Fiji’s 15 June seasonal ban on harvesting and sale of Grouper and Coral trout fish aims to protect all the species in the two families during their peak breeding months

The ban on harvesting and sale of Grouper (Kawakawa) and Coral trout (Donu) fish will come into effect in Fiji on 15 June 2022.

The seasonal ban which was gazetted by Government in 2019 aims to protect all the species in the two families during their peak breeding months, which run from June to September.

Minister for Fisheries, Semi Koroilavesau says that the ban was temporarily lifted for the past two years to assist fishers in cushioning the effects of the COVID19 pandemic.

“We will now resume with the ban as we slowly recover from the negative effects of the pandemic. It is imperative that we protect these two vulnerable species and help them repopulate in our waters,” said Koroilavesau.

“We are very pleased with the support for the seasonal ban over the years from the communities and people of #Fiji along with partner agencies.”

“However, we need everyone to come on board and assist by adhering to the ban. We must all be aware that the sustainable management of our grouper and coral trout resources is not a quick fix. So we will continue implementing targeted 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 the Minister.

“It is important that we be reminded that factors such as climate change, frequent and more intense cyclones, flooding and other natural disasters, coupled with overharvesting have drastically affected our ocean resources. Therefore, it is vital that we all support this important initiative for our sustenance.”

The Ministry will continue to implement the seasonal ban through awareness initiatives and consultations right through to enforcement, and strongly advises all fishers, restaurants, fish retailers and communities to comply with the provisions of the ban, and to continue to support the Ministry of Fisheries in the implementation of this important management measure.

“Anyone who fails to do so and is found with these species during the ban period will be treated as non-compliant and will face formal action.”

“This is a four-month sacrifice each year for benefits that can have impacts for generations for the people of Fiji, and we need the support of all Fijians to help us ensure that we get these important fisheries back to sustainable levels, and be enjoyed by our current and future generations,” said Minister Koroilavesau.

This story was originally published by the Fijian Government on 01 June 2022, reposted via PACNEWS.

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