Illegal fishing

MONITORING illegal fishing within the Western Division remains a major challenge for the Fisheries Department.

Newly-appointed principal fisheries officer western Eroni Talemaikanacea said keeping track of each fishing boat was almost impossible.

“With our resources and the vast number of fishing grounds that we have to cover in the West, it is a major challenge,” Mr Talemaikanacea said.

“There are a lot of places to cover but we try our best to ensure that our fishermen are adhering to our laws.”

He said some fishermen had also adopted techniques to evade authorities.

“They’ve become very smart.

“Some of them know when we go out for inspections and that is the time they stay around the wharf and go out to sea when we return.”

Mr Talemaikanacea added despite the difficulties, the department’s campaign of fishing laws had made an impact among fishing communities.

“To some extent, people are listening to our advice and they are willing to co-operate with us.”

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