NATION

Resort Plans To Ban Fishing On Resort Frontage

The Outrigger Fiji Beach Resort is working closely with the local community and stakeholders to create a conservation area in front of the resort, imposing a fishing ban. Resort general
28 Apr 2017 11:00
Resort Plans To Ban Fishing On Resort Frontage
Outrigger Fiji Beach Resort community working towards their house reef sanctuary.

The Outrigger Fiji Beach Resort is working closely with the local community and stakeholders to create a conservation area in front of the resort, imposing a fishing ban.

Resort general manager Peter Hopgood said this would allow their ‘house reef’ to be a sanctuary for fish and other marine life.

“We are in the final phases of creating a tabu on the lagoon directly in front of the resort. This has the full support of the vanua conua (Locally Managed Marine Area) and also the Ministry of Environment and Fisheries.

“We aim to continue to work closely with Organisation for Industrial, Spiritual and Cultural Advancement (OISCA); a local-based Japanese NGO to continue to develop our marine conservation efforts and education of local population and our resort guests on the benefits of a healthy reef system.”

In October 2015, the resort commenced with coral propagation and fish house building on their reef.

“We have three coral propagation racks currently growing coral which is then transplanted into fish house which are added to our fish villages in designated areas of our reef,” Mr Hopgood added.

The resort had adopted a giant clam, enjoying a good life on the reef.

In early May this year, he said they expect to transplant another 20 clams to create a clam farm.

“Support from the guests has been great with the fish house building and the transplanting of the coral from the racks. This is done approximately twice a month or on request from guests,” said Mr Hopgood.

The major challenge faced is harsh weather conditions.

In February 2016, all coral growth was devastated by the heavy winds during Tropical Cyclone Winston and many fish houses were destroyed.

“When we have large swell come over the reef many of our fish house are destroyed and coral racks damaged.  In the past 6-9 months we have had solid progress with few major weather events,” he said.

There are more than 10 fish houses in the reef all growing transplanted coral and the three racks are growing more than 50 pieces of coral each at this time.

Edited by Caroline Ratucadra

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