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Families relocate

Serafina Silaitoga
Thursday, December 07, 2017

EIGHT families on Galoa Island in Bua have relocated to Viti Levu in search of financial income citing plummeting revenue loss as a result of Government's beche-de-mer trade ban.

Village elder and businessman Jone Ravouvou claimed the 54 families who earned $400 per week from selling beche-de-mer had been greatly affected by the ban.

As a result, eight families had relocated so they could earn an income to support their children attending tertiary institutes.

"Government did not even give us a backup plan or a second option to earn an income and support our families," Mr Ravouvou claimed.

"The BDM trade is a major revenue for the villagers and has been so for many years because it gives us good money.

"Now we are left with the option to sell fish and it does not give us a good income at all. We will be blessed to earn at least $100 in a week."

Mr Ravouvou claimed most development projects initiated by villagers had been shelved because of financial constraints.

"Our contribution of $20,000 towards the village water project was funded from the sale of beche-de-mer," he claimed.

"Now we can't do any more fundraising because there is no good income to raise such a good amount of money."

Questions sent to the Ministry of Fisheries last Friday remained unanswered.

The Fiji Times followed up again yesterday, but no response was received from the ministry when this edition went to press last night.

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