Fijians should be concerned about illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing – Chand

Fijians should be concerned about illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing – Chand

By Mansi Chand
Thursday 08/06/2023
International Union for Conservation of Nature Oceania Protected and Conversed Areas Coordinator, Rahul Chand

Fijians should be concerned about illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing, which is a bigger problem than overfishing because of its huge extent.

This was highlighted by the International Union for Conservation of Nature Oceania Protected and Conversed Areas Coordinator, Rahul Chand, during the fijivillage Straight Talk with Vijay Narayan.

He says Fijians should be alarmed about the overfishing that is taking place in our ocean, which will have a negative effect on our future, and we need to come up with sustainable fishing practices.

Chand says this is a concern as it puts huge pressure on our available resources and a time will come when people will go to the ocean and will not find fish.

He says that is why there is a permit system put in place to protect turtles, as they are in great danger of loss.

Chand says the Ministry of Fisheries has the data on an indication of overharvesting and overfishing.

IUCN Oceania Regional Office's Fiji Marine Project Officer, Alisi Rabukawaqa says there are recent reports of bycatch where other species are also trapped, such as different fish, turtle and dolphins.

Rabukawaqa says whatever happens on the land affects the ocean, as there are industries like forestry, agriculture, and tourism that depend on ocean resources.

She says the issue with improper development is that there is no mitigation planning, which has a negative impact on the environment and ocean.

She further says there need to be ways to minimize those negative impacts so that they do not completely destroy our surroundings.

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