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 […]

WCS-Fiji assists displaced communities following Cyclone Winston

A team from the Wildlife Conservation Society Fiji country program has taken food, water, clothes and other essential items to assist the Ra Provincial Council to address the need of the communities that were badly affected following Tropical Cyclone Winston last week. The Cyclone caused havoc in the province of Ra, Lomaiviti and Bua with […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Supporting women fishers in Fiji through innovative partnerships

Mud crabs (Scylla serrata) are commonly found in every municipal market in Fiji, with large adults fetching upwards of FJ$100/crab. These animals are traditionally harvested and sold by rural women from coastal areas. Commonly known as qari, mud crabs are considered a Fijian delicacy reserved for special occasions.
However, over harvesting though has led to declining […]

The road to establishing Offshore Marine Managed Areas in the Vatu-i-Ra Seascape

With the support of the Waitt Foundation, the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) has been engaging stakeholders and the wider public to explore opportunities to establish offshore marine managed areas in the Vatu-i-Ra Seascape (the sea passage between Viti Levu and Vanua Levu).
The Vatu-i-Ra Seascape is home to wildlife including turtles, cetaceans, iguanas, birds, and fish […]

Marking out the Vatu-i-Ra Seascape: A stakeholder’s journey

“Areas of importance to us has been passed down traditionally from our forefathers. However being in the same room as all our stakeholders has provided an opportunity to link traditional, economic and biodiversity values in the Vatu-i-Ra Seascape”, said Tui Wailevu Ratu Saiasi Rogoyawa.

Over the course of a day and a half, thirty-two stakeholders from […]