5 Jun 2007

Fiji's Motoriki island community committed to maintaining marine protected area

6:21 pm on 5 June 2007

The community on Motoriki island in Fiji's Lomaiviti group says it's committed to maintaining its marine protected area for future generations.

A spokesperson, Taione Delai, was speaking after the first sales in the country of farmed coral from their island.

He says the villagers used to harvest wild coral and use poison to catch fish but realised that would destroy their reef.

Mr Delai says the marine protected area, or MPA, was first set up in 2003 and it was difficult initially for people to get over their concerns about what it would mean.

"We've got to break those thoughts where they say where are we going to eat and where are we going to get this money for the school fees because only 40 to 50 percent of the marine resources has been in MPAs. But, the rest is open for the village."

Mr Delai says the community is still able to fish from those open areas and the money from the farmed coral will help with school fees and village projects.