Good news for fishers

GOOD news for small-scale and women fishers after the Ministry of Fisheries reviewed and slashed the proposed fishing licensing fees.

Minister for Fisheries Semi Koroilavesau said the proposed fees of $100 to $150 for small-scale fishers had been reduced to $5.50.

Mr Koroilavesau said part of the delay in the consultation of fisheries licence fees was the fact that the proposed fees had to be reviewed.

“Say for small-scale fishers, they were initially charged a large amount of fees, I think $100 to $150 and I instructed our personnel to reduce it because the income generated from the business should be consistent with the fees levied,” he said.

“Following the review, it has now been reduced to $5.50.”

Mr Koroilavesau said the ministry was now looking at extending licences to four years.

“The conditions are that they pay fees by year end for its validity in the next four years.

“In that way, we will only withdraw the licence if they don’t pay for one year so we want the licence to be for four years because it provides security for fishermen to secure loans from financing institutions.

“Basically, the story is this, that the new licensing condition is consistent with the previous licence.

“It still depends on the length of the vessel and the size of the fishing venture and other factors.”