Damage from marine recreation, overfishing, and uncontrolled development are adding stress to Fiji’s reefs. Like coral reefs around the world, Fiji’s reefs are already vulnerable to rising ocean temperatures caused by climate change, which makes it urgent and essential to act now and on a local level to reduce as many human-induced stresses as possible.
Reducing recreational damage
Improving Business Practices: CORAL has trained community leaders and marine tourism businesses in coral reef ecology and best practices. Participants agree to actively implement these practices on an ongoing basis.
Reducing Anchor Damage: CORAL has provided nearly US$40,000 to install mooring buoys in the Kubulau Qoliqoli Conservation Corridor and Waitabu Marine Park, and with CORAL’s support, Waitabu replaced destructive fishing practices with a sustainable snorkeling program.
Elevating Education: CORAL has trained marine tourism businesses to deliver effective environmental briefings to their clients and created and printed environmental guidelines to hand out to tourists. CORAL also regularly engages the Kubulau community to raise awareness about marine conservation and program initiatives.
Reducing destructive fishing practices
Establishing Wide-Reaching Conservation: Working in partnership with the Wildlife Conservation Society, CORAL created and refined an effective management plan for the Kubulau Iqoliqoli Conservation Corridor. Encompassing three no-take areas, research sites, traditional tabu (forbidden) areas, and mixed-use zones, the conservation corridor will be monitored to track improvements in ecological resources and management effectiveness.
Linking Marine Reserves to Community: CORAL supports the Namena Marine Reserve visitor tag system. When visitors to the reserve pay the user fee, they receive a colorful tag. Revenues from this fee fund enforcement initiatives to stop poachers, scholarships to send local students to school, and management activities. The user fee system allows the local Kubulau community to continue receiving benefits from the reef in a non-extractive and sustainable way.
Developing sustainable conservation financing
Supporting Alternative Livelihoods: CORAL has developed a business plan for the Kubulau Iqoliqoli Conservation Corridor as part of an effort to achieve financial independence through sustainable tourism and other ecologically sound activities. CORAL supports the development of community-based tourism microenterprises that take advantage of the wonderful cultural and ecological assets of the Kubulau community.