Fiji Fisheries Ministry Plans To Create New Marine Conservation Areas

Rainbow Reef in Taveuni and the Waivunia marine reserve to be gazetted for conservation

By Luke Rawalai

SUVA, Fiji (Fiji Times, April 12, 2017) – The Ministry of Fisheries will soon gazette the Rainbow Reef in Taveuni and the Waivunia marine reserve in Cakaudrove for conservation purposes.

Known as the "Soft Coral Capital of the World", northern divisional fisheries officer Joji Vakawaletabua said work on gazetting Rainbow Reef began two weeks ago.

Mr Vakawaletabua said their survey team carried out earlier surveys on the reef and were progressing with another survey before finalising the gazetting of the world renowned dive site.

"The other project is the Waivunia marine reserve which is earmarked to be gazetted soon," he said.

"Currently the only gazetted marine area in Fiji is the Naiqoro Passage in Kadavu and the two identified would add to marine areas gazetted for conservation purposes.

"If the two reserves are successfully gazetted they would help us contribute to our plans to at least conserve 30 per cent of waters in Vanua Levu."

Mr Vakawaletabua said the communities identified the areas to be protected and the Government worked in gazetting the areas as official conservation sites.

"The community initiates the area's management plans," he said.

"It is a good idea because it benefits the community a lot and at the same time revives their marine ecosystem.

"The two sites will greatly benefit the tourism sites in the Cakaudrove province."

Fiji Times Online.
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