GOVERNMENT says the proposed Aquaculture Decree is designed to protect and preserve Fiji's marine resources.
The government made the comment after Cakaudrove Provincial Council members were advised to oppose the proposed decree. Members of the council had been earlier told by North Fisheries Officer Joji Vakawaletabua, the proposed decree entailed the leasing of fishing grounds for 15 to 35 years of commercial exploitation.
Former council chairman Emitai Boladuadua Vakawaletabua said many Asian countries would be interested in the opportunity provided through the proposed decree.
However, the government said yesterday that all Fijians would be consulted on the decree
"In response to the article published by The Fiji Times dated 12/05/2014, the proposed decree is designed to protect and preserve Fiji's marine resources." the government said.
"The proposed decree will undergo consultations with all Fijians and traditional owners to ensure that there is greater awareness on the need to preserve Fiji's marine resources.
"It is unfortunate that this issue was presented at the meeting without due consideration of the actual objective of the proposed decree which is to protect and sustain a vital part of Fijian livelihoods."