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An Ocean Lover

Yet with all these exposures, ex­periences, and achievements, and apart from his precious grandchildren and loving family, there is one other thing that his heart beats for.
14 Nov 2021 15:08
An Ocean Lover
Fiji’s new President,Tui Macuata Ratu Wiliame Katonivere, has been an advocate for protecting Fiji’s oceans.

Ratu Wiliame Katonivere has seen a lot and done a lot.

Yet with all these exposures, ex­periences, and achievements, and apart from his precious grandchildren and loving family, there is one other thing that his heart beats for.

The oceans and everything that calls the ocean its home.

Ratu Wiliame is a lover of the sea.

He loves to speak and advocate about the marine environment, how it is of utmost importance that every Fijian learns how to care, protect and sustain the ocean.

He specifically advocates for the protec­tion of the ‘qoliqoli’, the traditional fish­ing grounds of the people on the land.

“We must protect the ocean; we must protect our marine environment and systems,” he said.

“The world over, people are just taking whatever they can, in great multitudes with no care at all about replenishing of the numbers.”

He revealed that here in Fiji and closer to home in Vanua Levu, poaching was still a huge problem.

“We have our fisher folk wanting to protect and preserve and then you have those who are out wanting to make mon­ey and break the law to do so, fishing in waters prohibited,” he said.

Ratu Wiliame has been part of many conventions abroad where he spoke on matters regarding climate change, amongst other environmental issues.

At home in Labasa, the larger than life personality that he carries draws people from all walks of life to his side.

Total strangers are made to feel wel­come to his hometown.

Ratu Wiliame is a man of the people.

Life experience

Ratu Wiliame Katonivere speaks fondly of a time in his young life when he de­cided to do cane farming.

“I was in a transition phase, I guess; I had to contemplate a lot of things in life and because of the weight of the respon­sibilities on my shoulders from what was expected of me,” he said.

“I needed to figure things out on my own before making big decisions. I chose to go and cut cane with my mates.

He described it was a hard and grueling time but it taught him so much about life, about the struggles that people faced and it made him realise that everyone has their battles, and we all handle them differently.

“I am glad to have spent those few years in the sugar cane fields The things I learnt about life there I would never have gained from anywhere else,” he said.



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