Two fish stories from Macuata
There are sufficient sea food for all the people in Fiji if they take a lot of care of the sea natural resources and even new types of sea foods as they do in Australia.
Qoliqoli in Labasa dialect is kolikoli.
A visitor from Naitasiri was in Labasa village and after consuming a lot of kava in the night, they asked him to come and eat as the table was ready. A big head of fish was given to him.
He asked, 'What is this?'
The marama of the house said in Labasa dialect, 'Na koni koli,' which means the fish head.
The Naitasiri man quietly just ate the tavioka and salt.
'What is the matter?' they asked him.
'Certainly I'm not going to eat the head of the koli!" To him the word koli means a dog. He wasn't going to eat the head of a dog!
When I was in Mali one time we had a wonderful meal of daniva because at times the qoliqoli area is a rich resource in small fish, which the deep sea fishermen call bait.
The deep sea fishermen who catch $30,000 of fish in one trip, need bait, so they send men to a Fiji island in Macuata or Lau, give a gift of something like bags of flour, crates of tea, etc. and ask permission to get some bait fish.
Okay, the village chief agrees.
The fishermen then put out a 5 k line into the Passage - not too far from the shore of the island actually, wait for the low tide and take everything in its path - turtles, dolphins, large fish, small fish. All they want is bait, but they deplete the area, time after time.
So deep seas fishing is related to the qoliqoli - the traditional fishing grounds.
For an article about tabu waters along the Macuata coast click on this site.