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Department warns fishermen sharing licence

Mere Naleba
Sunday, February 23, 2014

LICENSED fishermen thinking of sharing their licences with colleagues who do not have valid licences or those who have not applied for a licence at all should know this is an illegal practice.

Senior fisheries officer central Mere Lakeba said licence-sharing during fishing trips was a problem the Fisheries Department continued to encounter.

"The licence is personal to the holder and is not transferable, it is just like a driving licence," Mrs Lakeba said.

"At times when we meet our fishermen they tend to misunderstand what a fishing licence is and what a boat master licence is.

"So they tend to use the licence that they need to take their boats to use as an authority to actually fish, so we need to also address those areas".

Mrs Lakeba said fishermen who had not registered or applied for a licence needed to know that a licence was for their own safety out at sea.

The Fisheries Department's central officer which looks after fishermen in the Serua to Dawasamu corridor, has registered about 500 fishermen.

"One of the criteria in the issuance of licence we have set for the Central Division is for captains to have a boat master's licence," she said.

"This is important for the captains to master their crew in terms of taking crew on board, the safety of their crew and what to do when they encounter mishaps at sea."

Mrs Lakeba said it was important for vessel owners to have valid service certificates.

"For the very reason to ensure the safety of our clients, we need to be confident enough that when you go out there, you will return home to your families."

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