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Uto Ni Yalo Cleans Up, Collects Data In Vatu-i-Ra

Uto Ni Yalo Cleans Up, Collects Data In Vatu-i-Ra
Students from Nabasovi District School in Koro Island on the Uto ni Yalo. Photo: Uto ni Yalo Trust
September 11
09:11 2017

Fiji’s famous traditional canoe, the Uto ni Yalo concluded a seven-day voyage visiting communities in the marine managed Vatu-i-Ra seascape.

The general focus of the Uto ni Yalo during the 148-nautical mile journey was to generate support for the creation of marine managed zones in areas surrounding Koro, Makogai and Kiobo Village in the district of Kubulau in Bua.

The crew-organised a clean-up programme along the Kiobo village coastline saw the collection of 129 kilogrammes of non-biodegradable waste, the canoe’s Twitter account said.

“We collected a lot of rubbish along the coasts of Vanua Levu, with most of it coming in from other islands,” said the Uto ni Yalo Trust Secretary Dwain Ah Tong.

“This was not only done to keep the islands clean, but to also show the villages how connected every island was,” he said.

He said the clean-up helped the crew assess the amounts and the types of rubbish flowing in from larger islands that contributed to pollution in other smaller ones.

The Uto ni Yalo Trust, which owns the canoe, also analysed islands in the seascape to assist the University of the South Pacific’s (USP) continued marine research efforts.

“One of our jobs is to collect water, sediment and sand samples for the university, to analyse and determine the level of single use plastics that are breaking down and being ingested by our marine organism,” Mr Ah Tong said.

The Uto Ni Yalo shot to prominence in 2014 when they joined an armada of traditional canoes that embarked on a voyage from Cook Islands to Sydney to highlight the threat of climate change.


The Vatu-i-ra Seascape

The Vatu-i-Ra Land/Seascape covers over 19,425 square km of forests, mangroves, seagrass meadows, reefs and deep channels surrounding the Vatu-i-Ra passage that separates the main Fiji islands of Viti Levu and Vanua Levu. Vatu-i-Ra provides critical habitat for large populations of turtles, endemic iguanas, migratory and resident cetaceans, and populations of highly threatened fish species such as humphead wrasse and bumphead parrotfish.



Edited by Karalaini Waqanidrola


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