Fiji Time: 7:39 PM on Tuesday 23 January

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Coral farm option

Aqela Susu
Thursday, January 04, 2018

THE Fisheries Ministry will look for alternative fishing methods and fisheries for companies involved in the live coral trade to venture into as sources of income for its employees.

Fisheries Minister Semi Koroilavesau confirmed there were three companies in the country that were involved in the trade.

Government imposed a ban on the harvesting, export or sale of live coral and aquarium rocks from December 28, last year.

"There are three major exporters — one in Labasa, one in Lautoka and one in Nadi and also in Pacific Harbour.

"They employ people but we will look at alternative sources of income," Mr Koroilavesau said.

"We cannot close down these factories but we will ban the exports of it (live coral).

"We are consulting with them (the exporters). We can come and discuss what alternatives there are and if it's possible for them to stop breaking from corals and actually grow their own corals.

"If they grow their own corals, to actually farm corals, then we can monitor that and allow them to do it, but breaking from the live corals we want to put a stop to that.

"We are not going to provide employment, but we can provide proposals for alternative fisheries so that they can go into business again."

Mr Koroilavesau said there were alternatives to what these companies were doing and these included venturing into aquaculture.

"They can say that the return is not as good but there are alternatives to what they are doing now.

"We cannot continue what we have been doing in the past and ignore the facts," he added.

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