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Rugby heroes take up pledge

Alumeci Nakeke
Monday, July 14, 2014

TWO Flying Fijians have joined the growing roster of 4FJ campaign champions.

Leone Nakarawa and Nikola Matawalu have pledged to not eat donu and kawakawa from June through September, the peak breeding months for the fish, and to share the message with their friends, family and fans.

The national rugby team stars, who also play together in Scotland, join an impressive group that includes rugby legend Waisale Serevi, Ratu Filimoni Ralogaivau, celebrity chef Lance Seeto and fisherman such as Lisala Waqalala, radio personality Veena Bhatnagar, and the most recent addition, the leadership of the Methodist Church in Fiji and Rotuma.

"I love kawakawa because it's so tasty and usually buy it for our Sunday lunch," said Nakarawa.

"But we Fijians depend on what we get from the land and sea for daily sustenance. So if we know that these two fish are declining in numbers why not give them the freedom to reproduce? It's the right thing to do."

Matawalu said he felt it was his responsibility to do what he could to help communities feed themselves and earn income now and in the future.

"If I know these two fish are decreasing in numbers and sizes then it's my responsibility to do something about it. If we leave them alone during breeding season then we will have more," Matawalu said. "So if we come together in this campaign, our kawakawa and donu will recover."

* Alumeci Nakeke is a program associate with SeaWeb.

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