Scattered across roughly 1.3 million square kilometers of the South Pacific, the Fijian Archipelago encompasses one of the most extensive coral reef systems in the world. To preserve the rich biodiversity of marine life in this area and improve the health and resiliency of Fiji’s reefs, CORAL helped establish several no-take marine reserves. A study published in the journal Coral Reefs in 2013 highlights CORAL’s work in the Namena Marine Reserve. The study found that sharks were two to four times more plentiful in this 70 square kilometer reserve than in unprotected surrounding areas. These findings prove that marine reserves can successfully conserve the key species necessary for biologically diverse and resilient ecosystems.
CORAL has also provided training for local tourism businesses, which helps community members improve their business practices, reduces anchor damage to the reef, and educates visitors about environmentally responsible tourism. Along with our local partners, CORAL is making real progress toward the creation of sustainable coral reefs and communities in Fiji. CORAL has also worked in Fiji to get better protection for sharks.
Reef threats and progress
Too popular? The incomparable beauty of Fiji’s coral reefs has garnered attention from tourists and developers around the globe. When uncontrolled tourism and coastal development increase, the reefs suffer. When these practices are combined with existing threats like climate change and overfishing, the situation becomes dangerous to reef survival. CORAL works with local community members, government leaders, and marine recreation providers to develop community-based sustainable tourism practices that raise the local standard of living and provide alternative revenue streams that protect, rather than endanger, this vital resource.
Our partners in Fiji
CORAL’s partner organizations and businesses in Fiji strengthen and complement our programs. Marine recreation partners have been trained in best environmental practices by CORAL and have demonstrated an ongoing commitment to marine conservation and the local communities.