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Refresher Course Reminds Fisheries Wardens Of Roles

Fisheries wardens have been reminded of the important roles they play during a two-day refresher course held on the island of Yanuca in the Serua province. Speaking to the 21
19 Dec 2018 10:05
Refresher Course Reminds Fisheries Wardens Of Roles
Stakeholders with workshop participants holding their certificates. Photo: Ministry of Fisheries

Fisheries wardens have been reminded of the important roles they play during a two-day refresher course held on the island of Yanuca in the Serua province.

Speaking to the 21 participants from five villages of the Tikina (District) of Serua, the Acting Permanent Secretary for Fisheries, Naipote Katonitabua, said wardens should not only increase their understanding of fisheries issues, but also assist with policing of their communities, especially with the recurrence of hard drugs being found in our rural and maritime waters and communities.

“You will be the eyes and ears of the ministry and we hope that you will carry out your roles within the Fisheries Act as well as powers that you have,” he said. “Please do not exercise the powers that you have in an irresponsible manner, but always liaise with the Fiji Police as well as ministry officials when faced with difficult situations out at sea.”

Mr Katonitabua also said there would be future joint operations between the ministry and the Fiji Police Force in the Serua fishing grounds.

“We will strengthen our patrols out at sea through our Inshore Fisheries Management Division and will of course liaise closely with our counterparts at the Fiji Police,” Mr Katonitabua said.

Jolame Bilavou, of Yanuca Island, said  the training enabled him to understand as well the laws and regulations that were in place.

“The two days training gave me indepth knowledge of the Fisheries Act and how we should go about in protecting our iqoliqoli,” Mr Bilavou said.

“We have important roles to play and we need to strengthen our roles as our future generations depend on us to protect our marine resources.

“There are so many youths in the village who have been negligent of the roles that they need to play, especially in keeping poachers away.

“I am sure that after this refresher course, many will come on board and assist us in looking after our iqoliqoli.”

Mr Bilavou was grateful to the Ministry of Fisheries for bringing fisheries wardens together from the province of the tikina of Serua to participate in this refresher course.

“It all starts with us and we really have to think of our future generations so that we are also able to save some marine resources for them,” he said.

A mock exercise was carried out at sea and wardens were taught on the basics of approaching poachers as well as keeping good communication with the fishermen.

The Ministry of Fisheries has been conducting refresher courses for wardens over the years and is also available to conduct the same training to coastal communities that wish to look after their traditional fishing grounds.

Source: Ministry of Fisheries

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