Business | SUNBIZ

Buy a Coral, Build A Reef Programme On Tivua Island

“This is where we educate tourists and locals and create awareness on the factors affecting corals and diversifying it,” Mr Waqanivalu said.
20 Sep 2022 05:00
Buy a Coral, Build A Reef Programme On Tivua Island
From left Marine Biologists Joeli Waqanivalu and Abraham Waqaniroba. Photo: Sosiveta Korobiau

Tivua island in the Mamanuca Islands is a serene escape from the hustle and bustle of urban life with white sandy beach and colourful coral reefs.

Tivua is primarily accessed via Port Denarau with cruising time of approximately 90 minutes to the island.

Captain Cook Cruises offers a day-trip to the island and is on top of the list for many locals and tourists in the country. On the Island are marine biologists Abraham Waqairoba and Joeli Waqanivalu.

 

The duo graduated from the University of the South Pacific with a Bachelor of Marine Science and they have taken the step to protect corals and sustainability on Tivua island.

This is under the Captain Cook Cruises ‘Buy a coral – Build a reef’ coral rejuvenation programme which allows guests to get involved in reef sustainability when they are visiting Tivua island.

Programme leader Joeli Waqanivalu who hails from the village of Moala in Lau said: “This restoration programme is a set up for tourists and locals to come and in not only to enjoy the white and beaches but to educate them on why coral is so important.”

 

“This is where we educate tourists and locals and create awareness on the factors affecting corals and diversifying it,” Mr Waqanivalu said.

Mr Waqanivalu said, educating and executing sustainability and conservation programmes as such would help rebuild and maintain a healthy marine ecosystem. Coral Planting, Mr Waqairoba explained the process of planting corals to visitors.

“Coral fragments are tied onto ropes, a proven easier method to ensure the growth and survival before transplanting,” he said.

“This ensures that coral grows before transferring them onto the coral bed frame.”

 

“Throughout this process it is vital we check on it daily to ensure it is stable and ready for transplanting,” Mr Waqairoba said.

With Climate change being a controversial subject around the global pollution and Industrial waste being the main contributor to the destruction of corals, the restoration programme is a way forward, says Mr Waqanivalu.

Growing up in Moala Lau, he said, coral planting was nothing new to him, it was a sustainable practice they used back home to mitigate issues affecting corals.

 

The 25-year-old said, with Tivua Island being the best location to pursue coral planting, the challenge was the Agricultural and Industrial waste.

“We are thankful to Captain Cook Cruise Fiji for giving us the opportunity to showcase our knowledge.”

Tivua Island is surrounded by 500 acres of coral reef. The area has benefited greatly from the extensive work by Captain Cook’s team of Marine Biologists through the lockdown period.

Coral planting, monitoring and rejuvenation of on land plant life have been priorities.

 

Story By: sosiveta.korobiau@fijisun.com.fj



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