Fishing licences up to 3 years

Fishermen Uday Veer Singh (left) with Prakash Chand, Vimal Vikash Mani, Rakesh Ratesh and Abdul Khalik at Tavarau, Ba. Picture: BALJEET SINGH

Fisherfolk will now be able to obtain fishing licences for up to three years, instead of renewing their licences annually, says Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum.

He said this while explaining what amendments to the Fisheries Act would involve in Parliament last week.

The A-G said prior to the amendment, for a licence to be issued to fish in a registered customary fishing ground, a permit first had to be issued by the commissioner of a Division who first had to consult with the owners of the fishing grounds.

He said the permits expired on December 31 and were time-consuming and created administrative and logistical difficulties.

The A-G said as a result of the processes and short term of the licensing, fisherfolk did not have a lot of opportunities to secure bank loans and to invest in fishing businesses.

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum encouraged the iTaukei people who had customary rights over the customary fishing ground to invest themselves in commercial fishing business as they would now have the ability to secure bank loans.

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