Provide Catch Data Or Lose Licence, Fishers Warned
Those who fish have been warned by the Ministry of Fisheries to follow protocol and issue their catch data if they want their licences renewed.
In an interview with the Acting Senior Fisheries Officer, Margaret Tabunakawai-Vakalalabure, at the annual meeting for the fishing industry stakeholders in Labasa yesterday, she said some fishers in recent years have been failing to adhere to this condition.
“It is a condition for all fishing licences that they must give their catch data and I must admit that it has always been a challenge in the past years,” Ms Tabunakawai-Vakalalabure said.
“There have been trainings done with the commercial fishermen, it not really hard to fill in. It is just listing down the species of fish and how many kilograms they caught.”
She said this was done so to be able to get a scope of what is being extracted from fishing grounds and to gauge its productivity level.
Mrs Tabunakawai–Vakalalabure applauded the Turaga Tui Macuata Ratu Wiliame Katonivere for reviewing this method and implementing it in his province.
The condition given by Ratu Wiliame was where the Ministry of Fisheries needed to provide a fisherman’s catch data before the iqoliqoli committee could renew his/her licence.
“As a resource owner, I have to be worried about the future and I have decided with my committee to address this issue through restrictions,” Ratu Wiliame said in an interview.
“By issuing the license for instance, part of the condition in issuing the consent is that they to update their record with the Fisheries Department. If they fail to do this, then this will also not allow us to issue our content.”
Edited by Rusiate Mataika