1 Aug 2011

Coastal project in Tonga will restrict commercial fishermen

10:32 am on 1 August 2011

It's hoped the launch of a new project in Tonga's Ha'apai group will ensure that the coastal community can continue to live off its marine resources.

The two year project in Felemea on the island of Uiha includes efforts to preserve marine life, and the planting of trees to prevent erosion of soil into the sea.

It's a collaboration between the community, the Department of Fisheries, and the Civil Society forum of Tonga.

Civil Society board member Finau Tutone, says commercial fisherman will no longer be able to come and take whatever they want.

"First of all we have to make sure that the villagers have something for their consumption first, therefore we're going to limit the space and if any commercial people coming from the outer islands or the next village, if they want to come and fish they have to get away from the boundary."

Finau Tutone says the local community will take a leading role in implementing and monitoring the project.