By Ropate Valemei
Illegal access fish and fish poaching are common in Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) around Fiji. This has been witnessed by the Department of Fisheries and the University of the South Pacific.
USP Institute of Applied Science marine biologist Ron Vave said while some of the communities respected and protected their marine resources, others abused them.
The Department of Fisheries also said that once a village or community established protected areas, they should know that fish poaching and illegal access was against the management plans for the area.
The department also added that monitoring MPAs in the islands was a problem as fish wardens were not fully equipped, adding this was an issue they were working around-the-clock to solve.