A project aimed at improving and accelerating reef rehabilitation in the Wainikeli-Bouma waters has been launched in Taveuni.
The traditional fishing rights owners have partnered with Civa Fiji Pearls PTE Limited and Matagi Island Resort in Qamea to implement the Coral Basket Reef Rehabilitation Programme.
Joseph Stolz of the Yavusa o Naisaqai says it’s a new concept and a step towards protecting their resources.
Stolz says the programme will be a witness to Fiji and the world that they are working to rehabilitate their marine ecosystem and there is no need for destruction.
Wai Villager Rusiate Laladidi says the coral baskets will also ensure fish will be able to restock.
“What we believe through consultations with various NGO’s is that if we implement this, it will bring back the fishes and not only that, it will also impact the livelihood of the people.”
Coral frames, or coral baskets, are mostly used in the Maldives and are proven to increase coral colonies in depleted sectors.
Metal frames are populated with coral seedlings from pearl lines belonging to Civa Fiji Pearls and are deployed in strategic places in reef depleted areas in the Wainikeli-Bouma Waters.
The metal frames are built by Matagi Island Resort and financed by private donations from tourists, a levy charged to scuba divers and donations from the visitors to the pearl farm.