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Minister clarifies turtle ban procedures for Lau villagers

February 18, 2019 12:32 pm
Semi Koroilavesau

There have been issues raised in the Lau group regarding the ban on the harvest of sea turtles which came into effect last month.

The Fisheries Ministry imposed a ban which also includes any sale, possession, and transportation of the protected species.

Minister responsible, Semi Koroilavesau says more clarification and awareness needs to be done on the ban as many Fijians don’t understand the procedures in place.

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“There were issues raised in Lau on the allocation or the allowed time from November to April every year because that is the nesting period. The clarification that they needed was if it was an open policy for them to harvest a turtle but then we explained to them the normal procedures that they can apply”.

Koroilavesau adds that the restrictions also apply to the eggs or any of their parts and products of these turtles.

Five turtle species have been listed on the ban notice such as the Leatherback sea turtle (Vonu Tutuwalu), Green Sea Turtle (Vonu Dina), and Loggerhead sea turtle (Tuvonu)

Individuals caught breaking the ban can face an instant fine of $10,000 with the potential of up to $50,000.

For corporations, an instant fine of $20,000 with the potential of up to $100,000.

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