Plans to shape reefs in Qamea Taveuni for surf tourism appear to be dead in the water even before the preliminary explorations are complete.
Responding to concerns from farmers in Taveuni, Minister for Environment Doctor Mahendra Reddy has emphatically stated they will not approve any investment that proposes damage to the environment.
Dr Reddy says any proposed development that may damage or disturb the ecological balance of the environment would be rejected for the benefit of future generations.
He adds those behind the World Wave Project have been given a permit to explore the proposed venture, but they will have to submit an Environment Impact Assessment to the Ministry.
Dr Reddy adds this is where the matter stands at the moment, but has also stated that the government will not approve any investment that damage reefs, mangroves, ecosystems or biodiversity.
No development is currently underway at the proposed site.
Maqai Eco Surf Resort Director Dr Shaw Mead has been working with World Wave Project (WWP) to investigate the potential of shaping existing shallow reefs to create waves for surfing.
Dr Mead told FBC News, the project can improve the marine environment helping Fiji to protect its coastline in vulnerable areas.
WWP wants to create prototype waves using advanced construction techniques, underwater divers, excavators and rock crackling compounds.
It proposes modifications to the depth, contours and angle of the reef.