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Solomon Islands vendors warn high market fees forcing fishermen to the reef April 07,2021   |  Source: RNZ

High market fees imposed on tuna vendors in the Solomon Islands are forcing more fishermen to revisit their coastal fishing grounds.

Vendors warn this has also led to unsustainable tuna fishing in the Western Province of the country.

The province's Gizo Fish Market is normally restocked with fish daily as people from communities take turn to sell their fish.

This usually makes it easy to control the price of fish at the market.

But tuna vendors want the authorities to explain why they have to pay $US2.51 to sell their catch at the Gizo market while those selling reef fish are charged US62cents.

Tuna vendors said they were concerned because they spend more money and risk their lives to travel out in the open waters to fish.

This has raised a feud among the tuna fish sellers in recent times.

Namu Avo is from the Babanga community, outside Gizo Island. She is a frequent vendor at the Gizo market and one of those who has questioned the fee differences.

Avo said she felt disappointed with how the authorities were charging the fees for fish vendors at the market.

She said the difference of $US1.88 was expensive for tuna vendors, who had put more effort, time and money to fish tuna.

She said sometimes vendors returned with "few tuna, maybe less than 20",


© Radio New Zealand 2021

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