Forego ‘kawakawa’ and ‘donu’ as peak breeding season starts

The 4FJ Fish Smart campaign starts today, reminding and asking people across Fiji to forego kawakawa and donu over the next four months, as these highly valuable fish species gather to breed.

According to the Ministry of Fisheries, close to 80 per cent of Fiji’s known kawakawa and donu breeding sites are either declining or have died out, underscoring the importance of restocking by allowing them to breed from 1 June to 30 September.

“This is what 4FJ Fish Smart is all about, finding ways to improve our fishing grounds health, so we have bigger, better catches,” said Mafa Qiolele, program manager for cChange, which coordinates the multi-partner initiative. “So let them breed and have more later,” she said.

 These fish predictably gather at the same time and at the same spots each year to breed, making them quite easy to catch in large numbers during this time, cChange said.

Since 2018, the Government of Fiji has banned the fishing, collecting, transporting, and selling kawakawa and donu during their breeding period. In the previous two years, the government lifted the ban in the later months because of COVID-19 economic impacts.

With people recovering from COVID-19 and its impacts, cChange expects the ban to be intact for the whole four months.

Over the last two years, the 4FJ campaign encouraged the tens of thousands of people who have pledge to forego these fish during their peak breeding sites, to keep their pledge.

To learn more about the 4FJ Fish Smart campaign and the things you can do to improve food security and livelihoods for Fiji communities, visit

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