Keep the pledge, 4FJ asks

Fiji 7s Captain Jerry Tuwai and his family take the 4FJ pledge not to eat kawakawa and donu during breeding season. Picture: SUPPLIED

Fiji 7s Captain Jerry Tuwai and his family take the 4FJ pledge not to eat kawakawa and donu during breeding season. Picture: SUPPLIED/FT FILE

The 4FJ campaign is asking supporters to ‘keep the pledge’ and forego kawakawa and donu during their four-month breeding season which began yesterday.

“COVID-19 has hit Fiji hard and people will need to turn to the seas more in the months ahead,” said Scott Radway, executive director of cChange, the organisation that coordinated the cross-sectoral campaign.

“So how do communities get more fish? By fishing smart and for kawakawa and donu, that means making sure they get space to breed each year.

“So if you can, please keep the pledge.”

The 4FJ campaign said kawakawa and donu (grouper), were particularly vulnerable to overfishing because they gathered predictably each year in the same channels to breed.

“Those sites are often fished heavily, particularly for high-volume commercial fishing, leaving few fish behind to restock Fiji reefs.

“Of the known breeding sites in Fiji, 80 per cent are declining or gone.”

The 4FJ campaign, launched in 2014, had sought pledges from people across the country to forego the declining fish species from June through September, their peak breeding months.

Since its launch, the campaign has received pledges from institutions such as the Methodist Church in Fiji, Morris Hedstrom, Newworld IGA, Jack’s of Fiji, Digicel Fiji and the Fiji Hotel and Tourism Association.

The campaign was also supported by a diverse group of local champions including Waisale Serevi, Gareth Baber and Roy Krishna.

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