiate a free, five-day micro-cannery training which runs from September 23 until 27 at the Palau Marine Culture Demonstration (PMDC) facility.
The training gathered around 20 participants on its first day and received direct inputs on micro-cannery from approved trainer, Chris Bourne, from Australia.
MNRET Fisheries Scientist Vanessa Jaith said that this is not the first time that a training of this sort had been conducted in Palau as the same training had also been conducted in May 2017.
Jaith said that developing a canning industry in Palau could open more opportunities to Palauans and fishermen especially in the preparation for the effectivity of the Palau National Marine Sanctuary (PNMS) on January 1, 2020 when 80% of Palau’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) will be closed to fishing activity while the 20 percent is a domestic fishing zone.
Aside from that, the training is also part of the efforts to promote sustainable fishing through the Choose Pelagics initiative of the government.
Jaith said that the training is supported by Palau’s funds from the Parties to the Nauru Agreement (PNA). Through the PNA funds, participants are provided with the necessary equipment and books needed to conduct the training.
“We’re really making sure that we provide opportunities for Palauans to maximize benefits and businesses,” Jaith said.
At the end of the training, participants will be assessed and awarded with appropriate certificates such as for retort supervisor and retort assistant. Careful assessment will be conducted since the canning industry follows a meticulous standard and process to ensure safety of the public.
Under the retort supervisor certificate, a participant can run a small-scale canning operation for home use or selling while acquiring a retort assistant certificate means a participant can work with the retort supervisor.
Within the five-day training, various topics such as food safety, fish handling, and good practice standards, among others, will be covered. (By Rhealyn C. Pojas)