FAO Home>Fisheries & Aquaculture
Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nationsfor a world without hunger
  1. Profile
    1. Basic legislation
    2. Legal definition
    3. Guidelines and codes of conduct
    4. International arrangements
  2. Planning
    1. Authorization system
    2. Access to land and water
    3. EIA
  3. Operation
    1. Water and wastewater
    2. Fish movement
    3. Disease control
    4. Drugs
    5. Feed
  4. Food safety
    1. Miscellaneous
      1. References
        1. Legislation
        2. Related resources
      2. Related links
        Basic legislation
        The Fisheries Act (1998) is the major piece of legislation governing fisheries and fisheries related activities. The Act contains several provisions on aquaculture and empowers the Minister to make regulations, in general, concerning any fishery activity in need of or requiring control for management and development purposes. In particular, the Minister can make regulations related to the cultivation of seaweed and other aquatic organisms, the licensing of fish farms and the import of live fish.

        Recently, the Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources has prepared subsidiary legislation under the Fisheries Act: the Fisheries Regulations (2003)  . Part 2 of the Regulations establish comprehensive control measures over most aspects of aquaculture and describe in detail the limitations imposed on aquaculture activities.
        Legal definition
        The proposed Regulations define aquaculture as to include “the hatchery production, rearing, farming, culturing, breeding, taking or holding of fish or aquatic organism”.
        Guidelines and codes of conduct
        There are no guidelines/codes of conduct on aquaculture.
        International arrangements
        Solomon Islands is a member of:
        • World Trade Organization (WTO).
        • African Caribbean and Pacific Group of States (ACP Group).
        Solomon Islands is a party to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). It has not signed or ratified the Biosafety Protocol.
        Authorization system
        The Fisheries Act establishes the need for written permission from the Director of Fisheries, with or without conditions, for the setting up and operation of an aquaculture facility. The Director may specify conditions relating to the location of the aquaculture facilities and their operation, the prevention of the spread of communicable fish diseases, the inspection of aquaculture sites and the provision of statistical information.

        The proposed Regulations, which are applicable to the farming of the species as listed in Schedule 4, describe the licence procedure in detail and impose penalties upon violation of the licensing requirement. No licence is required for “any traditional practice of breeding, farming, culturing, taking or holding of live fish or aquatic organism the purpose of which is for subsistence, personal or traditional use only” and “farming which is done by a local or a local community on a small scale and for subsistence purposes only”. Holders of a separate licence to carry out live reef fish operations are also exempted from the licensing requirement. Any application for a licence should contain the following information:
        • Details of the species, stage of the life cycle and quantity of the fish or aquatic organism to be bred, farmed, cultured or held.
        • Plans relating to the construction, development or modification of an aquaculture facility to which the application relates.
        • Details of the location of the aquaculture facility and of all places, if applicable, at which the applicant intends to breed, hold, rear, process or sell fish or aquatic life.
        • Details of the gear, tools or equipment that the applicant intends to use to take fish or aquatic life.
        • Approvals required under any other law.
        • Such other information as may be required by the Director.
        The proposed Regulations also specify the conditions of the licence that may relate but are not limited to:
        • The species of fish or aquatic life to be bred, farmed, cultured or held.
        • The stages of the lifecycle of fish or aquatic organism at which the same may be kept.
        • Limitation of the quantity of fish or aquatic life that may be kept or sold.
        • The method of water discharge or waste disposal.
        • The location of the aquaculture facilities.
        • Limitation of the use of chemicals or drugs, if any.
        • A requirement for the lodgement of a guarantee or security to cover the cost of damage that may be caused by the operation of the aquaculture facility.
        The licence is not transferable. The Director may review, vary or alter the conditions of the licence, or temporarily suspend a particular condition. Under specific circumstances, the Director may cancel, revoke or suspend the licence. Any person aggrieved by such a decision of the Director, or the decision not to issue or renew the licence, may appeal to the Minister within 30 days following receipt of the notification of such decision.

        In addition to the licensing requirement, all aquaculture facilities and equipment must be built, installed or constructed to standards approved by the Director. For example, all facilities need to have an effluent reservoir (see below). After inspection of the facility, the Director issues a certificate certifying the facility as fit and proper for aquaculture activities. Without this certificate it is prohibited to commence with the introduction of fish or aquatic organisms in the facility.
        Access to land and water
        The proposed Regulations stipulate that any person leasing customary land for aquaculture purposes should inform the Director within 14 days of the execution of the lease agreement and include a copy of the agreement. If the aquaculture lease has been executed prior to applying for the aquaculture licence, the information and a copy of the agreement should be included in the application. As mentioned above, the Director may impose conditions to the aquaculture licence relating to the location of the aquaculture facilities. Subleases for aquaculture cannot be effected without the written approval of the Director. Any aquaculture lease with a term of more than two years should be registered in accordance with the Land and Titles Act. Termination of the aquaculture lease does not affect the lessee’s right to harvest, dispose of or sell the species farmed under the term of the terminated lease.

