Need for tougher policies | Climate activist fights to protect fishing grounds

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Climate activist, Ann-Mary Raduva with the dead baby sea cucumbers or sandfish found at Wailoaloa Beach in Nadi. Picture: SUPPLIED

A young climate activist has called on the authorities to toughen up policies that protect fishing grounds from over harvesting and illegal fishing.

Ann-Mary Raduva made the call following her recent discovery of hundreds of dead baby sea cucumbers (sandfish or Holothuria scabra) washed up on Wailoaloa Beach, a popular picnic spot in Nadi.

“I honestly felt really sad and angry to find these on the shoreline,” she said.

“When my mum parked the car for us to investigate what was on the beach, there was a stench and we knew straight away that something was up.

“I urge the Ministry of Fisheries to please get to the bottom of this.

Is it the heat in the sea or is someone over harvesting around our fishing grounds?” Ms Raduva said this latest discovery sent out a clear message to strengthen policies that protect the ocean and its creatures.

The USP student said her family has frequented Wailoaloa Beach since her mum took up a job with Fiji Airports in 2022 and this was the first time to find this unusual scene on the shoreline.

“It was disturbing and very sad and I hope there’s an investigation done so we can know the reason behind the dead sea cucumbers,” she said.

“And if it’s got to do with climate change and heating up of our ocean and reefs – then let’s walk the talk and less on talking.

“All our efforts combined will make changes! I call on the authorities to remain vigilant.”

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