One of the correspondents at the Fiji Exiles Board discussion site (which has a lot of hot air at times and occasionally some sensible postings) is 'Alohabula1' who writes about fishing in Fiji and has expertise. I only know how to eat fish! Here is what 'Alohabula1' wrote today in response to an idea that fishing might save Fiji's economy.
Well as you all know fishing is my pet peeve and I wish FB would not look to fishing as a way out of this economic downturn, it is not a sustainable resource and you can not plant a fish.
Well actually you can with aquaculture which is a avenue the IG should be promoting with foreign investors especially Asians. One of the advantages to Fiji is that the ocean in much of the archipelago is still pristine. THe lack of ciquatera, pollution and other toxins and the abundance of plankton and bait school blooms in the water make for a very fertile enviroment for ocean farming. Fiji would make bank if it pursued that avenue rather than depleting it's already dwindling fish population
Over the last 5 years I have seen a dramatic drop in fish numbers, primarily because hardly anyone is into conservation and foreign longliners are creeping around in the night where they shouldn't be. The pelagics still come through like Tunas, and billfish, but the residential ones like Giant Trevally, Walu, Wahoo numbers are decreasing dramtically. Fish like Napaleon Wrasse are endangered with the catch rate being 80% less world wide, the turtle population has not increased dramatically and it should have if people adhered to not catching them. All of these fish species are extremely slow growing taking decades to obtain a significant size with low reproductive rates. It is a pretty serious situation in it's present state, 15-20 years ago the most abundant waters I experienced were the Great Barrier Reef and Fiji. Australia through conservation has been able retain the sustainability of their resource and I can't say the same for Fiji, it has diminished signifcantly. Looking to use the natural fish stock to revive the economy will just result in the death of another potential Golden Goose OR promote aquaculture and make bank, that is the decision Fiji is faced with now.
If they just started with ocean farming Yellow Fin Tuna within a year they would be harvesting tuna that is between 30 -45 kg or 90- pounders in two years they would be harvesting tuna that would be close to 200.00 lbs ,that is a bare minimum of 1,000.00 a fish locally and much much more on the international markets and it would be a veritable bank account that one could draw on with consistency. It just makes sense in every aspect.