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Gau Fishermen’s Association: One Fishing Net Earns Woman Respect

Gau Fishermen’s Association: One Fishing Net Earns Woman Respect
Naomi Gade (right) with the members of the Gau Fishermen’s Association. Photo: Fonua Talei
September 21
15:16 2017

It took only one fishing net for  Naomi Gade to be recognised among those who owned a few in her village.

The woman from Ono-i-Lau was in high spirits on Tuesday as she was named the Best Fisherwoman in Gau by board members of the Gau Fishermen’s Association.

Ms Gade beat one other nominee to take out the award.

She and her husband rely on fishing to sustain and support their family income and needs.

Sharing her story with the Fiji Sun at the awards ceremony at Navukailagi Village on Tuesday, the mother of six said she did not expect nor dreamt that she would receive the award.

When asked why she thought so, she said: “because I only own one fishing net compared to others in the village.”

The money she earns from selling her catch is used to pay for her children’s school needs and basic necessities for her family.

With that one fishing net she goes fishing at least four to five times a month to earn a living.

“I go fishing when we are required as villagers to contribute to a function or any village commitment,” she said.

“I only have one fishing net but sometimes I borrow unused nets from other villagers. When I use fishing nets I can get about two to three bags of fish.

“Every time I go fishing I make my goal to get at least five bundles of fish and I sell some of them while I prepare some for my family but most of the time I share it with other families.”

She sells her catch to a Qarani shop owner.

“One big bundle will have eight fish and a small bundle will have 10 or 11 fish and I sell it for $15 a bundle regardless of size,” she said.

“I also sell fish to government workers stationed at the village if there is an order.”

But like many others who’d tell, life has not always been easy.

“Sometimes when I ask people if I can use their nets they do not give it but I never let that get to me so I usually set out to fish with the only fishing net I have or I just use my fishing line and I go out fishing with my husband.

“My advice to people who are out in the islands is to make use of the abundance of fish resources around them so they can earn an income for themselves and their family.

“If you do not put in the work, do not expect to achieve good results. You will not achieve anything if you are lazy.”

Edited by Mohammed Ali

Feedback:  fonua.talei@fijisun.com.fj

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