Fish ban’s back on

The banned Kawakawa fish species. Picture: FT FILE

The seasonal ban on kawakawa and donu fish began on Thursday, June 1, and fishermen, exporters and fish sellers have been warned that anyone found breaching the ban will face hefty penalties.

“We owe it to all Fijians to ensure that we don’t lose these culturally and commercially important fish. We ask everyone to do their part and protect them,” said Minister for Fisheries and Forestry, Kalaveti Ravu.

“Save them now, have more later. It’s that simple,” Mr Ravu said.

The ministry said Government had placed a seasonal ban on the harvesting, selling, buying, possession and exporting of the kawakawa and donu in 2018 as their populations had been in rapid decline.

According to research, close to 80 per cent of Fiji’s known kawakawa and donu breeding sites were either declining or had died out.

Fisheries and Forestry permanent secretary Ate­l­aite Rokosuka said fisheries officials had raised awareness in communities.

“Let us work together and continue to protect the vulnerable species in our ocean. We need to work together to sustain, manage and protect our fisheries and our voluntary commitment will surely provide an enabling environment for them to grow and repopulate our waters,” she said.

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