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4FJ pledge attracts numbers

Dawn Gibson
Sunday, March 23, 2014

A TEAM from SeaWeb Asia Pacific set up in the middle of Suva yesterday calling for support from members of the public for the 4FJ pledge initiative.

The 4FJ is a campaign which aims to protect the kawakawa and donu grouper fish during their spawning period, which is from June to September each year.

The reason these grouper fish are given special attention through this pledge is because of their breeding patterns, which make them particularly vulnerable to overfishing — they gather to breed in large groups and can therefore be easily overfished without having the opportunity to further reproduce.

"As populations increase, food needs have increased and income needs have increased, they become very easy to overfish," explained SeaWeb Asia Pacific executive director Scott Radway.

"And what we've seen in Fiji and across the Pacific is these fish are very valuable commercially, very good for the local diet — but they're just declining because they gather like they do."

Mr Radway said the campaign was asking individuals to leave the fish alone during their breeding periods and eat them anytime around those periods.

"Just let them let the eggs out so we can have more fish next year and then you can eat them the rest of the year."

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