FIJI NEWS

Chief raises alarm over poaching

By JOELENE TUIMOALA Concerns have been raised by a prominent Bua chief about the ongoing poaching within their waters. Turaga Tui Nadi Ratu Peni Rasigare raised the concern after villagers
22 Oct 2012 09:07

By JOELENE TUIMOALA

Concerns have been raised by a prominent Bua chief about the ongoing poaching within their waters.
Turaga Tui Nadi Ratu Peni Rasigare raised the concern after villagers in Kubulau found prawn remains that they believe was a result of the usage of chemicals.
They suspect that poachers have also moved inland. He added villagers suspect poachers have been using chemicals to target the pigeon population in the area.
“Just last week, some of the villagers found dead prawns which were still red in colour. We have a feeling chemicals were used to kill them. The same villagers came back and told me of pigeon feathers which they also found,” Ratu Rasigare stated.
“This is a great concern to us because it’s hampering the collective effort by our people to conserve our natural resources whether it is marine or inland. It is no use placing the taboo when we have these kinds of people around who take advantage of the tikina’s efforts,” Ratu Rasigare added.
Ratu Rasigare also pointed out that lack of resources was another major area that has contributed to the ongoing poaching within their waters.
“We have raised this issue with the relevant authorities like Police, Fisheries Department as well as the Bua Provincial office but then the problem lies with the resources that we have. For example, our fish wardens are using 40 horse power motor and it cannot be compared to those poachers that come with 70 to 80 horse power motors.”
Meanwhile, Nabouwalu Fisheries Officer Alifereti Tuinamata has admitted his men have received such reports when they go up to the villages.
“See these poachers are the same old people over and over again. This has been an ongoing issue with us here in Bua. We know these poachers are from Viti Levu, especially Tailevu, Natuvu, and some within Bua itself. But we have the problem of boats.”
Mr Tuinamata added there is a need for all stakeholders to work together in order to solve this ongoing problem adding his men will be conducting a patrol later this month in the MV Bainitakali.
The tikina Kubulau had been observing taboo to their i qoliqoli since 1999, and just recently a taboo has also placed on kava consumption.




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