8 Sep 2015

Fiji conservation campaign backed by chief

1:45 pm on 8 September 2015

A traditional chief from one of the most actively fished areas in Fiji says restricting grouper fishing in his area will mean long-term environmental and economic benefits.

Tui Macuata Ratu Wiliame Katonivere

Tui Macuata Ratu Wiliame Katonivere Photo: SUPPLED

Tui Macuata Ratu Wiliame Katonivere, a paramount chief from Macuata, has pledged to champion the 4FJ campaign, which urges people to stop fishing during the spawning season in order to help stocks recover.

Studies show a 70 percent decline in fish catch in 30 years, while 73 percent of Fiji's spawning sites are declining.

Ratu Wiliame says he is working to ensure the community is aware of the changes, and educate them on what other species can be fished during this period.

"Through the traditional level we have elected the idea and we have voted the idea through the traditional system. And we are going through creating awareness right down to the grassroots people that live on the fishing grounds."

Ratu Wiliame says he is encouraging other chiefs in his province to get behind the campaign.