Wallis and Futuna delegation visits New Caledonia aquaculture facilities
Friday, 26 February 2010 08:54
The French Pacific Fund granted funds to Wallis and Futuna for a project aimed at determining the potential for aquaculture development in the territory.[1] As part of this project, a delegation from Wallis and Futuna came to New Caledonia in October 2009 to visit aquaculture facilities and meet with key stakeholders of New Caledonia’s aquaculture sector.

The initial phase of this project determined whether aquaculture could be developed in Wallis and Futuna given its social and economical contexts, and also determined which commodities should be considered. Jacques Trichereau from IDEE (Ichthyo Developpement Eau Environnement) Aquaculture initially identified two key products: marine shrimp and finfish.

Although these commodities would need to be imported as post-larvae or fingerlings, both have promising potential in a country where the demand for seafood is high but the supply is currently low, and mostly imported at prices that often exceed the population's buying power (see Fisheries Newsletter 129:19–20).

The delegation from Wallis and Futuna comprised two representatives from the fisheries services (Bruno Mugneret and Amalia Fotofili), one from the fishermen's association (Kusi Toa), one from the government (Petelo Lié), and one from the department of the environment (Aurélie Chavez). The delegation met with specialists and gathered technical information while visiting research centres and production sites.

The visits were very enriching for the delegation. Upon arrival and after several presentations delivered at SPC, they travelled to Ngo Bay where they visited Aqualagon rabbitfish hatchery and grow-out project, and met with manager Frank Legarrec.

A visit was made to the French Research Institute for the Exploitation of the Sea (IFREMER) where Jacques Patrois described various aspects of shrimp aquaculture that the research centre works on. Other shrimp facilities, such as the Eori hatchery in Bourail (Bruno Castelain) and later a large (Webhuione) and a small prawn farm managed by a family (John Kuhn), were also visited. These visits to shrimp farms were extremely useful and helped the Wallis delegation to understand the ins and outs of this industry in New Caledonia. Although the social, economic and environmental contexts are much different in these two countries, practical information was taken home by the delegation along with some understanding of a commercial approach to shrimp aquaculture development. Participants' awareness was also raised on biosecurity issues and ways to deal with these issues.

A visit was also made to the Northern Province aquaculture research laboratory in Kone where the delegation met with Nathalie Baillon and Claire Marty. This project is currently under construction and aims at having a fully functional multispecies fish hatchery operational by late 2010. The species that will be produced in the future are of interest to Wallis and Futuna, and the laboratory could well be a fingerling supplier for the future industry there, along with Aqualagon. The laboratory also acts as a regional training centre. Discussions were held on the possibility for Wallis to use the centre to gain practical experience on tropical fish farming.

Other official visits were made to government agencies in New Caledonia such as the Southern Province Fisheries Department (Thomas Requillart and Bernard Fao) and the Department of Environment (Emmanuel Coutures), where everyone shared their experiences with enthusiasm.

This visit was a success thanks to the willingness and generosity of all stakeholders. It is now up to Wallis and Futuna to determine if, and how best, to develop their aquaculture sector.

For more information, contact Bruno Mugneret (Wallis and Futuna Fisheries Department) at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or Antoine Teitelbaum (SPC Aquaculture Officer) at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

[1] The Wallis and Futuna aquaculture development plan will be available online in early 2010 at www.spc.int/aquaculture