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Submission to legally prohibit consumption of fish

Luke Rawalai
Friday, June 20, 2014

THE Fisheries Department has made submissions to the government to legally prohibit the consumption of grouper fish such as kawakawa and donu during their spawning period.

North principal fisheries officer Jovesa Naceva said specialists in their departments had already identified the spawning period of groupers, which would be clarified when the proposed legislation, that was to legalise the ban, came out.

Mr Naceva said the department had begun raising awareness on the issue with communities in coastal areas.

"The department strives to ban the fishing of these grouper fish during their spawning period so that they can multiply," he said.

"The over-fishing of these species of fish can also lead to their extinction, which will be really sad because fish and other seafood are a delicacy for most Fijians, especially the iTaukei people.

"In the meantime, we have already begun our awareness for people to stop fishing for grouper fish during their spawning period."

Mr Naceva said most iTaukei people preferred to eat the fish during its spawning period because it was more fleshy and tastier at that time.

"I plead with the iTaukei people to consider their future generations who would also like to sample the same delicacies they now enjoy.

"We do not want people to react when the ban is officially gazetted but to understand that this is an attempt at saving a species of fish that is important to us all and the marine ecosystem."

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