Global Reef Expedition Final Report: Fiji
Global Reef Expedition: Lau Province, Fiji. Final Report. Bruckner, A.W., Dempsey, A.C., Coward, G., Saul, S., Rauer, E.M. & Heemsoth, A. (2016). Khaled bin Sultan Living Oceans Foundation, Annapolis, MD. 113p. ISBN: 978-0-9975451-0-4 (2016)
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The Khaled bin Sultan Living Oceans Foundation is conducting the Global Reef Expedition – the largest coral reef survey and mapping expedition in history. The Global Reef Expedition is a five-year mission to survey the health and resiliency of coral reefs around the world. In June of 2013, the Global Reef Expedition came to Fiji to assess the state of their coral reefs and create detailed habitat maps of their shallow water marine habitats.
Using standardized methods, scientists on the Global Reef Expedition mapped and surveyed the coral reefs of Fiji over the course of four weeks, from June 2-28. The research focused on coral reefs surrounding 11 islands in Lau Province, Fiji: Cicia, Fulaga, Kabara, Mago, Matuka, Moala, Nayau, Totoya, Tuvuca, Vanua Balavu, and Vanua Vatu. These small, remote islands are far from the tourist center of Fiji, and home to small villages of Pacific Islanders run by traditional leaders. These communities rely heavily on the coral reef ecosystem for their livelihood, mainly through engaging in artesianal and substance fishing.
The Expedition was conducted in partnership with local experts from the Wildlife Conservation Society of Fiji, Lau Provincial Office and Fiji Department of Fisheries, and scientists from the University of the South Pacific, Department of Fisheries. The Foundation also welcomed researchers from Nova Southeastern University, University of the Azores, University of the Philippines, NOAA/University of Miami, National Museum of Marine Biology and Aquarium of Taiwan, Reef Environmental Education Foundation (REEF), and Victoria University to join us on the expedition. Roko Sau Josefa Cinavilakeba from the Pacific Blue Foundation and High Chief of Yasayasa Moala Group and Roko Laitia Raloa from the Lau Provincial Office, joined the Expedition to provide assistance with traditional protocols, meetings and deliberations with the Chiefs, Council and elders on each island, and education activities…