Ministry to initiate ban, fines by 2019

Picture: FT FILE/ LUKE RAWALAI

THE Ministry of Fisheries has not prosecuted any persons on the consumption or selling of kawakawa and donu this year, says Minister Semi Koroilavesau.

Mr Koroilavesau said this was the first year of the seasonal ban and it was an exercise for awareness.

“That’s basically what’s in place now as normal for the first year we did not really go for the prosecution as it was an exercise for awareness,” Mr Koroilavesau said.

The seasonal ban that is in place is from June-September and Mr Koroilavesau said they would fully initiate the ban and the fines by next year.

“We made public awareness for a period of three to six months but we believe it was not sufficient so it will be reviewed next year and that will have to be initiated to complement what is in place right now,” he said.

He said the pledges made under the 4FJ movement were not sufficient enough for the re-stocking of this grouper fish.

“That pledge that was given for the 4FJ initiative although was working was quite limited to the people who made the pledge,” he said.

“The effort was not sufficient to replenish the stock in Fiji.

“So we had a discussion in the Ministry of Fisheries we thought the best way to do it is to ban it during the spawning season which is from June-September a period of four months,” Mr Koroilavesau said.

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