Districts support ban

FOUR districts in the province of Cakaudrove have supported Government’s initiative to ban the use of underwater breathing apparatus (UBA).

The districts — Nasavusavu, Kubulau, Wailevu and Naweni — pledged their support to Fisheries Minister Semi Koroilavesau during his recent tour to the North. Mr Koroilavesau informed them at the meeting that the use of UBA was highly recommended to be banned.

“Firstly, it is detrimental to the health of those using it and there are so many cases of fishermen who have lost their lives or are now paralysed because of the extreme use of UBA,” he said.

Mr Koroilavesau said fishermen using UBA equipment had taken a lot of resources from the ocean.

“They spend more time under the sea putting their lives at risk without thinking of the long-term consequences they may suffer. There is a huge need for us to restock our reef systems with marine resources and we also need to think of our children and the future generation so that they are also able to enjoy the delicacies from our oceans as protein source” he said.

Tui Naweni Ratu Lavisai Kabakoro said fishermen from their district didn’t have to go far to look for fish and marine resources because they fished sustainably over the years.

“We all have to work smarter nowadays and think of our future generation otherwise more people will lose their lives because they continue to go into the deep seas using underwater breathing apparatus to earn a living,” he said.

Ratu Lavisai encouraged district reps at the meeting to have control measures in place.

“We want to share this story so it could possibly be replicated in other parts of Fiji,” said Ratu Lavisai.

Kubulau Resource Management Committee chairman Paula Kolikata said the district benefited a lot from their qoliqoli.

“The ocean is our source of living and since setting up the committee, we have seen the positive changes that have come about because we have chosen to respect our ocean and use its resources sensibly.”

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