Framework for iqoliqoli payments

Minister for Fisheries Semi Koroilavesau. Picture: FT FILE

A framework governing the payment of goodwill to traditional fishing rights owners has been submitted to Cabinet, says Fisheries Minister Semi Koroilavesau.

He made the comment during a talanoa session with Teci villagers in Yasawa recently. Mr Koroilavesau told villagers that the framework would ensure that traditional fishing rights owners were paid fairly for the use of their resources.

He said the goodwill payments would range from $25 to $4000, depending on the activities undertaken in a fishing ground.

Under the framework, Mr Koroilavesau said each landowning unit would need to have trustees. He said the framework would also ensure that each landowning unit member received equal share of proceeds.

The minister said Government had abolished goodwill payments to iqoliqoli (customary fi shing rights) owners. He reminded villagers that it was illegal to receive any form of goodwill from investors for the use of their traditional fishing grounds.

Government had abolished the goodwill payments to traditional fishing right owners from January, 2016.

Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama had said Government would formulate an accountable and transparent framework regarding an alternative method of goodwill payment to resource owners.

Previously, fishermen paid levies to fishing rights owners, this changed to provincial offices and then changed to applying for permits at divisional commissioners office.

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