FMS’s Bycatch training manual launch

Minister for Fisheries Semi Koroilavesau handing over the bycatch training manual to Fiji National University's Vice Chancellor Professor Nigel Healey at the Fiji Maritime Authority today. Picture: VILIMAINA NAQELEVUKI

STAKEHOLDER’S within the fishing industry have seen the need to make feasible efforts to avoid or reduce interactions with protected species.

This was highlighted by the Fisheries Minister Semi Koroilavesau during the launch of the Fiji Maritime Academy’s (FMA) Bycatch Training Manual launch today.

Mr Koroilavesau said it was important for fishers to act responsibly.

“Not only do they need to be aware that such interaction may occur but they should, as far as they are able to mitigate or avoid such interaction while going about their fishing activities,” he said.

“While the development of a “best approach” to mitigate and avoid capture of unwanted by catch is a huge process , the success of this tool requires continuous collaboration between all stakeholders, including fishers, processors, trainers, NGO’s and national fisheries agency to name a few.”

He said the manual would enable the trainees to identify the animals which are of “special interest” or protected species.

Mr Koroilavesau adds while the provisions of the finalized manual runs parallel to the International Convention on Standards of training and Watch Keeping for Fishing Vessel personnel the crew would be able to understand that good practice is a shared responsibility.

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