Fisheries Minister Starts Tour Off In Big Way

Villages of Natawa, Nalawaki and Wayalevu on Waya island were the first to receive the fishing devices.
18 Jun 2020 10:58
Fisheries Minister Starts Tour Off In Big Way
Ministry of Fisheries staff, Charlie Doughty, holding up a Fisheries Aggregate Device [FAD] which is being distributed in Yasawa onboard the Bai Ni Takali on June 17, 2020. Photo: Kelera Sovasiga

Minister for Fisheries, Semi Koroilavesau, and his team, on the first day of their Yasawa Group tour, distributed five Fishing Aggregated Device (FAD) to five villages. Their tour began yesterday.

Villages of Natawa, Nalawaki and Wayalevu on Waya island were the first to receive the fishing devices.

The minister also made stops to the Naviti Group and visited the villages of Kese and Gunu to end his first day.

“Our reef system is under huge stress because of climate change and acidification,” Mr Koroilavesau said.

“This programme is an initiative we had decided back in 2017 basically it is hinged on sustainability. The science providers for us had indicated that the resources within our oceans is depleting very quickly, so what we had to do was immediate actions to try and reduce the threat to the resources within our oceans,” he said.

“Our effort is to induce open water fish to come and feed on the small fish that feed on the FAD system,

“The small fish actually cling on the aggregate device and it attracts the migrating fish like tuna walu, wahu; whatever fish that normally migrate. In that aspect we, figured it will relieve our reef system. Instead of our people fishing on the reef system, they will fish on the FAD as an alternative.”

Mr Koroilavesau also distributed 20 yasi plants and five evu-evu plants each to the villages to assist in the tree planting initiative.

Natawa Village headman, Sisa Neibale said: “We are very grateful to the Minister for Fisheries for visiting us at this time as this was also an opportunity to share some of our grievances as to how they can help us with our reef system.

“The Fishing Aggregated Device (FAD) will be of so much help to us and our future generation as our reef boundaries have been reduced and limited. The system will also help us catch more for our livelihood with the mindset that we take good care of the device.”

Talanoa session

During the talanoa session, Mr Neibale spoke on the need to have more water tanks to cater for the 38 households of Natawa Village.

“Many have moved back to the village when the COVID-19 pandemic hit them badly with job losses so it has increased the number of people living in the village,” Mr Neibale said.

“We are just requesting if more water tanks could be given to our village to help cater for the growing number of people.”

Mr Koroilavesau assured the people of Natawa he would assist them by buying bags of cement for the base of the water tanks to start with.

Edited by Jonathan Bryce


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