RISING SEA LEVEL BRINGS MORE FISH TO FIJI VILLAGE

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Relocated Cakaudrove villagers catching fish, crabs closer to land

By Maneesha Karan SUVA, Fiji (Fiji Times, Sept. 19, 2011) - Relocated villagers from a coast in Cakaudrove say there is an increase of fishing activities with the rise in sea level.

[PIR editor’s note: Cakaudrove is one of fourteen Provinces of Fiji, and one of three based principally on the northern island of VanuaLevu. It has a total land area of 2,816 square kilometers and a population of approximately 52,000 residents, making it the sixth most populous Province in Fiji.]

Navunidogoloa Village is the second village in Vanua Levu to be relocated in the past decade because of climate change.

Turaga-ni-koro Sailosi Ramatu told The Fiji Times the sea was the main source of livelihood for the 30 households in the village.

Mr. Ramatu said fish and crabs were coming nearer to land with the rising sea level.

"Two or three years ago, villagers used to catch about three bags of fish and this has now increased to about four to five bags of fish collected by one fisherman in one fishing trip," Mr. Ramatu said.

He said the weather also played an important role in this income-generating activity.

"Villagers used to refrain from going out at sea on a fishing trip during heavy rain because there are always fears of losing direction and getting swept away," Mr Ramatu said. "Nowadays, villagers return from their fishing trips quickly and are able to arrange for transport to take the catch to the Savusavu market."

He said the villagers have to walk about two to five kilometres from the village before they get transport.

Mr. Ramatu said lack of transportation was a concern for the villagers and the primary school students.

About 32 village children attending Nabua Primary School walk about three kilometres every Sunday and Friday.

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