SUNBIZ

Minister Of Fisheries: Number Of Fishing Vessels Visiting Fiji Has Dropped

Mr Koroilavesau said Fiji was also not catching the same amount of tuna as before due to climate change and the increased fishing activities in the high seas north of Fiji.
27 Oct 2019 14:06
Minister Of Fisheries: Number Of Fishing Vessels Visiting Fiji Has Dropped
Fishing vessels docked in the Port of Suva. Photo: Ronald Kumar

The number of fishing vessels visiting Fiji has dropped dramatically, says the Minister for Fisheries, Semi Koroilavesau.

Mr Koroilavesau was responding to questions on how a new fisheries plant established in Vanuatu would affect Fiji’s fisheries industry.

“We have been aware of these challenges for some time and have been working through with consultations to find solutions and resolve these issues through a multi-agency approach.

“In fact Fiji is in competition with other nations in securing raw tuna for our value adding industries including PAFCO.

“We are continuously in discussion in trying to attract fishing vessels to unload their catch here in Fiji. This is to top up the amount caught within our own EEZ.”

Mr Koroilavesau said Fiji was also not catching the same amount of tuna as before due to climate change and the increased fishing activities in the high seas north of Fiji.

“Our catch has reduced by at least 50 per cent compared to 20 years ago.

“In short, we are facing a lot of competitions that never existed before due to supply and demand and we just need to work smarter to compete.”

Radio New Zealand reported that a fish processing plant joint project, developed by a Chinese company, was launched on the outskirts of Vanuatu’s capital.

It said: “The new plant meant that all Vanuatu-flagged Chinese fishing vessels would be offloading their tuna catch at the plant instead of in Fiji.

“It also meant that once packaged for export the fish would be labelled as ‘products of Vanuatu’.”

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