Portraits of Resilience

Rainforest in the Pacific Ocean

 Namada Village is located in Kulusei, on the western side of our main island, Fiji. They have set up a “Taboo” or Marine Protected Area (MPA) where no one is allowed to collect any sea shells, crustaceans or fish. They have started a very hard process of regrowing corals by breaking a small branch from the parent colony.

Coral reefs have been described as the rainforest of our island, Fiji. Coral reefs are home to many plants and marine life and have been a vital resource for centuries. Many depend on the sea for survival. In Fiji, damage to the reefs has been caused by destructive fishing practices like the use of dynamite, excessive harvesting of our coral for sale, careless divers and a dramatic increase in coral bleaching.

Coral bleaching is the loss of color from corals under stressful environmental conditions. The water temperature must be a constant 20 degrees Celsius for coral to grow well. Climate change not only effects sea levels but
increases the water temperature which damages the coral and thus destroys our sea’s natural rainforest.

Namada Village is located in Kulusei, on the western side of our main island, Fiji. They have set up a “Taboo” or Marine Protected Area (MPA) where no one is allowed to collect any sea shells, crustaceans or fish.

They have started a very hard process of regrowing corals by breaking a small branch from the parent colony. These fragments are placed in a plastic pan of reef water. The next step is to choose the base rocks and
prepare the attachment sites. Then apply the thick super glue to the prepared site on the base rock. They then pick up the cutting and press the newly cut fragment to the prepared site.

What is very sad to see is that people now have to resort to re-growing coral so that they are able to replenish the once beautiful coral reefs that now no longer exist. This would not have happened if people are good stewards of the marine environment and its dependent species. 

Coral does not exist only for its beauty but is serves a purpose in protecting land from destructive waves and to lessen the force of a tsunami. It also provides a home for different marine life. Coral also plays an important role in our tourism industry.

— Talei Tokalauvere

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