He approaches the tent with a smug look on his face and asks what the occasion was. As I begin to tell him our story, he looks down at his feet darting a look at me now and then. He did not utter a word until I finished and then looked up with an expressionless look on his face.
I asked him, “So what do you think of the information that I’ve just given you? Do you agree that we should protect Kawakawa and Donu during spawning or what are your thoughts? He shakes his head in silence while his wife looked at him then she looks at me and says, “He cannot say anything because he is a fisherman and those are the fish that he sells and get a lot of money from.” They then walked away.
But after taking just a few steps Maikeli Ramaidama changed his mind and came back saying, “I want to take the pledge. I am a fisherman from Nabouwalu in Bua and I have been diving for fish since I left school.”
Ramaidama explained that was about 20 years ago and he had been experiencing a lot of changes to the numbers and sizes of fish they had been catching in his area.
“I am a fisherman and it’s hard for me to do this but I want to pledge that I will protect them during the four months of June to September. I also want to go back to my village and tell them what I have done today and ask that we all pledge to let them breed if want to have Kawakawa and Donu on our reefs,” he said with a determined look on his face.
“Now back home in my village we only have the small ones and you would be lucky to find even one of the right size to sell. I believe that if we let them spawn and have babies we will have more of these fish. That is why I want to support this”