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Fiji Time: 6:28 PM on Thursday 24 April

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Villagers raise concern

Torika Tokalau
Saturday, December 07, 2013

VILLAGERS of Yanuca Island are disappointed with outside vessels and fishermen who fish in their marine protected area (MPA).

Village headman Sireli Kago who was at the 9th Pacific Islands Conference on Nature Conservation and Protected Areas at the Vodafone Arena on Thursday said the MPA was established in 2007 to help restore marine life in their waters.

"We have had people and vessels from outside of the island come into our MPA and fish," Mr Kago said.

"It's disappointing because we have worked hard to establish this site and maintain it and yet we have people from outside who have no respect for our cause."

He said they were working closely with the Ministry of Fisheries to police the site.

"We are thankful to the government for giving us a boat which helps us look after our MPA.

"We work shifts every night to keep watch of the site."

Mr Kago also revealed the villagers realised the benefits of the MPA and decided not to end the MPA for some time.

"We want to keep it an MPA for years for the sake of our children and grandchildren.

"We hope we can maintain this area so that our children and great-grandchildren can benefit from it."