First spawning season ends

THE 4FJ campaign completed its first spawning season for kawakawa and donu on Tuesday since its launch in March.

SeaWeb AP communications officer Alumeci Nakeke confirmed they had gathered more than 3000 pledges in what they hoped would potentially reduce the market for these fish by tens of thousands.

“For all those who made the pledge, you deserve a lot of praise today (yesterday) for making it through the past four months,” Mrs Nakeke said.

“Not only have you helped spread this message throughout Fiji and the region, but you have helped begin to let these fish replenish Fiji’s reefs.”

The peak spawning season ran from June through September, and the campaign had sought pledges from individuals from all walks of life in Fiji not to eat, buy or sell these two fish during their peak spawning months.

Kawakawa and donu are A-grade fish and are highly sought after by locals and tourists alike, but have rapidly declined in recent years.

The pledge, Mrs Nakeke said, is intended to give the fish space to reproduce each year and ensure there were more to eat the rest of the year and in the future.

She said the end of the first spawning season was the first victory of a much bigger journey, which they hoped would ultimately help protect a way of life in Fiji that depended on healthy oceans.

Mrs Nakeke and her team conducted the campaign through pledge drives, group presentations, contests and media outreach, including notable pledges from prominent Fijians and prominent organisations, businesses and government ministries.