Education, accessing to a Pacific database and seeking help from friends led a family business to win first prize during Tonga’s national fishing show.
The North Star Fishing company was awarded first prize for the highest catch of bottom line deep-sea fish for the domestic market over the weekend during the Tongatapu Royal Agriculture, Fisheries and Tourism Trade Show at Funga Manamo’ui.
His Majesty King Tupou VI opened the show on Saturday, July 28.
Last year the fishing company was awarded first prize for the highest exporter of bottom line deep-sea fishing.
The owner of the fishing company, Kulufeinga ‘Anisi Bloomfield, said the success was the result of a collaborative effort by Government ministries, organisations, trading partners, and donors.
“On behalf of North Star Fishing (NSF), I would like to thank you all for the assistance provided to our small family business to develop to where it is now,” Kulufeinga said.
Kulufeinga said he was glad to see his business was successful and that his plan went smoothly as planned since the beginning.
He said the biggest problem his business had faced was the lack of markets for their catch.
The former Tongan government CEO said while he was employed as Head of the Oceania Customs Organisation Secretariat in Fiji in 2006 he had the chance to lead some major projects for the development of the Pacific Islands countries.
He said he found out fishing was a large industry with plenty of opportunities.
Kulufeinga said he began researching and talking to some friends including Eddie Palu from Pacific Sunrise to see if this was a business he could start with his family.
“Based on the information I gathered from these consultations and my own research I decided my family will start a fishing business,” he said.
He said he also decided to push his wife and children’s education in areas which they could be able to help the business in the long run.
His wife ‘Ēlina was graduated in 2017 from the University of the South Pacific with a PhD in Environmental Policy.
They were both formerly high school teachers.
Their eldest daughter held a Master of Commerce in Professional Accounting and was the business’s Financial Manager.
Their second daughter held a Master in Fisheries Policy and was the business’s Operation Manager.
Their third and fourth children are still at the university studying Electrical Engineering and Mechanical Engineering.