15 Aug 2013

New Macuata chief says efforts continue over Fiji's model marine sanctuary

1:27 pm on 15 August 2013

A newly installed paramount chief in Fiji says he and his people will continue efforts to ensure the survival of their marine protected area off the country's second largest island, Vanua Levu.

Ratu Wiliame Katonivere's late brother, who died while out fishing in April, helped set up the 50 square kilometre Macuata Marine Protected Network in the early 2000s and it has become a model for other sanctuaries in Fiji.

The Tui Macuata, Ratu Wiliame, says the region's people are allowed to fish sustainably in the region and act as wardens to patrol the grounds for commercial fishing vessels.

"It is the way forward for us. We're beginning to see the benefits of it. We will continue to ensure mechanisms are put in place to protect, for the continuity of this."

Ratu Wiliame Katonivere says fish are returning and new species have been discovered.