Archives for March 2018

Safeguarding Fiji’s Reefs- Episode 3 of 3

“Uniting Communities to Save Coral Reefs.” That’s the mission of the Coral Reef Alliance, and we’re working with local communities in Oneata to identify and implement solutions for their future. Coral reefs and fish populations are intricately linked, and the decline of coral reef health in Fiji has jeopardized food security in Oneata, where a remote location means that local communities depend on fishing for both their food and income. CORAL is teaming up with local leaders in Oneata to create win-win plans that benefit both the community and conservation. This type of management structure enables families to maintain their livelihoods and, at the same time, builds sustainable resource systems that will last for generations. Implementing stronger regulations against overfishing, teaching community members about sustainable alternatives and protecting coral reefs in and around the local fishing grounds will ensure that the … [Read more...]

Safeguarding Fiji’s Reefs- Episode 2 of 3

Maraia Somi: “The look of the sea is different from before. And corals, there were many kinds of coral. We see the corals, all dead. And the fishes that we see before, won’t be able to see that much nowadays.” Food security is especially concerning in Oneata, where the distance from the main Fijian islands limits access to food markets. Traditionally-owned fishing areas called iqoliqoli have been used for generations, but overfishing has dramatically decreased catch sizes and catch amounts. On a recent field visit to Oneata, the community requested the help of the Coral Reef Alliance to address overfishing concerns. Soko Ledua, the head of the local fishing group, is one of the community members who worries about the future of fishing in Oneata. For decades, fishermen have sought out the highly-prized sea cucumber, which can have a market value upwards of 50 US dollars each. But like the reefs, populations of sea cucumbers are … [Read more...]

Safeguarding Fiji’s Reefs- Episode 1 of 3

Deep in the South Pacific, there is a small island called Oneata, which is one of the three hundred and twenty-two islands that make up the Fijian Archipelago. This network of islands encompasses one of the most extensive coral reef systems in the world, and is a critical site for coral reef conservation, with an astounding 42 percent of the world’s coral species. Unfortunately, Fiji’s coral reefs are declining rapidly due to global threats like climate change and local threats like overfishing. The Coral Reef Alliance, or CORAL for short, has worked with communities in Fiji for over fifteen years to promote sustainable management systems for fisheries and corals. CORAL initially began working with the Kubalau community in Bua Province, as they established The Namena Marine Reserve, Fiji’s largest locally managed marine area. The Namena Marine Reserve is a top global dive site, and it also provides tangible benefits to the Kubalau … [Read more...]

Celebrating Women in Science

The Coral Reef Alliance is recognizing the accomplished women at CORAL and in marine science and conservation across the globe. This is especially important in Honduras, where "most of the people working in marine conservation are women," according to CORAL's Associate Program Director in the Mesoamerican region, Jennifer Myton. CORAL's staff in Honduras includes Jenny Myton, the Associate Program Director, Pamela Ortega, the Program Manager and Dr. Antonella Rivera, the Principal Scientific Advisor for Honduras. Read more about them below! Jenny Myton began working for CORAL in 2008 and began working on sustainability and environmental standards in the dive industry. In her free time, she worked to protect Cordelia Banks, a thriving coral reef in Honduras, and conducted reef monitoring and implemented water treatment programs. Jenny remains committed to doing marine conservation in Honduras, saying "There is something that … [Read more...]