COVID-19: Fishing allowed during curfew hours

People catch nethili with a fishing net at Lomolomo Beach in Lautoka. Picture: REINAL CHAND/FT FILE

Fishing is allowed during curfew hours, says Fiji’s Ministry of Fisheries.

According to the ministry, members of the public are advised to contact their nearest Fisheries Service Centre should they need further clarification and advice.

“Licensed fishermen are sternly reminded to fish only in i qoliqoli areas or fishing grounds that are clearly specified on their licences,” the ministry said in a statement.

“The Ministry of Fisheries wishes to reiterate the need for cooperation during these challenging times and for fishermen to please respect the various commodity bans that are still in place.”

Director Fisheries Mere Lakeba said in the Government statement they would work closely with the Fiji Navy and the Fiji Police Force in the monitoring of all fishing activities occurring in Fiji waters.

“Fishermen are advised to also leave their home ports well-before curfew hours and must take note that the exemption to curfew restrictions only applies whilst out at sea. Those caught on land during the curfew period will face the full brunt of the law,” said Ms Lakeba.

Meanwhile, fishermen in Lautoka have been issued with special fishing passes before they travel out to sea, and stringent measures have also been put in place to ensure they practice social distancing, are well informed on preventative measures and undergo thorough screening processes before being allowed to go out fishing.

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