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The Use Of Gas Will Lead To Total Export Ban: Koroilavesau

The Use Of Gas Will Lead To Total Export Ban: Koroilavesau
Minister for Fisheries Semi Koroilavesau with participants of the Fisheries conference at Studio 6 in Suva on September 28th, 2017. Photo:Jone Luvenitoga
September 29
16:08 2017

Representatives from Macuata  Peni Donu and Saula Moce told the Minister for Fisheries Semi Koroilavesau yesterday that fishermen still use gas.

They highlighted this during the first ever Fiji National Sustainable Seafood Summit which is being held at Studio 6, Suva.

Mr Koroilavesau said he was aware of it and this would lead to the total export ban on some special species like high value sea cucumber and grouper.

Mr Moce from Mali Island, Macuata, said those in the Macuata district had formed a joint taskforce to look into the sustainability of their seafood.

He said that the fishermen for some companies had been issued gas.

“They are catching huge grouper from the deep sea and are paid by some business people,” he said.

“It’s really hard to stop them especially when they are paid handsomely.”

Mr Donu from Nakawakawa, Macuata also related the same sentiments.

The duo said there was a connection between business people in Macuata and from outside the province where they supplied money for the gas for fishermen.

Mr Moce said there were two groups of fishermen one group fishes in the day and the other in the night.

The fish wardens he said were doing their work but they did not have the power to arrest them.

He said there was an incident at Mali Island where a warden caught up with some illegal fishermen and they pointed a fishing gun at him.

Mr Koroilavesau while addressing the summit said that the exploitation of the fisheries and invertebrate resources had caused a major decline of many fish species and invertebrates such as sea cucumber  and giant clams which were now under intense threat or already reaching local extinction.

“This is true for seven high-value sea cucumber species – for example, sand fish (dairo), golden sand fish (dairo – kula), white teatfish (sucuwalu), surf redfish (tarasea), prickly redfish (sucudrau) and black teatfish (loaloa).

He said that the Ministry of Fisheries was putting in place a number of actions to help address issues such as overfishing of coastal fisheries resources.

“Stricter control measures such as the total or seasonal ban on harvest and export of beche-de-mer may be necessary, if there is no other alternative means to ensure the recovery of stocks.”

The ministry he said was working very closely with key stakeholders to ensure that the grouper (kawakawa and donu) spawning aggregation sites were protected and not fished during the peak spawning months in Fiji which was from June  1 to September 30 each year.


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