Fiji Losing More Than 2% Of Coral Reef Yearly: Fisheries Minister

Public consultations preparing country for global Oceans Conference

By Alisi Vucago

SUVA, Fiji (Fiji Times, May 3, 2017) – While Fiji's fisheries and aquaculture sector contribute to more than $136 million [US$65 million] towards our GDP, we also lose out on more than 2 per cent of our coral reefs per year.

This was shared by Minister for Fisheries Semi Koroilavesau at the opening of the Second National Multi-Stakeholder Consultations on Oceans in Suva yesterday.

He said since 50 per cent of Fiji's population lived along the coast and were heavily dependent on subsistence fishing, the consultations was essential for the upcoming Oceans Conference in New York.

"I cannot emphasise enough the importance of ensuring, that as the co-president of the Oceans Conference, Fiji should be leading the way in terms of coming up with commitments that will enhance the implementation of Sustainable Development Goal 14," he said.

"Scientists have revealed that an opportunity has presented itself through SDG14 and the Oceans Conference, and we cannot afford to miss out on this opportunity as the Oceans Conference may just be our best chance to save the ocean."

Representatives of government, civil society, the private sector and academia were part of the consultations to deliberate on a number of important issues that will further bolster Fiji's preparations towards the UN Oceans Conference in June.

Mr Koroilavesau reminded participants on how crucial it was to be part of discussions on the formulation of Fiji's national oceans policy framework.

"Now is the time to make a difference as we all carry the hopes of the Fijian people to the Oceans Conference," he said.

"Let's do justice to them and to the process we have dedicated an immense amount of time and resources to and I hope we will all attend the Oceans Conference, armed with initiatives, partnerships, voluntary commitments and, above all, dedication to action to support the noble aims of SDG14."

Fiji Times Online.
Copyright © 2017 Fiji Times Online. All Rights Reserved

Rate this article: 
No votes yet

Add new comment