Fishermen warned against venturing out to sea as TC Yasa strengthens

Fiji’s Ministry of Fisheries is advising fisherfolk to avoid travelling out to sea over the next few days and secure their assets as Tropical Cyclone Yasa strengthens to a category four system.

Director Fisheries Mere Lakeba urges all fisherfolk to secure their boats, engines as well as fishing gear. Villages that were assisted with solar freezers are advised to remove solar panels from the rooftops and properly secure them in a safe place.

“This is a precautionary measure and we trust that the fishermen’s associations in villages and communities will be able to work together to ensure that all assets are properly stored away,” said Lakeba.

“We are also advising tilapia, prawn and shrimp farmers to secure pond and feedstocks and prepare themselves in case flooding occurs. Private hatcheries to also take heed and take utmost care in securing assets and broodstocks. If possible, move broodstocks to more secure ponds or net and seal the pond bunds or undertake necessary measure to avoid loss of standing stocks.”

Fishers are advised to adhere to all public advisories by the Maritime Safety Authority of Fiji (MSAF), National Disaster Management Office (NDMO) and the Fiji MET Office.

TC Yasa strengthened to a category four system this afternoon, bringing with it heavy rain, destructive winds and above-average waves that could cause flooding in low-lying areas and landslips. The general public is urged to prepare for TC Yasa, whose projected route is keeping everyone guessing at the moment. Nevertheless, preparedness plans should be executed, ample clean water stored, secure homes and tie it down, if need be, and plan for power outages.

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