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Good-will payments to qoliqoli owners abolished, effective immediately

Government has abolished good-will payments to qoliqoli owners after complaints of high levies were received from fishermen. Minister for Fisheries and Forest, Hon. Osea Naiqamu, told a press conference yesterday: “I, Osea Naiqamu as a Minister for Fisheries and Forest, hereby declare that all ‘Goodwill’ payments or fishing levies which are often paid to resource […]

Peni Shute

January 21, 2016 10:40 am

Government has abolished good-will payments to qoliqoli owners after complaints of high levies were received from fishermen.

Minister for Fisheries and Forest, Hon. Osea Naiqamu, told a press conference yesterday:

“I, Osea Naiqamu as a Minister for Fisheries and Forest, hereby declare that all ‘Goodwill’ payments or fishing levies which are often paid to resource owners are to be abolished in all divisions for 2016, and this directive and policy shall come into effect immediately from today Wednesday, the 20th of January, 2016. The decision to abolish all good-will fee payments or fishing license before obtaining Written Consent from the I-Qoliqoli Resources User Right is illegal.”

Hon. Naiqamu said some qoliqoli owners charged $10 in previous years, but are now charging $3000. He said those who go against this policy would be taken to task.

We have received a lot of complaints from fishermen about the levies being demanded by qoliqoli owners.

The Minister says the government stopped this because they did not want the price of fish to be high for the ordinary Fijian. He stressed that qoliqoli owners  found breaching the law will be taken to court.

All payments will now be set by the Ministry and the qoliqoli owners have to pick up their payments from the Ministry.

The Ministry of Fisheries will undertake a country‑wide consultation and awareness program in the coming weeks.

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