Ban on 27 fish species

Kawakawa and Donu. Picture: FT FILE

THE Ministry of Fisheries has clarified that 27 species of grouper and coral trout, commonly known as kawakawa and donu, are in the list of banned fish.
The clarification follows concerns raised by fishermen in the North who had their catch confiscated last week from the market.
Fisherman Hazmat Ali said they were not aware about the banned 27 species except for the donu and kawakawa.
In an interview last week, he questioned the ban as it had affected financial plans for their families.
“How will we make our living and pay for our bills and look after our families if 27 species are banned from being sold in markets?
“We depend on fish for our income and to take care of our families, but fishermen will be affected now.
“We have our boats to pay, hire-purchase payments to take care of, but the ban of 27 species will affect our business.”
However, the ministry has maintained in its response to this newspaper that for the next four months, these 27 species would not be harvested for consumption or market sale.
“Because of their high demand, these species are extremely over-fished and need direct management interventions in place to avoid exploitation to a chronic level of depletion,” the ministry said.
“The public notice issued to this effect is very clear in specifying that there is a ban on fishing, collection, sales and export of all species of grouper and coral trout. And this was done to avoid any confusion or ambiguity around some species being banned and others not.
“The ministry wants everyone to comply with the ban and have undertaken, and continue to undertake, awareness on the ban on all species of groupers and coral trout that came into effect from the months of June to September, 2018, with communities and fishermen in all geographic regions.”
The ministry also reiterated that community awareness was done prior to the ban period which started earlier this month.

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