project review

Fiji Volunteer Diaries 1st June 2006

Review submitted by Frontier
Review date 19 nov. 2019

header

Welcome to Naviavia beach - where the rice and lentils are plentiful and the sun always shines!

We've just returned from the first satellite camp of the phase to Qarani. The Fijians were very welcoming and made us feel instantly at home. However, they did ask the girl RAs to serve the lads tea and, so as not offend, we agreed. This is certainly not a practice that is going to continue on our camp! It was really cool to survey somewhere else though.

Meanwhile, back at Naviavia a hurricane swept through the camp, destroying everything. Well, maybe all that happened was that a bit of wind blew some clothes of the line but honestly we were huddling together in fright.

Our baseline techniques are getting better. Spuggie thinks he has found a new fish and it will be called...the Spuggie fish. Beware of Lezzles if you don't complete your data sheets - she WILL hunt you down.

The diving is awesome, we've seen Manta rays and we have found the home of some white tip reef sharks.

Food on Naviavia...hmm where do we begin? After 8 weeks we are creating culinary masterpieces with taro, cassava and the odd chickpea or two. We have created a book of our wonderful recipes: Delia Eat Your Lentils Out (available in all good book shops soon).

Is this our idea of heaven? Probably not - there'd be a lot more ice cream and chocolate. But is this our idea of a tropical paradise? Most definitely.

As far as science work goes, so far we have completed surveying the peninsula the camp is located on and are moving up to the Sawaieke passage, where there is a multitude of amazing looking patch reefs to explore.

The community in Qarani hugely welcomed the first research to have been ever carried out in their waters. Established in January, this is the newest marine reserve to have been declared on Gau. Tracking the progress of reserves such as this will be incredibly useful in comparison to those areas that have been closed for the last 3 years.

Already, preparations are under way for the next phase regarding survey sites and projects. Fiji is currently in a coral bleaching hotspot so we have started to lay out quadrats to track the progress of the bleaching and recovery. However the main focus of the project is still to collect sufficient baseline data of the fringing reefs to track the progress of the islander's network of marine reserves and to give teaching and training to those involved in the management of these reserves.

Find out more about the Fiji Marine Conservation and Diving project