FIJI FISHING BAN YIELDS REPLENISHED STOCKS

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Villagers spot fish not seen in long time

By Timoci Vula

SUVA, Fiji (Fiji Times, Sept. 19, 2010) - Three years into the 10-year ban on 12 fishing grounds and villagers in four districts in the Ra province are spotting fishes that have not been seen in a long time.

Villages in the districts of Navitilevu, Nakorotubu, Kavula and Bureiwai no longer need to travel any farther for good catches.

Nakorotubu district representative Mosese Nasese said the ban that was first introduced in 2009 had brought back richness to the marine resources of these four districts, particularly his village of Naocobau.

"Before the ban, we had no longer made good catches and we would have been lucky to get back enough to feed everyone in our families, and we had had to go out further into open sea to fish because there were no more fishes in our nearby lagoons and reefs," Mr Nasese said.

"Now, we can actually notice the difference having seen most of the fish that were no longer seen here in our waters returning and in abundance. We are now reaping the benefits," he said.

"And even better now, we are now learning about the management and protection of our watershed so we have a more healthier marine environment knowing the link there is between the two and responsibilities we, as users, play in its enhancement," he said.

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