NATION

Kawakawa And Donu Peak Breeding Season Starts Today

The legal ban is viewed as a critical step to ensure the fish recover. One study found fish landings have declined 70 per cent over 30 years, with some areas
01 Jun 2018 10:00
Kawakawa And Donu Peak Breeding Season Starts Today

The legal ban is viewed as a critical step to ensure the fish recover.

One study found fish landings have declined 70 per cent over 30 years, with some areas hardly catching the prized fish anymore.

The 4FJ campaign is encouraging people across Fiji to refrain from buying, selling and eating kawakawa and donu over the next four months, as these highly valuable grouper fish species enter their main breeding season.

According to the Fiji Ministry of Fisheries, close to 80 per cent of Fiji’s known kawakawa and donu breeding sites are either declining or have died out.

The breeding season starts today.

One study found fish landings have declined 70 per cent over 30 years, with some areas hardly catching the prized fish anymore.

Founder of cChange, the nonprofit that developed the 4FJ campaign for the Ministry of Fisheries Scott Radway said: “These fish are critical to the food and livelihood needs of Fiji communities, and letting them breed each year ensures we have more of these fish the rest of the year.”

Launched in 2014, the campaign has received more than 15,000 voluntary pledges to forego the fish during the peak breeding months.

The pledges have come from all walks of life, including sports stars, like Waisale Serevi and Jerry Tuwai and rural fisherman. Institutions like the Methodist Church of Fiji and private sector leaders like Morris Hedstrom (MH) and Newworld supermarket chains have also championed the campaign.

The Ministry of Fisheries is committed to legally banning the sale of the fish this year, following a pledge made at the United Nations Ocean Conference last year, which Fiji co-hosted.

The finalisation of the process is currently underway with relevant government ministries and stakeholders and an announcement is expected shortly.

The wide public support for the campaign provided momentum for the Ministry of Fisheries to pursue the legal ban of commercial fishing and sale of these fish during the peak breeding months. The legal ban is viewed as a critical step to ensure the fish recover.

Feedback:  jyotip@fijisun.com.fj

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