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Fiji Time: 10:44 PM on Thursday 17 April

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Fisheries licence advice

Repeka Nasiko
Wednesday, January 22, 2014

THE Department of Fisheries has advised fishermen who have expressed concern about the rising cost of fishing licences issued by traditional qoliqoli owners to go in groups rather than individually.

Department director Suresh Chand said fishing licences offered by traditional owners had become commercial.

"Before it used to be the traditional sevusevu that was offered to the owners of the fishing ground but now it has become commercial," said Mr Chand.

"We would advise these fishermen to go in large numbers and pay for a fishing licence rather than going as one person where the burden of paying for a licence can be too much."

He said the ministry also gave permits for commercial fishing.

"Once the custodians of the fishing grounds have given them the licences then we will give them the permit to go to the area and fish.

"They must get all the signatures of all members of the unit who own that fishing ground."

Lautoka fishermen are being charged about $20 for a fishing permit from the Department of Fisheries.

However, some fishermen have raised concerns over the increasing cost of licences issued by traditional fishing ground owners.

Lautoka fisherman Ned Ram said he paid about $700 for a licence to fish in Vitogo waters.

He said the licence used to cost about $20 when he started fishing 20 years ago.