Overfishing because of rogue vessels in Fiji’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) is becoming a serious concern for the Ministry of Fisheries.
Fisheries Minister Semi Koroilavesau says they have licensed 60 long line vessel to fish in Fiji’s EEZ with a catch quota of twelve thousand tonnes.
While this catch is documented, how much rogue vessels plunder our oceans is unclear
“It’s very difficult to track them because they seem to find a way to get into the black area of fishing within the fishing industry, it’s a subject that has being discussed at great length and it doesn’t seem that, it’s because they’re unregistered, they don’t have any flags and they don’t belong to any country.”
Koroilavesau says there are plans to increase monitoring of Fiji’s EEZ with a new surveillance vessel by 2020, however in the interim the Ministry is reliant on overseas assistance and small scale monitoring operations.
Local fish vendors told FBC News that supply of fish over the years has not only declined in numbers but fish sizes have also being affected.
Fisherman William Kean says other than overfishing, pollution by bigger shipping vessels is also affecting their catches with his crew now having to find new fishing grounds. SOURCE: FBC NEWS/PACNEWS [/restrict]