Strong armed tactics planned for dynamite fishers in Central

Fisherman engaged in dynamite fishing expeditions along the Central Province and Motuan coastline have been warned that strong arm tactics will be used against them to stop further destruction to the sea.

In a media conference hosted by Central Governor, Kila Haoda, Provincial and Local Level Government leaders warned individuals engaged in the activity that villagers are contemplating taking the law into their own hands.

“They have now told me that they will take the law into their own hands,” says Aihi Ikupu, President of the Kairuku LLG.

“I have letters from Nabua’paka, Yule Island, Delena, and Pou’kama that there are explosions nearly every night.”

President of Hiri Local Level Government, Haoda Rogea, has also made similar remarks on the issue saying: “My people have been informed and are now ready to deal with people who come over into our areas and continue to destroy our reef’s,” he said.

Dynamite fishing has gained rapid popularity among fisherman looking for an easy and abundant catch. However, it comes at the cost of rare and unique coral reefs and marine life being destroyed in the process.

Acting Chairman of the Motu-Koita Assembly, Opao Udia, stressed the need for urgent intervention by relevant authorities given that Tatana Villlage has suffered greatly at the hands of dynamite fisherman.

“If you go around my island Tatana, all the reefs are gone. That’s a fact!”

“I have expressed my concern many times and have gone out myself to look for culprits,” said Udia.

Governor Kila Haoda, in a more diplomatic tone called on his constituents and residents of Motu-Koitabu to protect what little resources they yet have. Also the activity was causing disharmony among neighboring villagers and districts.

“Our forefathers shared the reefs because that is our way of life. But when we don’t look after our resources by using dynamite, that will anger another community,” said Haoda.

The leaders called for a multi-sectorial approach involving the Central Provincial Government, National Capital District Commission, Police, National Maritime & Safety Authority and the National Fisheries Authority, to address the issue.

Cedric Patjole