NEWS

Abnormal Incidents Occurring In Fiji’s Marine Life

Abnormal occurrences are happening with Fiji’s ma­rine life – specifically on the disturbance of sea bottom and coral reefs. Minister for Fisheries Semi Ko­roilavesau said the disturbance is creating poisons.
19 Apr 2018 10:12
Abnormal Incidents Occurring In Fiji’s Marine Life
Ocean Champion and Minister for Fisheries Semi Koroilavesau.

Abnormal occurrences are happening with Fiji’s ma­rine life – specifically on the disturbance of sea bottom and coral reefs.

Minister for Fisheries Semi Ko­roilavesau said the disturbance is creating poisons.

“When reefs are disturbed, it gen­erates poisons that are being eaten by the fish and causes fish to be poisonous.”

Mr Koroilavesau was respond­ing to National Federation Party member Parmod Chand’s question about the awareness programme carried out by the ministry in the past year following fatalities caused by eating common species of fish like daniva.

Mr Koroilavesau said that while the ministry carries out extensive awareness programmes across the country, the choice to buy fish lies solely with consumers.

He emphasised that these fishes are only poisonous during a cer­tain period of time.

The two main causes of poison­ous fish are from natural causes and man-made influences.

Natural causes:

The change in weather patterns leads to changes in water temper­atures, current and food source. With increases in algae and growth in the water column, fish species feed on algae. It increases the bio toxin level within them which takes in the poisons and is later consumed by humans. This mainly occurs from the month of October to March every year. This is some­thing that cannot be prevented, but can be mitigated if the public take heed of the warning that is being raised during awareness.

Man-made influences:

This is caused by nutrient ex­citement through surface run off through sanitation, habitat deg­radation, and high oil spills from industrial areas.

SODELPA MP Viliame Gavoka questioned why there was no law in place to stop fishermen from selling poisonous fish.

To this, Mr Koroilavesau said they cannot give a blanket ban for fishermen.

“Consumers should make the right choice with the information available to them.

“And if they know that the fish is poisonous, then they should not buy it.”

Posters

Posters of the poisonous fish and when they are normally poisonous are posted at fish markets around the country, Mr Koroilavesau said.

Edited by Jonathan Bryce

Feedback: losirene.lacanivalu@fijisun.com.fj



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