Ministry assures owners support in protecting fishing grounds

Macuata traditional leaders discuss an issue during the consultation. Picture: SERAFINA SILAITOGA

THE Ministry of Fisheries has assured qoliqoli customary owners that it supported their work in the protection of fishing grounds.

The assurance followed concerns raised at the recent Macuata Natural Resource Management Committee consultation.

At the consultation, chiefs had pleaded with fisheries officials to close down operations of a seafood company allegedly involved in illegal fishing in Labasa.

District reps informed the consultation that the best way to eradicate the alleged illegal activities was to shut down operations.

Udu district rep Aisake Galodamu said they witnessed the illegal activities and the only people who suffered were local fishermen and divers. In a statement, the ministry said fish was an important element of food security in Fiji.

“All Fijians play a key role in co-management for the protection of our valuable resources for our future generations.

“The ministry would like to greatly acknowledge the support from our fisheries custodians, in this case the Macuata Natural Resource Management Committee.”

The ministry has asked members of the public, who have any relevant information, to provide it to their team as it would assist in reducing or eliminating illegal fishing in Fiji waters.

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