[Source: Ocean Futures Society]
The Ocean Futures Society has raised concerns over the proposed World Wave Project to sculpt coral reefs in Maqai, Qamea for enhanced surfing.
President and Chief Executive, Jean-Michel Cousteau, says it must be clear that corals will be killed and destroyed, reef substrate will be altered, the habitat will be modified, and debris and sediments will be created directly affecting adjacent reefs.
A marine expert and environmentalist, Cousteau says there is already a dramatic decline in the health and viability of corals, and destroying it would directly impact Fijian livelihoods.
Cousteau, who also owns the environmentally friendly Five Star Jean-Michel Cousteau Resort in Savusavu, says all of his years of ocean exploration has given him a clear appreciation of the value of coral reefs and of how little we know about predicting the impacts of human actions on the ocean.
The environmentalist says corals must be protected and is urging Fijians to join him and his team of scientific experts and marine biologists in preventing the wave project from destroying coral reefs for surf breaks.
The World Wave Project says reshaping is proposed in the shallow areas of the reef and the sites selected have very little marine life.
WWP plans to build prototype waves that they say will attract surf tourism and rejuvenate economic activity in the Northern Division.