REPORTS of poaching in the North have dropped, says divisional fisheries officer North Joji Vakawaletabua.
He attributed this to the awareness in the communities on the illegal activity and its effects, the presence of fish wardens in almost every village and the co-operation between stakeholders.
"Reports of poaching have dropped in the North. It is an area that people have realised its effects and how it can affect livelihoods," Mr Vakawaletabua said.
"The awareness programs we have continuously had in villages have also helped out a lot as people become aware also of the fines and penalties involved," he said.
He said fishermen out at sea helped by reporting to the fisheries office or other authorities about any suspicious illegal activities noticed while out fishing.
"All stakeholders have stepped in to help fight poaching and we have seen the results which has been positive.
"It is important for stakeholders to recognise the importance of protecting the qoliqoli from fishermen who don't have licences but poach," Mr Vakawaletabua said.
He said the livelihood of fishing licence holders were always affected when poaching happened.
"So it is a positive sign for us in the North that poaching has dropped.
"The awareness programs held in communities over the years have helped."
Mr Vakawaletabua said the support from traditional leaders also helped his team in their work.