Newly Identified 'World-Class' Dive Sites Could Boost Fiji Tourism

Reefs in the Lau Islands are largestly unexplored

By Luke Rawalai

SUVA, Fiji (Fiji Times, May 26, 2017) – Waters in the Northern Lau Group may contain Fiji's solution to boost its tourism industry after a team of divers and coral experts identified many world-class dive sites in the area.

The team, from the Wildlife Conservation Society and the Vatuvara Foundation, included coral reef expert Helen Sykes, who has dived in many sites around the world.

Ms Sykes labelled the dive sites they discovered in Yacata, Cakaudrove, Kaibu, Kanacea, Vatuvara and Adavaci as stunning.

"The sites are hidden underwater jewels of Fiji with lots of "spur and groove" structures, crevices, steep walls, small caves with sleeping sharks, and highly vulnerable species like groupers, hump head wrasse and hammerhead sharks," she said.

"In these places, the marine life was clearly diverse, abundant and thriving."

In an earlier statement, the foundation's director, Katy Miller, said the islands in the Lau Group were largely unexplored.

The statement said Fijian scientists from (WCS) and the foundation surveyed 35 sites on outer fringing reefs, reef flats and lagoonal systems in the course of an eight-day expedition, looking at five islands in the Northern Lau Group.

Ms Miller said over the next three to four weeks, the team would begin analysing the data and produce a report on the findings.

Earlier, Yacht Help Fiji's managing director, David Jamieson said the development of the Lau Group would definitely widen economic opportunities locally.

He said Savusavu and Taveuni were known attractive spots for yachties, but Lau still had untapped potential.

Speaking during his tour on Taveuni earlier this year, Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama said Government would focus on the Northern Lau groups as it had a lot of potential.

However, he said, they would work with landowners for any developments in the area.

Fiji Times Online.
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