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Pledge gains support

Dawn Gibson
Thursday, April 03, 2014

THE public has recently shown encouraging enthusiasm towards the 4FJ pledge launched earlier this month, with hundreds having taken the pledge.

The pledge is an initiative of SeaWeb aimed at protecting species of grouper fish commonly known as kawakawa and donu from being caught, sold, eaten or bought during their breeding months — June to September.

The country has recorded about 530 pledges.

"We've noticed that the public are now taking the initiative, which is much better than it was in the past, it was really surprising but it's great," explained SeaWeb Fiji's Alumeci Nakeke in an interview this week.

"Just at the end of last week about 239 people liked our page in a matter of days — we recently launched that Facebook page and people have really come out to like it."

When asked about the challenges facing the SeaWeb Fiji team, Ms Nakeke said the biggest issue was with mobilising teams to get into communities to spread the word about the importance of taking the pledge.

"Last year, I did one at a supermarket in Makoi and I managed to get about 50 pledges in one day, so people are interested but at the moment it's just a little difficult.

"But as the spawning season approaches, we'll be doing more to raise awareness."

The fish species are given particular attention because of their vulnerability to overfishing during breeding season — they tend to breed in groups and are therefore easily overfished before being able to reproduce.

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