A multitude of species make their home in the rich and diverse waters surrounding the Fiji Islands, including giant clams, sharks, groupers, tuna, barracuda, and colorful soft and hard corals. CORAL currently has two CRSD locations in Fiji: Namena Marine Reserve on the island of Vanua Levu, and Waitabu Marine Park on the island of Taveuni. A migratory pathway for cetaceans like bottlenose and spinner dolphins as well as pilot, minke, sperm, and humpback whales, Fiji also hosts nesting grounds for four of the world’s seven marine turtle species, all of which are endangered (jump to map).
- 467 species of mollusks
- 298 species of hard coral
- 1,198 species of reef fish
- Fiji contains more than 10,000 square kilometers of pristine coral reefs.
- 68 percent of Fiji's reefs are at risk.
- Fiji consists of two main islands, Vitu Levu and Vanua Levu, and a scattering of smaller island groups and atolls, all of which are volcanic in origin.
- Reefs can be owned (like land in the United States)--this is called marine tenure.
- Fijian customs include tabus, which are temporary marine closures and fishing bans.
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Consider Waitabu Marine Park for your next vacation. In the words of park manager Arieta Divialagi (Eta), you can "enjoy a traditional Bilibili raft ride out to the reef, snorkel in the unspoilt marine park, and then come back to delicious, freshly prepared tea. You can even chose to participate in the traditional Kava ceremony with home grown Waitabu Kava, or learn a traditional Fijian Meke (dance; shown above)."
Photo credit: Naushad Yakub