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The Fisheries’ Special Management Areas SMA at the island of’O’ua, Ha’apai is highly successful providing healthy seafood for islanders

Radio & TV Tonga, Nuku’alofa, 15/02/2019

The town officer of ‘O’ua, Manase Tu’alau highly praised the effectiveness of the Special Management Area program – SMAs in their waters after it was implemented in 2006. AF

After 13 years more fish are found in their waters and surprisingly some of the fishes that were hardly found about 20 years ago such as mullets and brevally are also appearing abundantly.

Tu’alau says the people have more access to fish just from their coastal areas and more satisfyingly there’s no need for deep sea fishing anymore as the fish are found on their waters.

Fishermen have more money now from selling of their morning catch in the markets compared to more than 20 years ago.

The town officer says they are hopeful the project will continue to be successful in the future for their children and grandchildren because they are following the strict requirements for fishing.

It includes a ban of fishing on specific areas in their waters because it’s for farming of the sea organisms and there are fishing restrictions imposed.

The locals are strongly advised to fish appropriately and wisely and they are being monitored by the island’s fishing council.

So far no one has been fined or banned from fishing illegally in the ‘O’ua waters since 2006.

Only 5 registered fishing boats are allowed to fish on their waters.

There are more than 100 people residing on the island and the ocean is their main source of

income.

© Radio and Television Tonga News