VILLAGERS of the district of Nakorotubu in Ra who embraced the idea of having a taboo placed on their qoliqoli are seeing the benefits and are looking to keep the taboo in place forever.
The taboo began in 2007 after a visit in 2005 from the University of the South Pacific researchers found fish stocks of in Nakorotubu were depleted.
Nakorotubu marine protected area (MPA) chairman Josaia Mocenasavu said the 45 yavusa of Nakorotubu and the over 20 villages had decided for the taboo to stretch from the qoliqoli areas along the coast, to the rivers and streams of villages further inland.
He said the villagers had initially planned that it be for 10 years. Mr Mocenasavu said they now wanted a permanent taboo after they saw a massive change in their fish stocks.
"Right now we can see there has been a big change," (Na gauna saraga qo sa vakilai ni dua na veisau levu," he said)
He said village elders had always spoken about how it did not take long for the women of the village to return from fishing because of the abundance of fish right by the beach. However this had changed which led to the MPA being put in place.
Mr Mocenasavu said there were still challenges to managing the MPA, mainly in enforcing the taboo.
He said there had been times when people had broken the rules of the MPA but they had started to see changes.