        Generally, in the Solomons, only a small percentage of the land is state-owned. Land is generally held in customary ownership and the Customary Land Records Act (1994) provides for the recording of customary land holdings. In addition, the Land and Titles Act (consolidated version of 1995)  stipulates that any person who claims to hold, otherwise than by way of mortgage, a freehold interest or a leasehold interest in any land may apply to be registered as the owner of the interest.
        There are no provisions on EIA.
        Water and wastewater
        The proposed Regulations specify the need for an effluent reservoir, where appropriate, in which wastewater is to be treated before discharge. The proposed Regulations also require biological means of effluent treatment to be used (as opposed to chemical means) unless circumstances render it costly or impractical. As mentioned above, the Director may impose conditions to the aquaculture licence relating to the method of water discharge or waste disposal.
        Fish movement
        The Fisheries Act prohibits the import or export of live fish without the Director’s permission and imposes an assessment on the possible impacts of imported live fish being released into the wild. The proposed Regulations comprehensively cover the introduction of exotic species. Only the Fisheries Department or any other government authority charged with the functions of regulating aquaculture development is allowed to introduce exotic species appropriate for aquaculture. This responsibility under the Regulations is not transferable and prevents the development and research of new species by third parties. The government authority should inform the public of any plans to introduce exotic species. Introduced species are to be maintained in properly secured facilities. Introductions of species should be assessed as to their impact on local species. Certification of exotic species allowing for distribution can only occur after the provision of scientific evidence. The Regulations contain stringent requirements for the application of a licence to farm certified species.

        The Director may prohibit the taking or buying of particular species of fish or aquatic organisms from specific aquaculture facilities because of the risk the species may pose to human health or, if an exotic species, to other existing local species, or because of the risk of the spread of contamination of diseases.
        In addition, according to the proposed Regulations the holder of an aquaculture licence is generally not allowed to transfer fish or other aquatic organisms to other areas or persons than the areas or persons mentioned in the licence, unless the Director has given approval for such transfer.
        Disease control
        The proposed Regulations prohibit to move diseased or contaminated fish or aquatic organisms from one place or facility to another, and to sell such fish or aquatic organisms. The Director may order the destruction of diseased or contaminated fish or aquatic organisms and keeps a register of the names of all chemicals that may be used in aquaculture for the treatment of communicable diseases.
        According to the proposed Regulations, no chemicals may be used for the treatment of fish or aquatic organisms without prior written permission of the Director. Such permission will not be granted without prior assessment and consideration of the effects or likely effects that the chemical may have on the natural environment or other local species of fish or aquatic organisms. As mentioned above, the Director keeps a register of chemicals that may be used in aquaculture for the treatment of diseases. In addition, as mentioned above, the use of chemicals or drugs may be addressed in the conditions of the aquaculture licence.
        There are no specific provisions on the use of fish feed.
        Food safety
        The proposed Regulations set out standards for aquaculture processing facilities to follow in accordance with the construction, equipment and sanitation standards imposed on fish processing establishments in general. The operation of a fish processing establishment requires a licence, subject to conditions and to be issued by an authorized fisheries officer. The holder of a licence should provide for a Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) plan.

        No fish or aquatic marine organisms may be exported without the fish or aquatic organisms being tested for its quality by fisheries officers. No person may export any fish or aquatic organism before an export licence is issued. The holder of a licence should ensure that all farmed products for export are tagged or labelled with the name of the species and the name and location of the aquaculture facility.
        Aquaculture investment 
        The regulatory framework covering foreign investment includes the Investment Act (1990, as amended in 1996)  and the Investment Regulations (1999)  . The Investment Board is the national body responsible for approving all foreign investment applications. Fish farming (as well as tuna canning and processing and reef fish processing) is one of the priority areas of investment and “investment proposals for any of these activities will receive favourable consideration”.

        Investment Act (1990, as amended in 1996) (Copy not available)
        Investment Regulations (1999) (Copy not available)
        Land and Titles Act (consolidated version of 1995) (Copy not available)
        Related resources

        faolexSearch parameters: country=SLB, Keywords=aquaculture;mariculture
        Records Returned: 4
        Title of textDate of textConsolidated dateEntry into forceCountries
        National Development Strategy 2016 – 2035.2016-042016 - 2035.Solomon Islands

        Fisheries Management Act (No. 2 of 2015).2015-05-08Solomon Islands

        Fisheries Act (Act No. 6 of 1998).1998-07-10The Act shall, come into operation on such date as the Minister may appoint by notice published in the Gazette.Solomon Islands

        Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources Corporate Plan 2015 – 2018.2016-07-062015 – 2018.Solomon Islands

        Related links
        Country profiles: Solomon Islands
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