Concerns over continued efforts to proceed with surf wave project

May 24, 2022 4:20 pm

The traditional fishing rights owners of the Wainikeli-Bouma District are concerned that the World Wave Project continues to be entertained in Fiji.

This is especially after the government publicly stated it will not support any project that destroys the reef.

Their concern comes as WWP is scheduled to conduct an EIA public consultation in Naselesele Village in Taveuni tomorrow.

Article continues after advertisement

Speaking on behalf of the Turaga ni Yavusa of Naisaqai, Joseph Stolz says they out-rightly rejected the project when the proposal was first floated to them.

Another consultant visited them last night regarding the project, and they voiced their rejection once again.

Stolz says they are shocked that the group continues to be allowed to conduct consultations, and this time they are being brought by the Cakaudrove Provincial Council officials.

He reiterated the Vanua o Wainikeli’s stance, saying he will not allow their reefs to be destroyed as it is their traditional fishing ground.

The Yavusa Naisaqai is one of the four that have written to Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama voicing their concern over the proposed project stating it is experimental, untested and untried, adding that reef damage is irreversible.

WWP plans to create two to three prototype waves in Maqai near Qamea to cater for surf tourists by sculpting the reef in the area.

Stolz says money can never make up for any destruction to the reef ecosystem, which has been feeding them for generations.

The EIA public consultation will be held at Naselesele Village tomorrow, to be chaired by the Assistant Roko Taveuni.

WWP Limited is a New Zealand registered company.

Amongst the seven shareholders are Dr Shaw Mead the Director of Maqai Beach Eco Surf Resort (Qamea), Michael Lucas – a director of Vunabaka Resort and two Fijians Rasnil Kalyan and Mohini Deo.

Mead and Lucas are expected to be at the consultation.