Promoting Sustainable Resource Management and the Protection of Fiji's Environment Through Law
Fiji Environmental Law Association
The sustainable management of Fiji's fisheries is critical to Fiji's future. Inshore fisheries are of particular importance as they are central to the food security and livelihoods of most coastal communities. Despite this, the management and regulation of inshore (or coastal) fisheries has not kept pace with the growing threats.
This paper forms part of Fiji Environmental Law Association's submission to Fiji's National Fisheries Policy stakeholder consultations. The preparation of the paper has also been endorsed by the Fiji National Protected Areas Committee.
Regulating Fiji's Coastal Fisheries: Policy and Law Discussion Paper is available at the University of the South Pacific Book Center. For further information on how you can get a copy of this enforcement guide, please contact us.
FELA congratulates the Government of Fiji and the Ministry of Fisheries for their work in progressing the National Fisheries Policy (the Policy) and welcomes the opportunity to make written submissions in relation to the development of the Policy.
Given FELA’s specific expertise, FELA’s submissions are largely focussed on policy and law issues related to inshore fisheries.
This submission provides a high level analysis of key law and policy issues. In addition to this document, FELA’s submission comprises the attached paper titled “Regulating Fiji’s Coastal Fisheries – Policy and Law Discussion Paper” (FELA’s Discussion Paper). This paper outlines in more detail FELA’s policy and law recommendations for strengthening inshore fisheries management in Fiji.
Although all species of turtles are protected by the Turtle Moratorium, 5 turtle species found in Fiji waters, namely the Green Turtle, Leatherback Turtle, Loggerhead Turtle, Hawksbill Turtle and the Olive Ridley Turtle are listed as "Species Threatened with Extinction" under the Convention on the International Trade of Endangered and Protected Species (CITES). Under its obligations to CITES, the Fiji Government enacted the Endangered and Protected Species Act (EPS) in 2002, providing additional protection to these turtle species.
Despite the protection of turtles under CITES and the laws of Fiji, turtles, turtle eggs and their derivatives continue to be harvested, sold and consumed illegally. One of the commonly observed reasons for this is the lack of enforcement of the Turtle moratorium, Fisheries Act and the EPS.
In response to the gap in enforcement, the Fiji Environmental Law Association (FELA), after consultation with partners World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), the Department of Fisheries, the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (ODPP) and the Department of Environment help ensure the continued survival of all turtle species in Fiji waters.
This Handbook provides details of relevant laws protecting turtles, offences, penalties and guidance on investigative procedures and information on turtle species that will assist authorised enforcement officers and enforcement agencies to strengthen turtle protection in Fiji.
Saving Sea Turtles in Fiji: A Guide for Law Enforcement is available at the University of the South Pacific Book Center. For further information on how you can get a copy of this enforcement guide, please contact us.
The ICCA Consortium conducted two studies from 2011 to 2012. The first is a Legal Review that analyses the interaction between ICCA's and international and national laws, judgements, and institutional frameworks. The second is a Recognition Study that considers various legal, administrative, social, and other ways of recognising and supporting ICCA's. This report is a part of the legal review and focuses on Fiji.