FIJI NEWS

Diving still a worry, says Tui Macuata

By SITERI TALEITAKI Diving is still a concern for the people in Macuata, says the Tui Macuata, Ratu Wiliame Katonivere. The concern stems on the fact that lives are being
19 Feb 2014 09:03

By SITERI TALEITAKI

Diving is still a concern for the people in Macuata, says the Tui Macuata, Ratu Wiliame Katonivere.
The concern stems on the fact that lives are being lost, says the Tui Macuata.
“Concerns were raised because it has been noticed, people are still abusing the use of the Underwater Breathing Apparatus (UBA) beyond the diving limit.
“Divers exceed the limit depth of 20 to 30 metres. It is a risk. Lives are lost because divers exceed the depth limit as they do not respect applied conditions.”
Ratu Wiliame said the vanua had banned the use of underwater diving equipments in the Macuata iqoliqoli cokavata areas to avoid such incidents from happening.
“In the last two years it has been noticed people from outside are using diving equipments in our fishing ground despite the banning,” he said.
These concerns he said have been raised to local authorities because they were still being practiced.
No approval has been given to any village or anyone for the use of diving equipments along the coastal line areas of Macuata in the past years by the traditional fishing owners.
“People from outside are still using it in the Macuata waters,” he said.
With the new regulations of the Ministry of Fisheries coming into place, Tui Macuata hopes the Ministry will re-enforce the laws in all waters to avoid more incidents and disputes in the future.
The chief is encouraging his people to work together to enforce the new regulations coming into place.
Meanwhile, the Divisional Fisheries Officer Joji Vakawaletabua said divers should know their limits and they should be well aware of the risks.
He said divers should be fully conditioned before heading out.
According Mr Vakawaletabua only one UBA licence has been issued in the Northern Division, that is, to the Tikina o Namuka in Druadrua Island.
“The license is used for coral planting, seaweed planting and for collecting aquarium fish for Wall Smith,” Mr Vakawaletabua said.
“The Permanent Secretary for Fiji’s Ministry of Fisheries and Forests, Inoke Wainiqolo, issues UBA licence with an exemption of three months based on the approval from the traditional iqoliqoli areas.”


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