Ferry route an economic lifeline for Russell Islanders

Categories PhotographyPosted on
Part of small ship, with part of a crane visible, and one man using it to load a large plastic chiller box onto the ship. A woman and two children watch from the ship. One the wharf, a man stands on top of several other chiller boxes
Ronald Toito'ona

Over the years, the Gizo–Honiara ferry has provided an economic lifeline for the fishing community of the Russell Islands. This ship is moored at the wharf at Yandina, in the Russell Islands, to pick up the latest catch. The seafood is packed in ice in chiller boxes and will be sold in the Honiara markets.

The importance of the route has grown because of the on-off operation of the Yandina Fisheries Centre on Russell Islands.

The group of islands is in the Central Islands Province of Solomon Islands, and lies north-west of the national capital, Honiara. Gizo is the capital of Western Province.

The national government, through the Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources, built fisheries centres around the country in 1984. But many of the centres, including the Yandina one, have often stood idle due to the lack of machinery to keep them running.

To get around this problem and maintain a flow of fish for sale at the Honiara market, fish vendors saw an opportunity to purchase fresh fish from the Russell Islands or tuna from Noro, in Western Province. 

Because the Yandina centre is not running at the moment, the ice has been brought from Honiara. However, this is about to change: an agreement has been signed to repair the Yandina Fisheries Centre and get it running again.

Author: Ronald Toito'ona

Ronald Flier Toito’ona is a Journalist and Communications Consultant from the Solomon Islands – a small island Melanesian state in the Pacific Region. With just over five years of experience in the Media Industry, Ronald now has a special interest in covering Fisheries and Climate Change issues in Solomon Islands, the Pacific region and the world.