13 Nov 2009

Concerns that a cut in fishing fees in Fiji could lead to over-fishing

1:37 pm on 13 November 2009

There are concerns that a cut in fishing fees in Fiji could lead to over-fishing.

Chiefs in Macuata Province have slashed the levy by half, from 1000 US dollars to 526 dollars due to tough economic times.

Fishing companies have previously complained that the fee imposed in 2007 and 2008 was too steep.

The Director of Gold Hold Sea Food Limited Richard Du says while the reduction is positive for commercial fishermen, he is warning it could lead to over-fishing.

"More people will be fishing but Fiji's fishing resources will get less. The Government should not be pushing for more people for fishing. It's a small reef but there's so many fishing boats, there's not enough resource for people for catching."

Richard Du says there hasn't been enough fish in the reef this year and says authorities must show restraint in the issuing of commercial fishing licenses.