27 Feb 2020

Fiji studying New Zealand's fisheries sector as model

4:19 pm on 27 February 2020

Fiji's government is studying New Zealand's fisheries sector as a model for its own system of defining fish sizes.

no caption

Photo: 123rf.com

Fisheries Minister Semi Koroilavesau said his ministry was working closely with their New Zealand counterparts in how to set fish size limits.

He said Fiji wanted to adopt regulations similar to New Zealand where fishing vessels display charts on the size of fish permitted.

Fiji Fisheries Minister Semi Koroilavesau

Fiji Fisheries Minister Semi Koroilavesau Photo: Fiji Govt

"Fiji is in the embryonic stage in trying to copy New Zealand and Australia in setting sizes. Setting sizes basically means to allow the fish to reach the spawning size.

"The spawned fish can produce up to 500 to one million eggs so that's what we're trying to establish here."

There was no ban on net fishing in Fiji but there was a ban on the size of the nets, he said.

That, he said, was to ensure the nets did not catch the smaller-sized fries or baby fish coming out of spawning.

"The net doesn't limit the size of the fish," he said. "But we need to set the net sizes to stop fishermen catching the small fries and this allows them to grow to a bigger size.

"This also allows the fish to regenerate and allows them to spawn before they are caught in the nets," said Mr Koroilavesau.

Get the RNZ app

for ad-free news and current affairs