Week 1 | From RMI To The Netherlands

Iakwe! My name is Daphine Wase and I am from the Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI), which is located just near the equator in the Pacific Ocean. Therefore, you can imagine it is very hot! I am a final year student, studying Human Resource Management and International Business Marketing at the University of the South Pacific (USP) in Fiji.

I learned about this internship offered by Pacifical through an ad on the Marshall Islands Journal, which was sent to me by a friend. The company Pacifical is the marketing arm of the PNA nations, for their MSC-certified free school of skipjack and yellowfin tuna, globally. I hope to gain the knowledge, capabilities and hands-on experience to do the same for the Marshall Islands, not only to extend fisheries but promote their other resources as well.

islands_3

Coastline of Eneko island at sunrise – Marshall Islands. May 2011.

I expressed interest mainly because I believed it would help me gain the capabilities and help RMI in the future. RMI is such a small country and is always relying on donor funds for development. Its only sources of income include coconut, handicrafts and fisheries. These islands are just strips of lands, therefore there is scarce resources. However, it is surrounded by the big Pacific Ocean, which concludes fisheries as being the number one source of income. If managed well, I believe in the future, RMI will be less dependent on other countries. And that is what I hope to help RMI accomplish.

My trip from the Marshall Islands was very long. Also, this is the first time I’ve ever been to Europe. Upon arriving in the Netherlands, I suddenly went from warm to freezing. It is very cold here and I think it’s getting colder each day. Everything is so fast here. Punctuality is of importance. Everybody cycles, which I am very impressed with, considering climate change and the go green campaigns. Furthermore, apart from the cold weather, I am liking Netherlands so far. People here are super nice and whenever you get lost, you can ask just about anyone for direction.

Until I joined Pacifical, I never knew how big of a deal tuna was. Sure, I’ve read news articles about the income it brings to my home country but there is by far a lot more to it than I had initially thought or imagined. Although I am overwhelmed with so much information in such little time, I have learned a lot. I’ve learned that tuna is a big industry, globally. I’ve only looked at it from the domestic point of view. It is big in the islands, but I never knew people outside of the Pacific heavily rely on tuna as well. I’ve also learned that the PNA nations control about 50% of the global supply of skipjack tuna, which is the most commonly canned tuna. MIND BLOWING! Can these small island nations be the supplier of the world’s most canned tuna? These are such small nations, barely noticed on the map. However, tuna has marked their place on the map.

I am eager to learn more about the tuna industry ahead at Pacifical. I also hope my country along with the other PNA nations continue to use sustainable fishing practices, ensuring these methods do not hurt the sea life environment nor threaten the seafood supply for the future generations to come. They should continue on what they have claimed to be theirs and manage it wisely.

 

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