27 September, 2023, 5:14 pm Central - 23°C Rain

Corals being illegally extracted

Corals being illegally extracted

By fijivillage.com
Monday 23/08/2010
What seems to be an easy source of making a living for some is having a detrimental effect on our environment and our marine life.

Fijivillage has witnessed that corals extracted from the Suva Harbour and the Beqa waters are being sold along the Highway between Suva and Navua.

We have also established that these coral extractions are illegal.

Fiji is the world's second largest exporter of live reef products for the aquarium trade after Indonesia which includes live coral and only those with permits from the Ministry of Environment are allowed to do so.

Fijivillage has also established that these road side vendors selling corals do not have licenses to extract the coral let alone sell them on the streets.

The effects of this, according to scientific research, coral extraction has an adverse impact on marine life as many species depend on corals for a source of food and shelter and continuous extraction of coral can even lead to extinction of many marine species.

One of the vendors Fijivillage approached was not even aware that what they were doing was illegal or even that they need a permit from the Ministry of Environment to remove any coral species for commercial purposes.

A coral the size of a cement block can fetch up to $50 depending on the colour of the coral and this has led to the exploitation of our corals within the Suva and Beqa Waters.

The Suva City Council is aware of this illegal activity.

Fijivillage questioned the Special Administrator for Suva and Lami Chandu Umaria on the matter who said they are aware of the illegal extraction and sale of coral within the Suva/Lami corridor, however he said they do not have the jurisdiction to take action unless directed by the Ministry of Environment.

Umaria said they will now take action.

fijivillage Straight Talk with Vijay Narayan
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