Members of the public are reminded that the Seasonal Ban on Grouper and Coral Trout (Kawakawa and Donu) comes into effect on June 1st 2020.
The seasonal ban which was gazetted by Government in June last year, aims to protect the two species during their peak breeding months and is in effect from June to September.
Minister for Fisheries, Mr. Semi Koroilavesau said that the ban has been effective in taking the first step towards better management of these important resources.
“The Fijian government demonstrated decisive leadership when undertaking 17 voluntary commitments to contribute to the protection and sustainable management of our ocean at the 2017 United Nations Ocean Conference,” Minister Koroilavesau said.
“One of these commitments was, of course, to seek to sustainably manage our grouper and coral trout resources by monitoring these fisheries, protecting spawning aggregation sites, as well as applying seasonal and spatial management measures.”
“It is these two species that we seek to protect as their numbers have been declining over the years.”
Based on science and data collected over the years, there are more than 150 species in the ocean that are readily available and can be harvested from June to September.
“We are very pleased with the support over the years on the seasonal ban from the communities and people of Fiji along with partner agencies and we hope that it is further strengthened through collaborative efforts into the future.”
“However, as with any new management measure, there are some that have been slower in adhering to the ban and we must all be aware that the sustainable management of our grouper and coral trout resources is not a quick fix. We will be looking at working towards management measures to ensure that these iconic species are allowed to replenish and are able to be enjoyed by Fijians for generations to come,” explained Mr Koroilavesau.
Mr Koroilavesau added that it is important that we be reminded that factors such as climate change, frequent and more intense cyclones, flooding and other natural disasters have drastically affected our ocean resources and therefore it is vital that we all support this important initiative for our sustenance.
The ministry will continue to strongly advocate on the seasonal ban through consultations right through to enforcement.