13 Jul 2004

Fiji parliament to hear controversial fishing bill

10:19 am on 13 July 2004

A controversial fishing bill is expected to be presented in the Fiji parliament next year.

The Customary Fishing Rights Bill proposes to transfer the ownership right of traditional fishing grounds, from the seabed to the high water mark, from the state to indigenous Fijians.

The country's Attorney General, Qoriniasi Bale, says the bill is still in its drafting stage.

He says its a complex bill and consultations with stakeholders, including landowners and hoteliers, will begin once the drafting is completed.

Mr Bale says the bill will be translated into the Fijian language to ensure landowners fully understand it and its legal implications.