COVID-19: Villagers chased by police for catching fish during curfew

A fsherman casts from the bank. PICTURE: REUTERS/Russell Cheyne

Villagers along the Savusavu Coast have expressed their disappointment after they were chased by police officers while catching fish for their families last night.

Villagers who preferred anonymity claimed police officers were patrolling the coast in a boat, chasing people despite the directive by the Ministry of Fisheries that people could fish during curfew hours.

The villagers said police needed to consider that most families had their breadwinners laid off from hotels in Savusavu and fishing was the only source of livelihood for many.

Some also claimed that they were catching fish for their children’s Palm Sunday lunch today.

When asked, the Fisheries Ministry maintained that subsistence fishing was allowed, provided that fishermen go out to sea way before the curfew time and needed to stay out at sea until the period was over.

Police officers at Savusavu Police Station said they had been instructed that only licensed fishermen were allowed to fish during curfew hours.

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