Lifting of bans on harvesting marine resources based on research: Tawake

Village kids pose large Green turtle. Picture: WWF

BANS placed on the harvesting of marine resources are based on proven research and surveys carried out by specialists.Responding to concerns raised during the Bua Provincial Council today regarding the need for clarification on the dates for the lifting of ban on the harvest of sea turtles and sea cucumbers, Lekutu fisheries officer Epeli Tawake said the ministry did not have the powers to lift the bans.
Mr Tawake said since the ban was based on researches, it would require another survey to find out whether marine resources had recovered in stock before any decision could be made on whether bans needed to be lifted.
“The bans are implemented for a purpose and we need to respect this purpose,” he said.
Earlier, Kubulau district representative Paulo Kolikata told the meeting that even though the ban on sea turtles was still in place, there were villages on Vanua Levu that were still consuming them.
Mr Kolikata said the ministry needed to clarify if the bans were still in place.