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First dive in Vatu-i-Ra exceeds my expectations!

By Watisoni Lalavanua
In my youth, I frequently heard about Vatu-i-Ra Island and the famous Vatu-i-Ra passage between the islands of Viti Levu and Vanua Levu.
I joined the Wildlife Conservation Society – Fiji Program in January 2016, and this is my first trip with the team into the field to assess the health and condition of […]

Management plan to guide Vatu-i-Ra Conservation area

By Ruci Lumelume

The Wildlife Conservation Society has been working with communities from district of Nakorotubu in the province of Ra, the Ra Provincial office, key tourism operators, traditional/customary owners of Vatu-i-Ra Island since 2015 to develop a management plan for the Vatu-i-Ra Conservation Park, and to establish a voluntary contribution to conservation scheme.

The resource […]

Mud crabs – what are they really worth?

Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) and Department of Fisheries staff are partnering up a second time this year to look at seafood supply chains in Fiji. Learning from our experience with the sea cucumbers, we are conducting a series of surveys to understand and map out the mud crab fishery in Bua Province all the way […]

Momentum builds as Fijian stakeholders agree on spatial planning

The Wildlife Conservation Society, Fiji Program office in collaboration with the Ministry of Fisheries and Forests hosted the second workshop on “Marine Spatial Planning for the Vatu-I-Ra Seascape” at the Tanoa Plaza Hotel on Suva on 8th -9th December, 2015. The Acting Permanent Secretary for Fisheries and Forest, Sanaila Tuiqali was the chief guest.

The meeting […]

“CPUE Think Tank” – MONITORING FISH CATCH IN FIJI

In the last quarter of 2015, researchers from the Wildlife Conservation Society’s Fiji and Papua New Guinea programs, University of the South Pacific’s Institute of Applied Science, Department of Fisheries and Conservation International’s Hawaii program held a ‘CPUE Think Tank’ in Suva. CPUE stands for ‘catch per unit effort’ and it is used by fisheries […]

Kilaka Forest Conservation Area

WCS has worked with the communities of Kubulau District, Bua Province, for over 10 years and has developed a strong working relationship with the Nadicake mataqali (clan) from Kilaka village that holds land tenure over the Kilaka forest.

In 2006, the clan made a commitment to protect the forest on the land parcel over which they […]

Safeguarding wildlife in Lomaiviti province

A traditional fisherman, Rusiate Valenitabua instinctively knows the spawning seasons of different marine animals, fishing techniques unique to his village as well as the role that mangroves play in sheltering communities. From the coastal village of Nukui in Rewa, Rusiate Valenitabua now lives in Lomaiviti as the newly appointed provincial conservation officer.

Having completed a Postgraduate […]

Spawning surveyors set to research fish maturity in Fiji

Over the course of three days, thirty-five Fijian fisheries scientists and managers successfully completed an intensive training program to assess the size of maturity in key coral reef fish and invertebrates.

Led by fisheries biologist Dr Jeremy Prince from Biospherics in Australia, the training was designed so that those participating in the workshop are equipped with […]

First Fijian to accept royal conservation medal

In village halls or underneath breadfruit trees in season, a soft spoken i-Taukei man called Alifereti Tawake has travelled Fiji’s fourteen provinces speaking with resource owners about protecting their natural resources for future generations.

His dedication over two decades working with communities led to the establishment of the Fiji Locally Managed Marine Areas (FLMMA) network in […]

Recognizing Fijian leaders in nature conservation

In the early 1990s, the communities of Kubulau in the northern region of the Vatu-i-Ra Seascape began to notice their fish stocks depleting. With the help of the Fijian Fisheries Department and non-government organisations, the chiefs within the district implemented a network of tabu areas alongside the coastline. Tabu’s are temporal or seasonal closures to […]