Home » Bainamarama » UFDF PRESS RELEASE – the Collapse of the Fiji Fishing Industry

UFDF PRESS RELEASE – the Collapse of the Fiji Fishing Industry

UFDF Logo

STATEMENT FROM

THE UFDF

[No 9/2014]

[Jan 24, 2014]

The UFDF said today that the suggestion by Minister for Fisheries, Forests & Agriculture Lt Col Inia Seruiratu that another committee be set up to ‘look into’ the plight of Fiji’s Fishing Industry’ is too little too late given that this problem has been allowed to escalate over the past 7 years to the point that more than 8,000 citizen’s incomes will now be adversely affected.

The UFDF said today that the suggestion by Minister for Fisheries, Forests & Agriculture Lt Col Inia Seruiratu that another committee be set up to ‘look into’ the plight of Fiji’s Fishing Industry’ is too little too late given that this problem has been allowed to escalate over the past 7 years to the point that more than 8,000 citizen’s incomes will now be adversely affected.

And who might the members of this committee be? The same officials that have been unable to resolve the issue over the past 7 years and they will advise the Minister how he can resolve an issue they have failed to address in 7 years? Have any of the stake holders been asked for their opinions and input? A quick check yesterday revealed they have not been asked to be part of this Ministerial solution.

The UFDF said while courting China into funding its various projects [all loans no aid] the regime has ignored the fundamental problem that has caused this matter to ‘come to a head’ and that is the ongoing presence of 1,800 or so foreign fishing vessels with licenses issued by our island neighbors. A significant number of these vessels mainly from China operate in international waters surrounding Fiji and other Pacific Islands.

The UFDF said one does not have to be a ‘rocket scientist’ to work out how long our fish will depleted when 1,800 foreign fishing vessels are catching our resources in our backyard 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Not to mention the damage done to our reefs, our sea life by the trawlers. The loss of other types of seafood that get caught in the process as well as the waste and debris from these vessels.

The UFDF said what makes it even more ridiculous is that these foreign vessels are subsidized by up to $US350, 000 ($F662, 000) per vessel to cover costs, fuel, maintenance and they are the only vessels that can sell to China, our Fiji owned and operated vessels cannot sell their catch to China and not one of them are subsidized.

The UFDF say some of the blue painted Chinese subsidized vessels anchored in Suva Harbour can’t afford to operate even with their $F662, 000 subsidies it’s not too difficult to work out why our local boat operators are unable to sustain their operations.

The UFDF says it understands that a major scam is being perpetrated by foreign vessel operators against the Chinese government where operators are falsifying documents and logs of their catch to qualify for the generous subsidy, while remaining anchored. At least 20 officials are reported to have been executed in China for the scam.

The UFDF said none of the foreign vessels are known to hire local crew but if they did it was a minute number, so other than a license fee, there are no real benefits to the Island nations and the areas valuable fishing recourses is being depleted on a scale that will cause catastrophic failure because of the issuance of an excess of fishing licenses by upwards of 400%.

This the UFDF says is despite well researched and sustainable numbers of fishing licenses recommended to all island nations. The recommendations on limiting the issuance of licenses are being ignored for short term financial gain without any regard for the catastrophic long term consequences that will follow the current excesses in fishing of our resources.

The UFDF said the other part of the problem is the local mismanagement of the resource. In Fiji too many licenses have been issued and the resources’ have been depleted.

The problem has nothing to do with migratory fish or seasons it’s all to do with the mismanagement of resources.

The UFDF said the MSG has failed to adequately and prudently address this issue for the long term sustainable benefit of all the island nations and the current discord among the members over the West Papua issue will unlikely allow them to urgently resolve this major economic catastrophe currently unfolding in the region.

Authorized By                       UFDF

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13 thoughts on “UFDF PRESS RELEASE – the Collapse of the Fiji Fishing Industry

  1. This bleating from UFDF is getting tiresome. They seem to continually state the obvious. Fiji has bigger problems than fish. The red herrings of the UFDF make up for the tuna.

    The problem is that they continually act like a self-appointed opposition. Guess what? You need to have democracy to have an opposition.

    UFDF playing the pseudo-opposition are only legitimising Bai and his future party.

    There is no transparency in Fiji. There is a corrupt judiciary and the rule of law is non-existent. The current dictatorship have paid themselves a fortune.

    Even a fool seems wise when he keeps his mouth shut.

  2. China has economic interest in Fiji.
    China is pushing it’s people into Fiji.
    In this way Chinese made products will be pushed in the Fijian economy.

    It is evident from growing number of Chinese entering into Fiji.

    Every corner shop is now owned by chinese who hardly speak English thus pushing locals out of business.

    Look at the Chinese massage parlours that have come up recently around the country!

    These Chinese entering into Fiji never bring any funds nor provide much needed employment to our locals.

    On what basis they are allowed to enter the country and do business.

    This is a very worrying and concerning trend.

  3. @ Fiji Face

    So what is your solution? Is it just keeping your big mouth shut and doing nothing and letting bhaini marama do as he wishes? Right now there is no democracy as you said, but everyone is still entitled to speak out if they wish. And what is the problem with UFDF speaking their mind? If you don’t agree with their opinion, just say so, but do not ever dare to tell them to shut up. That’s none of your business, otherwise, just don’t read what they write because it is tiring you like you said.

  4. Chinese come to Fiji without bringing much fund and do mostly cash business and do not pay tax.

    They drive in CRV and Honda’s.

    More importantly they never pay taxv or fair tax.

    Our locals are harassed by tax authorities to pay taxes.

    Fiji has become a heaven for the Chinese.

    This influx will not stop and is already having negative impact on the locals.

  5. Nice piece Frozen. @FF it is only right to challenge unqualified regime on it’s dealing especially when it put citizens at a disadvantage.
    Who else will do it for them, just plain common sense.
    Vinaka

  6. Anyone noticed the Asian run kiddies casino at the MHCC in Suva?

    Cash business, money laundering, no proof of takings or spending, they have certainly conned someone BIG style.

  7. Under khaiyum and his pet monkey bhaini Fiji is totally farked. Are the Fiji military really that stupid??…don’t answer that!

  8. A vote to Bainimarma is a vote to mastermind Khayium.

    Fijian voters be careful and not to be hoodwinked by thugs.

  9. Khaiyum Bainimarama thug party don’t need the peoples’ vote
    they need the peoples’ boot on their behinds!!
    hehehe!!!

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