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Fisherfolk thrive at hotspring

Luke Rawalai
Sunday, February 09, 2014

A LITTLE party of fisherfolk gathers at the Tabia hot springs every morning to finish the final processes of an overnight sea expedition that generates much wanted income for them and their families.

The party consists of women and men who make a living from the sea selling fish and other marine produce that the sea around Macuata is well known for.

For Tukisi Baravilala of Wailevu, the beche-de-mer he collects from the previous night caters for his daily needs.

"We are lucky that we have the hot springs because we normally gut our beche-de-mer and cook them right away in the boiling water, he said.

"There is no need for firewood and fuel to start a fire as the waters at the spring are already boiling and all we have to do is get our beach-de-mer to be cooked.

"We get a lot from the sale of the beche-de-mer as they are bought a lot by the Asian community in Labasa and surrounding areas."

Mr Baravilala said that for a successful night they could make as much as $250 depending on the species of beach-de-mer they managed to collect.

"The sucuwalu (beche-de-mer) and dri (sea cucumber) fetch about $100 to $150 for a full container or they buy it for $25 a kilogram.

"This is sufficient money for us to put food on our table and pay for our expenses."

Wailevu villager Laisa Tinai said the money she made from the trade assisted her to pay for her expenses and cater for her daily needs.





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