Since 2001, the Mamanuca Environment Society (MES) has partnered with resorts, government organizations, and other community partners to protect the marine life and terrestrial resources of Fiji’s Mamanuca Region. Its efforts to defend the Mamanuca environment recently included a collaborative effort with SeaWeb Asia Pacific, a regional initiative of SeaWeb’s global ocean-conservation activities.
MES worked to recruit new partners for SeaWeb’s For Fiji (4FJ) movement, which seeks to protect Fiji’s diminishing fish populations. It specifically aims to preserve kawakawa and donu, also known as groupers. While these fish hold cultural significance and serve as crucial sources of both food and income, they have become a target of overfishing due to their predictable breeding patterns. The fish gather to mate at the same location each breeding season, thus making it possible for anglers to deplete their populations before they have a chance to reproduce.
To remedy this problem, 4FJ seeks the support of Fiji’s organizations, leaders, and communities to limit kawakawa and donu consumption from June through September, the fishes’ mating season. The initiative calls on Fijians to pledge their commitment not to buy, sell, or eat the fish for the four-month period in order to protect the species’ future populations. Due to the outreach efforts of SeaWeb and MES, the Malolo and Likuliku Lagoon Resorts have become the first in the region to join the conservation effort, and MES will continue its awareness-raising efforts to recruit all 12 of its member resorts for the 4FJ pledge.