23 Aug 2018

Fiji coastal fisheries depleted - official

6:28 pm on 23 August 2018

Fiji's coastal fishery resources have been depleted due to years of over-exploitation, an agriculture official says.

Fresh fish for sale in Nadi fish market in Viti levu Island, Fiji.

Photo: Rafael Ben-Ari

Naipote Katonitabua, the acting permanent secretary for the Ministry of Agriculture, said food security for Fijians living in coastal communities was at risk.

The FBC reported him saying coastal fisheries provided extensive benefits for Fijian communities, including employment and nutrition.

But communities involved with fisheries needed to work with government to better manage coastal resources, Mr Katonitabua said.

Over-exploitation of coastal fisheries was a Pacific-wide pattern and the focus of various regional commitments aimed at countering the problem, he said.

One example was the Melanesian Spearhead Group roadmap for inshore fisheries management and sustainable development, the official said.