Wednesday, July 05, 2006
Fishing from the bridge at Labasa
There's only one road through Labasa town that crosses the river to go to the Sugar Mill or the Hospital, so it is very busy, not only with people walking but with cars and trucks loaded with sugar-cane. Now, add many kids and men and women fishing from the bridge because it is the salala season. These fish attract larger fish as they swarm (if that's the word) and there's the chance of catching bigger fish with lines. Salala can be caught in nets. The second bridge is for the sugar trains so that's not convenient either. The picture is of people fishing from the sugar train bridge.
One of today's Fiji papers tells it this way.
Police drive salala seekers off bridge
Thursday, July 06, 2006
POLICE have increased patrols in the Labasa Bridge area as people continue to defy orders and fish from the footpath, forcing pedestrians to walk on the road.
After police managed to empty the bridge yesterday, a few people walked to the adjacent locomotive bridge to take advantage of the salala (small bait fish) season.
Northern Division crime prevention co-ordinator Esekaia Daugunu said people had to be warned because Labasa had only one road into town and the bridge was always busy. He said cane-laden trucks, fire tenders and ambulances used the road and were forced to slow down to avoid an accident.
Inspector Daugunu said the salala season started last week and was expected to last until the end of the cold season. He said the officers initially spoke to the people but some of them were stubborn and returned to the bridge. "A few had to be warned that they would be charged and taken to court for obstructing traffic. We told them to use boats or bamboo rafts but they found it convenient to fish from the bridge. "The bridge is overcrowded at night and sometimes the whole family with small children spend hours there. A few of them moved to the locomotive bridge and we had to tell them to move away because it is the crushing season," said Inspector Daugunu.
One man, Bana Arae, of Rabi, fished from a boat and said only a few people could sell what they caught.