20 Sep 2016

Fresh fish meals scarce in Fiji post Winston

7:21 pm on 20 September 2016

New research in Fiji shows people badly hit by Cyclone Winston are eating a lot less fresh fish.

The cyclone caused nearly $US1.5 million worth of damage to boats and fishing gear as well as massive damage to fish habitats.

The Wildlife Conservation Society surveyed coastal communities in the path of Winston and found that consumption of the main source of protein for villagers had drastically reduced.

Many ate fresh fish more than six times a week pre cyclone and this has dropped to less than two and a half times a week.

Instead they're getting their protein from canned fish, dhal and chicken.

The researchers recommend sending low impact fishing gear out to villages and care be taken not to stress recovering ecosystems.

They said some communities may need support to diversify their protein source by perhaps setting up small scale chicken farms.

Recommendations also include providing nutrition awareness sessions and restricting commercial fishing.