Reef Explorer Coral Farming in Fiji
Reef Explorer Fiji is a Fijian owned and operated research and development company established in 2006 to support community-based resource management and marine conservation efforts in Fiji. We primarily work with local communities and other stakeholders along Fiji's Coral Coast to reduce and mitigate for local impacts to coral reefs so that the reef ecosystem can be as productive and as resilient as possible given increasing impacts from global climate change.
We do this primarily by:
1) assisting communities to develop, implement, evaluate, and revise their marine resource
2) building local management capacity by conducting educational programs with local communities and stakeholders so that they can better understanding management issues and strategies employed to address them.
3) assisting communities with the development of non-extractive uses of marine resources and development of terrestrial resources that allow them generate income and derive economic benefits with minimal impact to the reef ecosystem.
Corals are the keystone species of tropical reefs and also the research focus of Reef Explorer Fiji's founder, Victor Bonito, thus many of our programs focus on corals. Currently, key focal areas of our collaborative research include revising Fijian coral taxonomy, better understanding heat tolerance in corals, and examining interactions between corals and algae. The development of coral restoration efforts is one of the activities that Reef Explorer has been assisting district villages with since 2006.
This initiative began largely as an educational and economic tool but has evolved to become an integral and growing part of management activities, particularly as a climate change adaptation strategy. In 2016, Reef Explorer established a coral nursery in partnership with Diveaway Fiji at their Big Foot dive site.
The nursery was damaged during a recent cyclone but will soon be re-established. Currently Reef Explorer maintains four coral nursery sites along the Coral Coast where ~10,000 corals are propagated and transplanted back onto the reef each year. You can learn more about our coral restoration efforts here: Fiji – Ecological Restoration | Reef Resilience
Reef Explorer also conducts a range of ecotourism activities for both tourists and study abroad student programs to help generate financial support for our coral restoration and marine management activities while providing economic benefits to local communities. These activities include guided snorkelling tours of our coral nurseries and restoration sites, custom marine education programs for families or small groups, as well as village homestay programs.
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