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Fisheries-Koroilavesau: Ministry Will Consider WWF-Pacific Concerns

Fisheries-Koroilavesau: Ministry Will Consider WWF-Pacific Concerns
July 10
10:28 2017

The Ministry of Fisheries will consider issues raised by the World Wide Fund for Nature Pacific at a recent Fellowship of the Oceans gala fundraiser in Labasa. Fisheries Minister Semi Koroilavesau said they had received the financial budget for consultation on the fisheries management plan.

The ministry, in the 2017-2018 National Budget, receives $18.8 million. WWF-Pacific, in a press release, stated there was an urgent need to reform and improve the management of Fiji’s fisheries.

“This is the critical message highlighted in the newly released WWF-Pacific scientific report on the assessment of the spawning potential of commercially targeted reef fish from iQoliqoli Cokovata in Macuata,” the minister said.

Mr Koroilavesau said they were taking into consideration issues raised by the WWF-Pacific.

“That is their perspective and we have a fisheries management plan that is conducted at the moment and we understand their concern.

“We are going through the first consultation,” he said.

“One of the issues that we had asked the Government to provide us the funding for  is inshore and coastal fisheries and this is the first time it is going to be budgeted for.

“We are fortunate that the Government has allocated funds for the establishment of the three fisheries areas which are aquaculture, inshore and coastal fisheries.

“We have concentrated on offshore fisheries for a long time.

“It is the first time that the Government will establish the core structures within the ministry which is a long term plan for the ministry.”

WWF-Pacific said the spawning potential recruitment (SPR) report recommended the need to trial new minimum size limits for reef fishes as a core management recommendation so that local communities together with government and stakeholder officials can all gain experience with a successful implementation process, and be rewarded quickly by seeing a fish species recover in numbers.

“The results in the report were analysed from data collected in Macuata from October 2014 to May 2016, where a team of 12 community members measured 5,226 fish, from 33 reefs across the iQoliqoli of the districts of Mali, Sasa, Dreketi and Macuata,” the WWF-Pacific statement said.

Edited by Naisa Koroi

Feedback:  ashna.kumar@fijisun.com.fj

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