Vanuatu Chiefs Impose Marine Resources Harvesting Ban Outside Port Vila

Traditional namele leaves mark new conservation area from Sonu (Prima) to Lukuwi (Kawenu)

By Jonas Cullwick

PORT VILA, Vanuatu (Vanuatu Daily Post, Jan. 19, 2017) – Paramount chief of Ifira Teriki Paunimanu Mantoi Kalsakau III and the island’s Council of Chiefs have implemented a ban on the harvesting of all marine resources from Sonu (Prima) to Lukuwi (Kawenu) outside of Port Vila.

The chief and the chief’s council have issued a notice to the communities of Namburou, Ohlen, Matantopua, Blacksands, and Tebakor advising them of the ban on the sea boundaries of Ifira from Sonu to Kawenu.

There are traditional namele leaves strategically placed along the entire sea boundary that cover Blacksands, Malapoa Peninsula to Kawenu pointing out the traditional ban on the entire area in question.

“The public is made aware that the area is now a marine protected area and is closed to spear fishing, use of fish nets, canoes and trawling using boats and all other means of fishing including harvesting of shells from the reefs,” said Edward Kalsakau.

“The sea is closed until the chief himself and his council decides when to reopen the site for families to be able to harvest fish again.

“The ban came into effect on September 24, 2016. Now we are requesting all families from the north to the south living in Port Vila and surrounding areas to respect the ban because it is part of a marine conservation area that is supported by the Department of Fisheries that can benefit the future generations of everyone,” Kalsakau added.

He is assisted by Rodney Sope and Milton Kaltongga and they are representatives of the Marine Management of Ifira under the Chief of Ifira and his council and they look after the conservation program of the MM of Ifira.

On a related note, the people of Ifira Tanvasoko (people of Ifira living in Port Vila and surrounding areas) are being asked to attend an important gathering on Saturday at 2pm at the compound of Chief Edward Kalpilelu at Blacksands area to talk about the marine resource management and conservation program to be implemented in the area of the current ban.

Vanuatu Daily Post
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