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Plea to stop illegal fishing

Luke Rawalai
Thursday, August 07, 2014

THE Fisheries Department has registered 800 seasonal fishermen in the North, says principal fisheries officer North Jovesa Naceva.

In an interview, Mr Naceva said out of the 8000 registered as of June end, 10 were for commercial fishing. He said many fishermen in the North held licences for both commercial and subsistence fishing.

"No survey has been done yet to keep track of the effects and volume of overfishing in the North," he said.

"We have only been keeping tracks of instances where poachers have been arrested and their fishing gear confiscated. We are also aware of allegations made by villagers who claim they have witnessed poaching being carried out in their fishing grounds."

Mr Naceva said illegal fishing had increased rapidly over the years. However, an extensive research has yet to be done to collect data on the effects of overfishing.

"It is a problem in the division and fisheries personnel are carrying out operations to monitor poachers."

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