“This year we have caught a lot of poachers in our fishing grounds and many of these grounds were marine protected areas,” Ratu Peni said.
He said many of these illegal fishermen were from areas between Pacific Harbour and Suva and some were caught with the help of Navua police.
“They use scuba gas which means there is probably nothing left on the sea floor now as they get right to the source of our sea resources,” Ratu Peni said.
He said there was a need to increase the penalty for illegal fishing to prevent such incidents from occurring again.
“This will also make people respect the vanua and leadership and our ownership of our properties,” Ratu Peni said.
The Pacific Blue Foundation’s Fiji island coordinator, Josefa Cinavilakeba, said workshops were conducted in MPAs in Serua to ensure villages understood their authority over their traditional fishing grounds.
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