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Iguana threat

Dawn Gibson
Monday, March 03, 2014

THE authorities are warning people against the transporting and or removing of American iguanas from or between the islands on which they live — Qamea, Taveuni, Matagi and Laucala.

People found carrying, transporting or breeding the pest will be fined $40,000 and if it is a company doing the transporting, they will be charged $200,000.

This warning was made clear by Biosecurity Authority of Fiji's executive chairman Xavier Riyaz Khan who said such measures were important to control the spread of the pest.

"Biosecurity officers based in Savusavu and Labasa are strictly monitoring airports and wharf areas in Taveuni, Savusavu and Labasa," Mr Khan said in a statement.

"We also have temporary biosecurity officers based on Qamea and Taveuni who are monitoring American iguana movement from these islands."

The warning follows the extension of BAF's Declaration of Biosecurity Areas of American iguana.

"MAF has an MOU with the Maritime Safety Authority of Fiji (MSAF) and we will be seeking help of the maritime officers to strengthen monitoring and surveillance on movement of American iguana from the infested islands.

"We don't want the American iguana to spread to other parts of Fiji and destroy our agricultural crops and affect our tourism and economy."

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