Push for a total marine ban in Port Vila harbour
By Anita Roberts.
The local business community wants a 20-year marine ban to be imposed at the Port Vila harbour, to protect marine life and conserve ecosystem.
The local business community is organizing this year’s Port Vila Day on June 11. The organizing committee is using the event to push for the ban.
If this becomes effective, people will not be allowed to take marine life out from the area. This long-term marine conservation initiative will help combat the decline of marine species and will bring tourism benefits.
Clerk of the Port Vila City Council (PVCC), Peter Sakita, said marine recreational activities are needed in the Port Vila harbour to attract tourists upon arrival, instead of just having tours around the island.
A traditional marine conservation practice and protocols will be performed at Kawenu Beach, where the Port Vila Day event will be held. Cleanup has already begun at the site.
Around 100 coastal plants will be planted on a 3km area stretching from the former Yacht Club to the freshwater springs at Cellovila, as part of creating a sustainable conservation and management of the harbour.
The City Council and stakeholders will also be launching new business startups, which include over 30 water sports and over 50 unique beach activities.
This is part of the preparedness for the first cruise ship arriving in July.
The Port Vila Day Program will commence with a parade from Cello Vila. After the flag raising ceremony, a custom ceremony will be performed by the Council to the Paramount Chief of Ifira, Mantoi Paunimanu Kalsakau.
The main speech will be given by the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Internal Affairs, Ishmael Kalsakau.
The unveiling of the Marine Conservation Plaque will be done in the afternoon followed by the marine conservation ceremony, traditional custom dances and a custom ceremony by Ifira’s Paramount Chief.
There will be sport activities and presentation of prizes, live entertainment and fireworks to end the event.
After many years of showcasing on Port Vila Day, PVMC, as the custodian of the Port Vila City sees appropriate to allow the local business community to host this year’s event.
This is part of an approach to partner with the private sector to do development.