‘Lau seascape will be a marine protected area’

Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama during the Oceans Conference in Portugal. Picture: FIJIAN GOVERNMENT FACEBOOK PAGE

Fiji is pursuing the biggest ocean governance transformation in its history, says Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama. Addressing the Oceans Conference in Portugal, he said this was perhaps one of the biggest in the world.

“Not because it’s simple or comfortable, but because these protections can’t wait,” Mr Bainimarama said.

“These investments can’t wait, nor can the jobs they create.

“In two years’ time, the Lau seascape, an area representing 8 per cent of Fiji’s ocean, will be a marine protected area, our largest step to date towards protecting 30 per cent of our ocean by 2030.”

Mr Bainimarama said by 2030, Fiji would achieve total real-time surveillance of its waters.

“We will be virtually single-use plastic free and recycle all PET bottles; ocean literacy will be mandatory within our education system and we’ll lower carbon emissions in our shipping sector by 40 per cent.

“By 2030, we will produce at least 160k metric tonnes of sustainably farmed and harvested ocean product, supporting 53,000 new jobs on the way to supply half of our blue foods from sustainable fisheries by 2035. “And by 2050 we aim to create 100,000 new jobs in sustainable fisheries.”

He also said by 2050, Fiji would be a net-zero society.

“Our fisherfolk will have universal access to electric outboard motors, the Pacific will be home to a green shipping fleet and all fishing nets in Fijian waters will be biodegradable.”

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