Ravu highlights complexities on Tuna fishing

May 21, 2024 6:29 am

[File Photo]

Minister for Fisheries and Forestry Kalaveti Ravu has shed light on the need to comprehend the intricacies of tuna fishing fleets utilized by Fiji and the migratory nature of tuna species.

In response to Opposition Member Mosese Bulitavu’s question about how Fiji’s tuna supply is supporting the government, particularly in its intention to sell tuna internationally.

The Minister says tuna species are targeted not only by Fijian fishing vessels but also by vessels from neighbouring countries like Tonga and those operating on high seas.

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“To answer the question of Fiji tuna supply, we first need to understand the different categories of fishing fleets that Fiji uses to source its tuna. Apart from these three categories, Honorable Speaker, Sir, to understand Fiji’s tuna supply, it is imperative that we learn the nature of tuna and that it is a highly migratory species.”

Ravu highlights the importance of understanding the broader context of tuna fishing activities and the challenges competing regional interests pose.

“This means, Honourable Speaker, Sir, that fishing vessels and fishing nations such as Fiji compete for the same school of tuna that migrates and feeds across our different EEZs. That is why there is always a shortage of raw materials to support Fiji’s aspiration to increase our market for export shares.”

The minister says they are mindful that some of this development will take time due to the complexity of the tuna sector.

“If we are to see a drastic increase in our volume of exports and market shares, in light of this, with great emphasis on Fiji export needs, the current government is working towards policies and legislation that support and increase the number of vessels calling into Fiji ports to lend their catch for our processing facilities.”

The minister adds that they are optimistic that they will increase their market and export shares with the right approach and people.