NEWS

Be Examples, Not Just Advocates: Oceans Champion

New York: Our seas have changed for the worse year by year. Litter and trash have choked our waterways and unchecked fishing practices have left many of our reefs barren.
09 Jun 2017 12:35
Be Examples, Not Just Advocates: Oceans Champion
Ocean Champion and Minister for Fisheries Semi Koroilavesau.

New York: Our seas have changed for the worse year by year.

Litter and trash have choked our waterways and unchecked fishing practices have left many of our reefs barren.

And today, many once vibrant pockets of Fijian waters are barely recognisable, and barely suited to sustain the communities that rely upon them.

This was the message from Fiji’s Ocean Champion and Minister for Fisheries Semi Koroilavesau while delivering a country statement at the United Nation Ocean Conference in New York.

A man of the sea himself, the former Navy man said that every Fijian knew that many of the threats to our waters originate far beyond our borders.

“That larger nations and commercial interests – for years – have dumped rubbish into our seas and given little thought to the preservation of marine life.

“That is why this gathering is so important, because saving our oceans is a global problem that requires action from citizens in every part of the world to address. And Fiji is proud to be on the frontline of that campaign.”

He said that advocating for change was not enough and we have to be an example of what we expect from the world.

“Nearly 35 years ago, Fiji was the first nation to ratify the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea. Today, we are again looking to lead the world, this time, in showing how a small island developing state can employ innovative solutions that improve the quality of life for our people, and preserve the health of our ocean ecosystems.

“Fijian society has a relationship with the sea that stretches back millennia, and has many proud traditions of ocean stewardship and marine life conservation.”

Edited by Ranoba Baoa

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