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Fishing struggle

Dawn Gibson
Wednesday, January 22, 2014

GIVEN the negative prospects of Fiji's ailing fishing industry, business is not looking good for fishing companies in the country.

One such company is Solander Pacific Limited, which has been struck by fishing woes recently and is running operations in the hopes that the industry becomes healthier somehow.

"We have lost a lot of money and we're having to go to the bank to borrow money and that's how we're surviving at the moment and even now, we're still losing a lot of money," company general manager Radhika Kumar said.

"We're only running our vessels to keep our supply going to the markets, because if all of a sudden your market goes, you have to start all over again with everything."

Mrs Kumar said the company exports fish to Japan, the US, Europe, New Zealand, Australia, Bangkok and Spain.

"We have also tied up half of our fleet — we only run six vessels now and we're going to run them for the first quarter — that's what we've decided, just to see if things are going to improve.

"If things don't improve by then I have no idea what we're going to do.

"There are just too many boats, about 130 around the Suva harbour alone."

Facing similar fishing problems, last week Fiji Fish Marketing Group officially shut down the tuna fishing arm of their business, forcing them to reduce employment numbers from over 200 to about 50.

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