Tightening the Noose on Illegal Fishing
In participating in the consultation process for the decree, WWF hopes putting in place tougher laws that deter poaching will complement the protection of marine taboo areas and the Qoliqoli.
A WWF South Pacific survey carried out in 2010 showed the increase in illegal fishing in Macuata’s combined fishing area or Qoliqoli Cokovata, and the huge disparity in the number of people witnessed to be illegally fishing versus those that are actually apprehended and charged.
The research also showed that current fines and penalties imposed on poachers are not enough to deter them from reoffending.
“Poaching undermines the commitment and efforts of communities in protecting and conserving their marine resources, it dampens their enthusiasm,” Francis Areki, WWF South Pacific Consultant said.
“We are strongly looking forward to the promulgation of the decree to remove such gaps in enforcement,” he said.