NATION

4FJ Campaign Nets 3000 Pledges

SeaWeb Asia Pacific celebrates the wide-support it has received for its 4FJ campaign from communities and the corporate sector. The 4FJ campaign completed its first spawning season for kawakawa and
04 Oct 2014 08:50
4FJ Campaign Nets 3000 Pledges
From left: Saying farewell Mission President John Higgins and Naomi Higgins farewell Annalisi Tauti, Roseta Faafetai and Savelina Tamotu at the Nadi International Airport on August 8, 2020. Photo: Mereleki Nai

SeaWeb Asia Pacific celebrates the wide-support it has received for its 4FJ campaign from communities and the corporate sector.
The 4FJ campaign completed its first spawning season for kawakawa and donu since launching in late March. It has gathered more than 3000 pledges from individuals from all walks of life in Fiji not to eat, buy or sell these two fish during their peak spawning months.
Kawakawa and donu are an A-grade fish, sought after by locals and tourists alike, but have rapidly declined in recent years.
SeaWeb Asia Pacific’s executive director, Scott Radway, said the pledge was intended to give the fish space to reproduce each year and ensure there were more fish to eat the rest of the year and in the future.
“The campaign, through its first spawning season, has been a phenomenal success. We have demonstrated without doubt that once people learn about the issue, they will get behind the solution,” Mr Radway said.
The campaign received more than 3000 pledges from across the country after pledge drives, group presentations, contests and media outreach. There were notable pledges from prominent Fijians, and prominent organisations, businesses and government ministries.
“Though the total number of pledges is believed to be much higher as many people have expressed to the campaign that they have pledged privately,” Mr Radway said.
He said in addition, many individuals who had pledged had taken the message home to their families, who were also foregoing the fish, without making a public pledge.
“Based on consumption surveys on these fish conducted in Suva, for the 3000 pledges alone, if calculated over four months, upwards of 30,000 fish were passed on by 4FJ pledges,” Mr Radway said.
However, the campaign was far from over, he said.
“The fish are continuing to arrive at the markets as the individual pledges have not yet removed all the demand for the fish but the first goal of the campaign was to demonstrate that people in Fiji wanted to do something about the decline of these important fish. This movement needed to come from the people first,” he said.
“Now, we need to turn this momentum into real, long-term benefits for the communities that depend on these fish.”
He said in the coming months, the campaign plans to begin bringing the message out to communities, where protection could be placed on the places these fish breed, as they have in Kadavu.
The fish breed from June to September.

Feedback: ana.sovaraki@fijisun.com.fj

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