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Fiji Time: 1:49 AM on Monday 21 April

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Proof of success

Tevita Vuibau
Saturday, December 07, 2013

THE Fiji Locally Managed Marine Areas (FLMMA) network says the proof of its success is in the eating of the pudding β€”in this case fish β€” so to speak.

Having started from scratch in the 1990s, FLMMA now boasts 400-village affiliates in 10 coastal provinces. And the organisation is not stopping there.

Its long-term dream is one of getting all qoliqoli in Fiji to join the FLMMA network. FLMMA network co-ordinator Semisi Meo said the program achieved undoubted success, a fact proven by the number of years it survived.

"Just an indication of the success of FLMMA β€” it's been a decade in its existence now and it's still going on," Mr Meo said.

"In terms of impact, a simple indicator is there are sites that have gone beyond five years of tabu.

"That's a testament in itself with villagers having to sacrifice that particular area for over five years and some of them have gone beyond 10 years.

"I think the stories of what they are getting from the harvest area is good enough for them and they are not coming up with trying to challenge decisions to try and open it up or something like that."

He added there were other positives aspects of affiliating with that FLMMA.

"We've also done ecological studies inside and outside these areas with some very interesting results.

"The tabu is effective in terms of biomass, density, abundance of fish, it's always the difference you see in a tabu area compared to outside and that trend is very much what you see in community-based tabu areas."