BILL WOULD RETURN FISHING GROUNDS TO FIJIANS

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WELLINGTON, New Zealand (RNZI, July 12) – A controversial fishing bill is expected to be presented in the Fiji parliament next year.

The Customary Fishing Rights Bill proposes to transfer the ownership right of traditional fishing grounds, from the seabed to the high water mark, from the state to indigenous Fijians.

The country’s Attorney General, Qoriniasi Bale, says the bill is still in its draft stage.

He says it is a complex bill and consultations with stakeholders, including landowners and hoteliers, will begin once the draft is completed.

Bale says the bill will be translated into the Fijian language to ensure landowners fully understand it and its legal implications.

July 13, 2004

Radio New Zealand International: http://www.rnzi.com/

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