SUVA, 30 OCTOBER 2017 (FBC NEWS) — Fiji’s Fisheries Ministry has reiterated its call to the public that there is a moratorium on the fishing of turtles, effectively a ban in place on the consumption and sale of turtle meat.
Minister Semi Koroilavesau says while the moratorium has been in place the last three years, it’s imperative that Fijians are reminded particularly with the festive season close by.
“People in the remote and isolated areas are actually making reports that turtle is still been harvested but instead of it been harvested as a total animal, they’re now actually butchering it and put it in refrigerated units, ice boxes and transporting them across and selling it.”
Koroilavesau says Fiji made commitments at the UN Oceans conference which was held in June in New York that specifically looked at strengthening measures for turtle breeding and rehabilitation of the marine species.
Meanwhile Permanent Secretary for Fisheries Commander Sanaila Naqali says if a person is found selling turtle meat, he or she is liable for a $20,000 (US$10,000) fine and five years’ imprisonment.
If a person is found killing or harvesting turtles, they could face a fine of $500 (US$250,000) and between three to six months imprisonment.. pacnews [/restrict]