12 Sep 2005

Project underway in Vanuatu to conserve and manage coastal resources

1:09 pm on 12 September 2005

There is a project underway in Vanuatu to conserve and manage coastal resources, including three of the country's most famous species.

An agreement has been signed between the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, and the Japan International Co-operation Agency, JICA, for the project, which will be implemented in all six provinces.

The head of JICA's study team, Tadashi Ikeshiro, says it's a community-based initiative and they've visited several villages to discuss plans with the chiefs.

He says they hope to protect species like the trochus, the green snail, and the giant clam, all of which have declined in numbers around the coast.

Mr Ikeshiro says the chiefs that they've spoken to are well aware of the problem.

"They are also afraid of the future so when we talked about this with the chief of the village, he is very eager to increase species. They said they'll set a taboo, you know, taboo area. Taboo means not to catch the species."

Mr Ikeshiro says the project is expected to last for the next three years.