About Dr. Sangeeta Mangubhai

Dr. Sangeeta Mangubhai, a self-professed "Conservation Diva”, is the Director of Wildlife Conservation Society’s Fiji Program. She enjoys mentoring the next generation of conservation leaders and scientists, and grabs any opportunity to dive and experience the Vatu-i-Ra Seascape.

A first look at coral reefs in the Vatu-i-Ra Seascape

Our first dives were in and around the Vatu-i-Ra Conservation Park, which has been proposed as a conservation area by local communities from Nakorotubu District, as part of a unique partnership with local dive tourism operators and the Ra Provincial Office, supported by the Wildlife Conservation Society. We knew the eye Cyclone Winston passed over […]

Assessing coral reefs for cyclone damage and coral bleaching

 

On Saturday, 20 February 2016, Fiji with a population of 900,000 was hit by Category 5 Cyclone Winston. It was one of the largest cyclones we had experienced with winds of up to 185mph. Over a 24-hour period the cyclone left a trail of destruction through the centre of the country, and through the Vatu-i-Ra […]

Value Chain Analysis – what is it, and why is it important?

Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) and Department of Fisheries staff members are partnering up to undertake a value chain analysis of the sea cucumber fishery in Fiji. While it might sound complicated it really isn’t. Basically a value chain is the full range of activities required to bring a product from its conception, through the different […]

Putting an economic value on fisheries and tourism in the Vatu-i-Ra Seascape

The Vatu-i-Ra Seascape is one of the most biodiverse and productive areas in Fiji that supports local community livelihoods and the larger Fijian economy. Much of the tourism and fisheries in the seascape is dependent on healthy coral reefs and productive ocean in the seascape.
It is however, challenging to get people to truly appreciate the […]

Surveys done, despite a few bumps today

We woke up to another very rainy morning, the ground thoroughly soaked with the downpour we had last night. Still we were full of energy as it was our last day to complete the surveys inside and outside Natokalau’s tabu area.
Unfortunately, one of the hazards of working in remote locations is that boats break down, […]

Bad algae on coral reefs – bad news!

Despite dark ominous clouds over the sea, we headed out into the lagoon at Ovalau lagoon to survey reefs on the southwest of the island.

I was not prepared for what I saw under the water. All around me were patch reefs scattered over sand that were covered in thick algae that smothered everything in its […]

Exploring the outer reefs of Ovalau Island

Last night we stayed up late sharing a bowl of yaqona (also known as kava) and talked about some of the findings of the tabu surveys with village leaders, and what the results mean for their community. There is great enthusiasm to expand the tabu area further north, south and out to sea to provide […]

Surveying Nauouo ‘Tabu’ Area

After heavy rain that continued on throughout the night, we awoke to sunshine and a calm blue ocean – it was a perfect day for surveying fish. Jordan Goetze (a PhD student from the University of Western Australia) and Sam Moyle (Western Australia Fisheries) meticulously check the gear and calibrate cameras carefully before we headed […]

Maximising Benefits of ‘Tabu’ Areas for Local Communities

Finally after much planning and a minor setback (ferry stopped for two days!), we are off to the island of Ovalau in the province of Lomaiviti. Ovalau is a popular place for locals and tourists, who flock to Levuka our former capital city (until 1877), which was recently declared a UNESCO World Heritage Area. I […]

Celebrating Fiji’s achievements and commitments at SIDS 2014: the forecast is positive!

It was a night not to be missed! On the eve of the closing of the UN Small Islands Developing States (SIDS) conference, the Fiji government, WCS and the Waitt Foundation, with the support of our partners IUCN, WWF and FLMMA representatives, hosted a small celebratory event to recognise the renewed as well as new […]