Fishing grounds of Namakala village, Fiji Islands.
When Greenpeace crew members visited Saimone in his home village
ofNamakala on July 12, he showed them the Ministry of Fisheries
andForests license which grants him authority as an Honorary Fish
Saimone also explained the challenges of his job, describing how
thevillage has traditional practices intended to give fish time to
"Our community has enforced a taboo or 'no-take' zone. But
wenoticed that spearfishing divers are invading that area. They
arestealing from our no-take zone," Saimone explained.
"Early morning at about 2:30 am, I go patrol our fishing
ground.Since I don't have an outboard engine and a boat, I have to
wait forlow tide. They [poachers] usually just run away when I call
Saimone took on his role because he was angered by poachers who
usemethods such as poisoning to capture fish. He tried to stop
them, but"they always replied that they would only stop if I was a
fish warden,"said Saimone, "So I asked my chief if I could become a
"Now, I will be a fish warden until I die."
Local problem, global issue
The issues facing Saimone and his fellow villagers are local
innature, but they are a microcosm of the greater fisheries issues
facedby the Pacific Island region -
pirate fishing and depletion of finite fish stocks.
The Rainbow Warrior has begun a ten-week Pacific fisheries
tour,named Our Oceans, Our Future, Our Choice. The tour kicked off
on July10 as the Rainbow Warrior lay anchored in the port of Suva,
FijiIslands. The goal is to work with Pacific island communities to
buildprotection for their fisheries.
Though the Western and Central Pacific Ocean is one of the
world'slast healthy fisheries, it is increasingly falling prey to
distantwater fishing nations and pirate fishing. Within 3-5 years
some stockscould be critically overfished.
The tour is all about meeting and listening to islanders. We'll
alsoshare with them ideas and expertise on how to crack down on
piratefishing, and get control of the fisheries that are legally
The Rainbow Warrior leaves Suva on Wednesday July 14 for
Kiribati.Her tour also includes the Republic of Marshall Islands,
the FederatedStates of Micronesia and the Solomon Islands.
You can read
more about Saimone at the voyage weblog.