Department of Resources and Economic Affairs
The ocean is undoubtedly Kosrae's most important resource. The FSM's exclusive economic zone covers some 2.6 million square kilometers of ocean which contain the world's most productive tuna fishing grounds. The tuna resources include both surface schooling and deep water species. The approximate market value per year of tuna harvested within the nation is about $200 million.
At present, although the nation has full ownership of tuna stocks capable of a sustained yield of well over 100,000 tons each year, there is virtually no national participation in its exploitation. It is both a great necessity for Kosrae and a great opportunity for future investors to bring in outside capital and expretise for future development. Kosrae has already embarked on the construction and installation of cold storage and tuna processing plants, involving several million dollars which will provide added facilities for longline and purse seiner vessels, and storage capacity for transshipment or processing at future dates.
Eco tourism is a mainstay of Kosrae's private sector economy.
The two most valuable fish resources from Kosrae are tuna and bottom fish. Approximately 150,000 tons of tuna is harvested within the FSM, but the vast majority of commercial fishing occurs in Pohnpei and Yap.
The tuna fishery can be divided into two major groups:
- purse seine fishery - which targets its operations at surface schooling fish such as Skipjack and small Yellowfin tuna.
- long-line fishery - which targets its operations at deep-water species such as Yellowfin and Big-eye tuna.
Fishing is a traditional way of life on Kosrae and fishermen now are being well trained in modern methods of fishing, fish handling, and quality control procedures.
Kosraeans are accomplished fishermen.
Fish Species around Kosrae
Agriculture is the most important primary activity in Kosrae because of its contribution to employment, wage income, export earnings, and subsistence production. Agricultural activities provide over 60% of the food consumed, and employ almost 50% of the labor force on a full-time or seasonal basis.
On Kosrae, fully commercial agriculture does not exist except for small amounts of produce being shipped to neighboring islands such as Pohnpei and Ebeye. Citrus is a significant cash crop with limes and tangerines being exported. Farmstead livestock production is increasingly important throughout Kosrae and the FSM, particularly poultry, eggs and pork.
In spite of a surplus of arable land, fertile soil, warm climate, and abundant rainfall, only a fraction of Kosrae's agricultural potential has been realized.
Soil and climate conditions on Kosrae are perfect for many crops.
Kosrae's popular cash crops: bananas, coconuts, taro, and pandanus