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Plans to save fish stock

Nicolette Chambers
Wednesday, April 18, 2018

THE Ministry of Fisheries has proposed to legally ban the commercial fishing and sale of kawakawa and donu starting from this year.

This was after 93 per cent support was shown from the public after a survey was conducted along the Suva-Nausori corridor.

Minister for Fisheries Semi Koroilavesau said he wanted to guarantee that these fish species continued to benefit those living along the coastlines.

"We want to ensure that these wonderful species continue to provide substantial benefit to coastal communities in Fiji," Mr Koroilavesau said.

He made the comments during the United Nations Ocean Conference in New York, last year.

The Fiji submission at the conference stated that both kawakawa and donu are vulnerable because they gather every year in the same spots to breed.

These breeding spots are known to be fished heavily, which leaves a few fish behind to restock Fiji's reefs.

The submission also stated that of these breeding spots, 80 per cent are either declining or are completely gone.

Meanwhile, a communications NGO, cChange, which conducted the survey, was measuring the support for the proposed ban and the effectiveness of the 4FJ campaign.

cChange's founder Scott Radway said the support level shown was important to meeting the income needs for the communities in Fiji.

"This is an amazing level of support for government's plan to revive fish that are critical to meeting the food and income needs for Fiji's communities," Mr Radway said.

"This shows people are willing to come together to make a short-term sacrifice for long-term gain for the country."

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