Fiji Time: 9:10 PM on Wednesday 24 January

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Ministry works on plan

Solomone Rabulu
Wednesday, November 29, 2017

MANGROVES protect our shorelines and are home to many marine species, says director Fisheries Aisake Batibasaga.

Mr Batibasaga said despite the many benefits of mangroves, there was a need to conserve it.

"Coastal development projects support a number of threatened and endangered species," he said.

"We want a very stringent monitoring and assessment framework for any coastal development.

"Strategically, we want to see that mangroves are not removed for the sake of development and based on what we have seen, developments or any special projects on the coastal lines for that matter can still carry on without the need to clear or remove mangroves from its original place."

Mr Batibasaga said the ministry was now working on pre-assessment that led to the sensitivity processes and fisheries impact assessment for compensation of any coastal development.

"We will see in our pre-assessment particulars of the development site before we actually do a fishery impact assessment for compensation of any damage incurred from any proposed development," he said.

"In addition to commercially important species, mangroves help maintain our marine life, so it's essential to consider its importance."

The Ministry of Fisheries is working on promoting mangrove protection and Mr Batibasaga believes it could be the key to sustainable food security in the future.

"People in Fiji mostly rely on marine life for food and most marine species rely on mangroves for food and shelter. If we misuse our resources now, then we will definitely face a lot of food security issues in future."

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