2018 General Election: Mali fishermen need poaching issues addressed

Vesi Village fisherman Patrick Drauna of Mali, Macuata, with his catch. He says that poaching is still a serious problem in their waters. Picture: LUKE RAWALAI

POACHING is a raging issue that the next government needs to seriously address in Vanua Levu.

Vesi villager on Mali Island Patrick Drauna said while communities such as theirs tried to conserve their marine resources through implementations of marine protected areas, poachers continued to invade the protected areas.

He said authorities needed to implement tougher monitoring laws.

“Otherwise our efforts to protect our marine environment and species become useless,” the fisherman said.

“Our people depend a lot on marine resources as a source of sustenance and daily livelihood, therefore, we feel it is important to protect species for our future generations.”

Mr Drauna claims fishermen from as far as the Western Division and the Yasawa groups have been spotted poaching in their waters.