Sus­tain­able Fish­ing Needed to Sus­tain Re­sources

Fiji Sun - - MINISTRY OF FISHERIES - Feed­back: rosi.doviver­ata@fi­jisun.com.fj

The Min­is­ter for Fish­eries, Semi Koroilaves­au is re­mind­ing vil­lages in the Ya­sawa Group to har­vest marine re­sources sus­tain­ably as we pre­pare our­selves for tough times ahead.

Speak­ing in seven vil­lages dur­ing his visit to Ya­sawa last week, Mr Koroilaves­au re­minded them of the need to sus­tain, pro­tect and prop­erly man­age their re­sources har­vested from the sea.

“I am aware that most of the men and women were work­ing in re­sorts and ho­tels in the area and due to COVID-19, have lost their jobs,” added Mr Koroilaves­au.

“This is per­haps go­ing to be the most try­ing time for the na­tion as a whole as we try to ad­dress the chal­lenges ahead. Let us work to­gether so that we are able to slowly trans­form into the ‘new nor­mal.

“This is not the time to be mak­ing hasty de­ci­sions but def­i­nitely the time to be mak­ing wise ones as we try to help each other out in terms of food se­cu­rity and in­come gen­er­a­tion and the over­all sus­tain­abil­ity of our re­sources”

Mr Koroilaves­au added that it is also im­por­tant that we re­mind our­selves of the close re­la­tion­ship of land based eco-sys­tems, our ocean re­sources and the chal­lenges of cli­mate change.

“There­fore we need to take it on our part to be mind­ful of our ac­tions. De­for­esta­tion, burn­ing of veg­e­ta­tion for farm­ing and un­sus­tain­able fish­ing prac­tices are some of the ac­tiv­i­ties that we need to ad­dress. Our com­mit­ment to sus­tain­able prac­tice is a must and should be shared by all,” he said.

He added that our col­lec­tive ef­forts will in­deed sus­tain us now and more im­por­tantly, keep sus­tain­ing us to the fu­ture.

Through the Com­mis­sioner West­ern’s of­fice, the vil­lages of Ta­musua, Malakati, Nac­ula and Mat­a­cawalevu all re­ceived so­lar freez­ers which were handed over by the Prime Min­is­ter and Mr Koroilaves­au last week.

I am aware that most of the men and women were work­ing in re­sorts and ho­tels in the area and due to COVID-19, have lost their jobs. This is per­haps go­ing to be the most try­ing time for the na­tion as a whole as we try to ad­dress the chal­lenges ahead. Let us work to­gether so that we are able to slowly trans­form into the ‘new nor­mal. Semi Koroilaves­au The Min­is­ter for Fish­eries

Ad­di­tion­ally, dur­ing his three-day tour, Mr. Koroilaves­au helped de­ploy a to­tal of seven Fish­ing Ag­gre­gate De­vices (FADs) in the Ya­sawa wa­ters. Fish­er­men in 14 vil­lages from the dis­tricts of Waya to Nac­ula will be able to fish around the FADs in weeks to come.

FADs con­sist of ropes, buoys and spat col­lec­tors. When de­ployed into the sea, the spat col­lec­tors at­tract small marine or­gan­isms which in turn at­tract ocean go­ing pelagic fish such as mar­lin, tuna and mahimahi. The Min­istry of Fish­eries has de­ployed more than 100 FADs in wa­ters all over Fiji.

FADs will be mon­i­tored by the min­istry through reg­u­lar vis­its by fish­eries of­fi­cials and up­dates by the vil­lage head­man.

Re­ports from the East­ern Di­vi­sion have seen the suc­cess of FAD op­er­a­tions es­pe­cially in Ka­davu. “Fish­er­men in Ka­davu have gone through deep sea fish­ing train­ings con­ducted by the min­istry and have been sell­ing species like Tuna to civil ser­vants at the Vu­nisea Gov­ern­ment Sta­tion which is cur­rently their big­gest mar­ket,” said Mr Koroilaves­au.

Fish­er­men of vil­lages in Lau have also made great use of the FAD’s as they do not need to travel fur­ther out to sea but in­stead fish around the FAD’s.

Mr Koroilaves­au hopes that com­mu­ni­ties in the Ya­sawa Group of is­lands will soon be able to share their suc­cess sto­ries in the weeks ahead es­pe­cially with FAD fish­ing. In Ya­sawa, there has been a slow trickle of peo­ple mov­ing back to their vil­lages and com­mu­ni­ties af­ter los­ing their jobs es­pe­cially in the tourism in­dus­try.

Life for them will never be the same but the min­istry hopes to work closely with them and other com­mu­ni­ties around the coun­try in ad­dress­ing food se­cu­rity and liveli­hoods.

Photo: Min­istry of Forestry

Min­is­ter for Fish­eries Semi Koroilaves­au with chil­dren at one of the vil­lages he vis­ited dur­ing his tour of Ya­sawa.

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