Fisheries Ministry outlines 2020 targets

Minister for Fisheries Semi Koroilavesau at the clam shell hatchery during a recent tour of Tavarua Island. Picture: SUPPLIED

WITH huge economic potential within the aquaculture industry, the Ministry of Fisheries is looking at finalising a number of projects within the sector.

In a statement, Fisheries Minister Semi Koroilavesau said this year the ministry would finalise infrastructure work its Caboni Hatchery in Ra.

Mr Koroilavesau said once this was done, they were looking towards breeding freshwater, brackish water and marine finfish, adding this would be a huge milestone for Fiji because it had never been undertaken before.

“In terms of data collection, it is critical that this is carried out so it allows us to understand the science or the status of species sold in our markets on a daily basis,” said Mr Koroilavesau.

“We hope to improve on this work through our observers and coastal data collectors and also looking to develop an online application that we would want to introduce to our communities.

“The ministry hopes that by doing so, we will be in a good position to make better management decisions which includes identifying threatened species that need to be protected.”

Mr Koroilavesau added that illegal fishing was always a threat and this year the ministry was looking to continue working with its partners to combat illegal fishing.

“Fiji Fisheries has good working relations with the Fiji Navy,” he said.

“We will continue to use this platform to conduct patrols within our coastal and offshore areas.

“As for our exclusive economic zone (EEZ), Fiji will continue to work with our regional partners (FFA) in conducting regional operations that address illegal fishing.

“In the same context, we hope to continue to train our officers to be knowledgeable in understanding how illegal fishers operate. Training will allow us to be ahead of these illegal activities.”

The ministry will also work towards strengthening ties with other Pacific Island countries in the fisheries sector.

“Collaboration with Pacific Island Countries is always important due to similarities that are shared within the region and we hope to finalise a memorandum of understanding with our regional partners this year,” he said.

“This will allow us to share experiences to help elevate fisheries standards within the region.”

Mr Koroilavesau added that the areas of collaboration included offshore fisheries and development of aquaculture and coastal initiatives.

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