VILLAGE headmen and district representatives from the province of Rewa were told of the importance of conserving their traditional fishing grounds during a workshop yesterday.
Roko tui Rewa Timoci Kacanavesi said it was vital for participants to understand their roles and responsibilities when dealing with their traditional fishing grounds, which was a source of livelihood.
He said many took those issues lightly at times which led to the depletion of marine life in most parts of the province.
"When we have major developments happening in the province, we rely on the village headmen and district representatives to look into the matter particularly concerning the fishing grounds," Mr Kacanavesi said.
He said it was the first time for the province to organise such a workshop and to have a great turnout in three days.
"We hope to continue such workshop within the province, particularly since it is encouraging the village headmen on what they are to do," Mr Kacanavesi said.
"We hope to encourage partnership with NGOs in the province so we do not rely on government assistance," he said.
He said the province of Rewa was trying to avoid assistance from the government by empowering the community leaders with the introduction of such workshops.
Vutia district representative Ravuama Lalanabaravi said the workshop was beneficial as it taught them to be independent and to carry out their responsibilities.