THE festive season is no time to relax for the Fisheries Department in the Northern Division as it beefs up on sea and land patrols.
Principal Northern fisheries officer Joji Vakawaletabua yesterday said they were focusing their patrols on poaching and the selling of under-sized fish this festive season.
"Daily inspection at the Labasa fish market is because we don't want vendors to be selling under-sized fish," he said.
"We have been informing vendors that selling under-sized fish is illegal and those caught can be penalised.
"At this time, vendors can be tempted to sell under-sized fish given the high demand but we are warning them this is against the law."
"Also our officers have been reaching out to villagers and islanders to create awareness of poaching.
"This is something we are trying to control as we continue to receive reports of poaching in the region."