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Focus on role of fish wardens

Luke Rawalai
Tuesday, November 28, 2017

IN an effort to legally empower fish wardens, the Fiji Locally Marine Managed Areas network will work closely with the Ministry of Fisheries to provide them with a training module.

Having existed since the implementation of the Fisheries Act in 1942, FLMMA executive Margaret Tabunakawai said there had been little done to upgrade the functions of fish wardens.

Ms Tabunakawai said they were working on a submission to the Ministry of Fisheries to upgrade training for fish wardens into a module.

"I know that we had already raised our concern to the ministry last year and we are trying to put through a submission to the Ministry of Fisheries with regards to having to beef up the fish warden training into a module," she said.

"We have plans that are in place and this is strengthened by the fact that the ministry is also a member of our network and we are working with them on how they can design this module.

"The Forests Ministry has moved ahead with its forest warden program and we are trying to figure out how we can align a similar sort of program to acknowledge the work fish wardens have done.

"The role of fish wardens has been alive since the enactment of the Fisheries Act and nothing has changed much."

Meanwhile, Kavewa fish warden Emosi Time said the move was a great one, adding the roles of fish wardens needed to be recognised and upgraded so they could keep up with poachers.

Mr Time said giving wardens legal powers would make them confident to carry out their work effectively.

He said poaching, which was common throughout the country, was a pressing problem that needed to be addressed

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