SUNBIZ

Plantation Island Resort Restores Reefs

The board of Plantation Island Resort in the Mamanucas, has hired two marine biolo­gists as permanent employees in a bid to conserve the environment. This is also the resort’s contribu­tion
16 Nov 2018 10:32
Plantation Island Resort Restores Reefs
Plantation Island Resort general manager Alex Wilson with Austin Bowdeb Kerby with some newly planted coral

The board of Plantation Island Resort in the Mamanucas, has hired two marine biolo­gists as permanent employees in a bid to conserve the environment.

This is also the resort’s contribu­tion to maintaining a sustainable environment.

The two young biologists were brought from the University of the South Pacific to become profession­al coral gardeners.

The message from the resort’s gen­eral manager Alex Wilson was sim­ple – No Reefs, No Island Resorts.

The resort started its coral plant­ing initiatives 18 months ago aligned with the board’s staff outlook to live, work and enjoy.

 

PIR partnered with Austin Bowdeb Kerby, a Marine Scientist/Biologist who is now often referred to as “the grandfather of the corals”.

Mr Kerby and PIR partnered to cre­ate and extend the current model of Coral Planting & Gardening to become a training site for coral reef restoration and adaptation for Fiji.

Mr Wilson said the resort had run multiple training sessions in coral gardening for climate change adap­tation in 2018.

“So training of 12 USP Marine Studies students to become profes­sional Coral Gardeners is being car­ried out.”

“The resort has hired two of these young marine biologists as full-time staff and they are working with Dr Kerby to expand and develop the work.”

Mr Wilson said this would include a major guest educational and activ­ity program thus allowing guests, under the supervision of the biolo­gists to participate actively in the coral restoration programme.

“The goal of the programme is to help the coral reefs around the is­land adapt to increasing sea temper­atures, by finding and propagating bleaching resistant ‘super’ corals, and encouraging them to reproduce and spread in the environment.

“With resorts hiring trained and competent coral gardeners, a ma­jor positive impact can be made on helping coral reefs adapt and thrive in a changing climate.

“The tourism industry has the most to lose from coral reef decline, and thus the most to gain from its preservation.

“The coral gardening programme is sustainable and our Company’s commitment in climate change ad­aptation for coral reefs is for our communities, our visitors and our guests who can learn, engage and enjoy in years to come,” Mr Wilson said.

Feedback: charles.chambers@fijisun.com.fj



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