The recreational floating platform known as Cloud 9 – operating near the world renowned Cloud Break surfing spot in western Viti Levu – has been operating illegally.

I have consequently liaised with the Acting Commissioner of Police with a view to closing the operation immediately.

The Regulation of Surfing Areas Decree 2010 makes it clear that any commercial venture permitted under that Decree be confined to surfing and other water sports.

It does not allow for the activities that have been conducted on Cloud 9, which include organised parties, the serving of alcohol, the playing of loud music and an advertised nightclub.

The Decree is explicit – “to enable unrestricted access to any surfing area by all persons…engaged in providing and promoting surfing and any water sport”.

The obligations on operators are also explicit – “The person shall not carry out any activity…other than surfing or engaging in any water sport”.

The protection of the environment in these areas is paramount and the Government cannot allow any activity that may lead to damage or destruction in these areas. Cloud 9 presents a clear threat to that provision in the decree.

The intention of the Decree is also to create economic and commercial opportunities for locals in the surrounding areas.

We need to preserve Cloud Break and its marine environment, along with all other such areas in Fiji, now and for future generations, as provided for in the Constitution.


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