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Minister Visits Islands To Outline Programmes

Minister Visits Islands To Outline Programmes
Minister for Fisheries Semi Koroilavesau (middle) with women of Yadua Island in Bua during his tour on August 16,2018. Photo: Supplied
August 19
11:44 2018

Minister for Fisheries Semi Koroilavesau is on a week-long tour of the Northern Division.

It is an opportunity for the minister to brief villagers, fisherfolk and members of the public on the ministry’s plans and programmes.

FADs deployed in Vanua Levu waters

Two Fishing Aggregation Devices (FADs) have been deployed in waters off Yadua Island, Bua, and Kia Island, Macuata.

Speaking to villagers on Yadua Island during his week-long visit to the outer islands of Vanua Levu, Minister for Fisheries Semi Koroilavesau said FADs was another avenue of fishing without going further out to sea.

“This man-made reef system attracts small fish, which in turn attracts the bigger fish and all you have to do is just fish close to the FADs,” Mr Koroilavesau said.

“This saves time and fuel for fishermen who often travel further out to sea to catch fish.”

FADs consist of ropes and netting put into the ocean to attract food for the fish. The same system is being used by fishermen in other parts of the country.

Mr Koroilavesau said bans in place by the ministry on certain species have enabled fishermen to find other means of earning a living.

“For years, our marine resources have been overexploited and this is our chance to at least save some resources for our future generations,” he added.

“The Ministry of Fisheries will continue to deploy FADs to other islands as well as training for fishermen in those areas.”

Kawakawa and Donu Ban

During his recent visit to outer islands of Vanua Levu, Minister for Fisheries Semi Koroilavesau reminded villagers that the seasonal ban on Kawakawa and Donu was still in place and must be adhered to.

“I have heard a lot of stories of people that are still fishing and selling the two banned species,” Mr Koroilavesau said.

“Please be reminded that the ban will end in September and from October onwards, you can start fishing and selling them again.”

“We need to let them spawn for these four months, so I sincerely plead with you all to respect the ban that is in place and let us help them grow in numbers in our waters.”

He added that the ban had to be put in place because research had proven that their numbers in our waters were declining rapidly.

Members of the public are encouraged to report cases of kawakawa and donu being sold to their nearest fisheries stations.

Solar powered freezers for islands in Vanua Levu

Fishermen from Islands such as Yadua, Kia, Naqelelevu, Cikobia and Kioa will be part of the Ministry of Fisheries pilot project on preservation of fish through solar-powered freezers.

Speaking to villagers on these islands last week, Minister for Fisheries, Semi Koroilavesau said in the fishing business, preservation of fish was important.

“We are trying to complete our research on the best system that will work on these islands and it will obviously be solar powered,” Mr Koroilavesau said.

“When this is installed, fishermen will be able to keep their fish for a longer before it is transported to the mainland to be sold.”

Villagers on the islands are looking forward to the installation of these solar-powered freezers because it will certainly boost business and improve their livelihoods.

Edited by Epineri Vula

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