Monday, April 13, 2020

Poachers on Shark Reef!

Here they are - click for detail!

It's exactly like I said.
With Fiji effectively closed for business and Government busy addressing COVID 19 and now, the destruction by TC Harold, it was only a matter of time til some disrespectful asshole folks would set their sights on Shark Reef.

Thankfully somebody gave us a call.
We are empowered by Government to enforce the fishing ban and did just that, by rushing out and apprehending the poachers who had deployed a net on top of the reef and wiped out our resident school of beautiful Highfin Parrots.  Everything has been recorded on video and upon comparing the images with video from a previous event, it turns out that those total assholes folks are repeat offenders = they knew exactly what they were doing and consequently, this really warrants an exemplary punishment, the more as they have also breached MSAF regulations.

As such and contrary to Fiji's many MPAs, there is a specific law defining the penalties for poaching insofar as Art (6) of the Regulation states that Any person who contravenes this regulation commits an offence and is liable upon conviction to a fine of not less than $500 and not exceeding $10,000 or imprisonment to a term not exceeding 6 months, or both.
We're gonna most certainly advocate both, and for confiscation of the boat etc - but that's obviously for the judge to decide.
And so it goes.

What a shame, really. 
Shark Reef is a global attraction that has brought many millions to Fiji in general and the local community in particular, from wages and payments to the neighboring villages and settlements to flights to transfers to meals to accommodation to souvenirs to local attractions to shopping in the local supermarket. And the list goes on and on, to the point that most people here have benefited in some way - even those very same fishermen who were able to sell their catch to the local hotels and restaurants.

So let's hope that this sticks.
And if not, we stand ready  for more apprehensions, prosecutions and public shaming.

To be continued no doubt.
Stay safe everybody.


Unknown said...

Keep up the surveillance BAD and go hard on people who don't respect our wonderful community resource.

Thomas said...

Sorry to see that, I also think covid is gonna be a pretext for people to start harvesting Nature more than before, and that MPAs around the world will become food-stocks to be harvested. Courage mon ami !

Lindsay L. Graff said...

Jail, fines, boat confiscation, public shaming, throw it ALL at them!

Martin Graf said...

I'm so glad you guys are there to stop these poachers! Thanks for all you do!