Fisheries

Ministry seeks support during ‘Kawakawa’ and ‘Donu’ spawning season

Members of the public are encouraged to join the 4FJ campaign by pledging not to eat ‘Kawakawa’ and ‘Donu’ fish species from June to September. The Minister of Fisheries and Forests Hon. Osea Naiqamu said this will enable reproduction of fish every year. NAIQAMU: “The species are important source of food, and income source for […]

Staff Writers

June 27, 2016 9:32 am

Members of the public are encouraged to join the 4FJ campaign by pledging not to eat ‘Kawakawa’ and ‘Donu’ fish species from June to September.

The Minister of Fisheries and Forests Hon. Osea Naiqamu. (4FJ/Facebook)
The Minister of Fisheries and Forests Hon. Osea Naiqamu. (4FJ/Facebook)

The Minister of Fisheries and Forests Hon. Osea Naiqamu said this will enable reproduction of fish every year.

NAIQAMU: “The species are important source of food, and income source for our communities, and most commercially valuable to our local and export markets.”

The 4FJ campaign which started in 2014 is aimed at educating people as well as getting their pledges not to eat, buy or sell ‘Kawakawa’ and ‘Donu’ during their peak breeding months.

The Minister of Fisheries went on to say that the number of ‘Kawakawa’ and ‘Donu’ have severely decreased over the years.

NAIQAMU: “These species evidently aggregate to spawn in large numbers at predictable locations which are well known to fishermen. The aggregating numbers have severely decreased over the years as a result of increase in fishing pressure, particularly for commercial sale.”

Hon. Naiqamu said it is crucial that the public play their role in ensuring that the future generations would also enjoy delicacies from the ocean like it is being done now.

NAIQAMU: “Let us act now and protect the two species during the next four months. We want communities to be able to meet their needs sustainably while also being able to maintain their traditions, which include this fish as a centrepiece in events and family meals.”

The Ministry will be working with 4FJ Campaign in which awareness will be carried out during the spawning season.

A 4FJ campaign launched by cChange Fiji, formerly known as SeaWeb Pacific, is focused on reviving the two fish species Donu and Kawakawa.

Mereia and Filipe Tamani making a pledge not to eat kawakawa and donu during it's spree
Mereia and Filipe Tamani making a pledge. (4FJ Movement)

In its first two years, the campaign has received more than 8,500 pledges from people across Fiji and across sectors, potentially reducing the market by 85,000 fish each year, based on Suva consumption surveys.

4FJ Director Mr. Scott Radway asked supporters to ‘Keep the Pledge’ as the peak breeding months arrive for Kawakawa and Donu.

RADWAY: “We are starting to turn the tide on this critical issue. That’s why it’s so critical people who have pledged already maintain their commitments as we bring more people into the 4FJ movement this year.”

Mr. Radway said the pledge count is much higher than the formally documented 8,500 as many people have reported to take the pledge privately.

RADWAY: “The campaign has received reports from fish sellers, fishermen and local civil society organizations, who report that consumer attitudes are beginning to shift and local consumers in particular are beginning to turn down the fish during its breeding months.”

Mr. Radway said in 2016, 4FJ will be working with the Fiji Fisheries Department to foster greater dialogue with fishermen associations, and fish sellers and communities.

RADWAY: “This campaign has begun to engage and catalyze all levels of Fiji society and government in charting a course towards sustainable fisheries management in Fiji.”

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