Local fishermen air their concerns at DMWR workshop
The Fishery Division of the Department of Marine and Wildlife Resources (DMWR) recently held a workshop to assist local fishermen choose appropriate fisheries management options.
"The goal of the Fishery Management Programs is to ensure that fishing is sustainable," said DMWR director Dr. Ruth Matagi Tofiga in an email to the Samoa News yesterday morning.
According to Matagi Tofiga, in addition to discussions, the workshop also served as a forum where local fishermen voiced their concerns about different issues including the sewage outlet (by Gataivai) and the outfall (by Maliu Mai) — where the smell of chemicals is often noticeable.
Other issues that were raised included the need to enforce fishing licenses, and prohibit the local sale of catch from independent Samoa, with fishermen saying local stores should buy what is caught locally.
Four bottom fish fishermen and 12 commercial spear fishermen attended the workshop.
Matagi Tofiga credits Dr. Domingo Ochavillo and the DMWR Fishery Division for the successful workshop and invites public comments and concerns to be forwarded to 633-4456.
The workshop focused on the following programs:
1. Importance of corals – Maria Vaofanua (DMWR Education Division)
2. Boat-based creel survey — Nonu Tuisamoa (Boatbase Division)
3. In-shore creel survey – Yvonne Mika (In-shore Division)
4. Biosampling – Dr. Domingo Ochavillo, Alice Lawrence and Poasa Tofaeono
5. Community-based fishery management — Afa Uikirifi, Tepora Lavata’i, Fale Tuilagi and Iosua Tuaumu
6. No-take marine protected area — Tafito Aitaoto and Sione Lam Yuen
7. FAD program – TeeJay Letalie
8. Enforcement program — Peter Eves and Hanipale Hanipale
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