News

Land owning unit secures lease agreement for the protection of its forest

Land owning unit secures lease agreement for the protection of its forest
(July 09, 2017) All the hard work and determination of mataqali Nadicake, landowning unit within the village of Kilaka in Kubulau District, Bua Province, paid off after the iTaukei Land Trust Board signed a lease agreement with the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) for 99 years to safeguard and ensure the long-term protection of Kilaka forest. This will be the first forest conservation area that will be managed by the community in partnership with WCS, and is a great example of community e...

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Encouraging mud crab fishers in Bua to sell quality crabs

Encouraging mud crab fishers in Bua to sell quality crabs
(July 09, 2017) For most women mud crab fishers within the districts of Kubulau, Bua, Navakasiga and Lekutu in Bua Province, mud crab collection is part of their everyday lives and a great source of food and livelihoods. Despite the growing demand for mud crabs in the local market, mud crab fishers in these communities need to sell the right size and high-quality mud crabs in order earn a reasonable income. A value chain analysis of the mud crab fishery by the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) found that thou...

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Villagers take action to sustainably harvest sea cucumbers to meet their livelihoods

Villagers take action to sustainably harvest sea cucumbers to meet their livelihoods
(July 06, 2017) For most islands and coastal villages in Fiji, sea cucumbers or sasalu is considered a treasured resource that many have relied on for income for many years. It is a commodity that has been traded by Fijians since the early 1800s and continues today with many communities still heavily relying on it for their livelihoods. High demand from the Asian market has led to it becoming a multi-million dollar industry globally. As a result, more and more communities have been collecting sea...

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Joint effort critical

(June 11, 2017) GOVERNMENT'S commitment to expand marine managed areas, which was made known at the United Nations World Ocean Conference (UNWOC) in New York, is not enough, says Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) director Dr Sangeeta Mangubhai. Dr Mangubhai said making a statement and commitment was the easy part but there was still a lot of work to do. "The hard work is implementing actions effectively and living up the partnerships that have formed around UNWOC," she said. Dr Mangubhai said there had been h...

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Fiji to Gazette Marine Managed Areas

(June 10, 2017) Fiji will gazette two large Marine Managed Areas (MMAs) within Fiji’s Vatu-i-Ra Seascape as part of their voluntary commitment towards the United Nations Ocean Conference which is currently underway in New York. Minister for Fisheries and Oceans Champion Semi Koroilavesau confirmed that Fiji is committed to increasing the marine managed areas within Fiji, which also includes the Vatu-i-Ra Seascape. The Ministry is working to designate the Bligh Waters and Central Viti MMAs, spanning an are...

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Decline in export for the past 15 years

Decline in export for the past 15 years
(April 19, 2017) SINCE the peak of sea cucumber trade in 1988 and 1997 there has been a 73 per cent decrease in export for the past 15 years. Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) sea cucumber expert Watisoni Lalavanua said a study by senior research fellow with Southern Cross University Steven Purcell revealed that in 1988 Fiji exported 700 tonnes of sea cucumbers. Mr Lalavanua said in 1977 it exported about 900 tonnes of the marine animal. "Since then the average export for sea cucumber from 1998 to 2012 is 243 ...

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Mud crab fishing halted post-Winston: FLMMA

Mud crab fishing halted post-Winston: FLMMA
(March 19, 2017) ONE of the major reasons why women withheld their participation in Mud Crab fishing was because of the impact Tropical Cyclone Winston had on their environment and lives. This was highlighted by Tarusila Veibi of the Fiji Locally Managed Marine Area (FLMMA) who heads the mud crab fishery in Bua. "For the communities in Bua, it was severe damage for them, especially for the women from the Eastern part of Bua where there was great damage done to the mangroves," Ms Veibi said. "These women were th...

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WCS report reinforces Govt fisheries concerns

(March 01, 2017) THE population of more than 20 important marine species in Fiji have dwindled in recent times owing to exploitation. Minister for Fisheries Semi Koroilavesau told attendees of the Wildlife Conservation Society’s organised Fiji Beche-de-Mer Forum in Suva that new management measures were needed to reverse the dwindling populations of creatures including sea cucumbers. Mr Koroilavesau attributed some of the reduction in fishery stock to the use of Underwater Breathing Apparatus (UBA) which w...

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Study Finds Fiji’s Fishing Communities Struggling In Wake of Cyclone Winston

Study Finds Fiji’s Fishing Communities Struggling In Wake of Cyclone Winston
(October 02, 2016) Survey highlights food security concerns stemming from loss of fishing infrastructure Recommendations include replacement of low-impact fishing gear and government support to coastal villages   Fishing-dependent communities in Fiji experienced decreased food security and loss of livelihoods in the wake of Cyclone Winston, according to a post-disaster survey conducted by the WCS (Wildlife Conservation Society). In addition to severely impacting the lives of 40 percent of Fiji’s ...

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After Winston: Assessing Coral Reefs for Cyclone Damage and Coral Bleaching

After Winston: Assessing Coral Reefs for Cyclone Damage and Coral Bleaching
(May 16, 2016) This is the first in a series of blogs by WCS-Fiji Director Sangeeta Mangubhai assessing the damage to coral reefs caused by Cyclone Winston, a Category 5 storm that hit Fiji on February 20. Click here for more

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WCS-Fiji assists displaced communities following Cyclone Winston

WCS-Fiji assists displaced communities following Cyclone Winston
(March 01, 2016) A team from the Wildlife Conservation Society Fiji country program has taken food, water, clothes and other essential items to assist the Ra Provincial Council to address the need of the communities that were badly affected following Tropical Cyclone Winston last week. The Cyclone caused havoc in the province of Ra, Lomaiviti and Bua with thousands of people in these islands and villages being completely displaced from their homes. 

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Kilaka Forest Conservation Area

Kilaka Forest Conservation Area
(February 25, 2016) WCS has worked with the communities of Kubulau District, Bua Province, for over 10 years and has developed a strong working relationship with the Nadicake mataqali (clan) from Kilaka village that holds land tenure over the Kilaka forest.In 2006, the clan made a commitment to protect the forest on the land parcel over which they hold tenure for at least 10 years. Although not legally binding, this commitment included a promise not to lease the land for logging.

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Safeguarding wildlife in Lomaiviti province

(February 25, 2016) A traditional fisherman, Rusiate Valenitabua instinctively knows the spawning seasons of different marine animals, fishing techniques unique to his village as well as the role that mangroves play in sheltering communities. From the coastal village of Nukui in Rewa, Rusiate Valenitabua now lives in Lomaiviti as the newly appointed provincial conservation officer.  

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Mud crabs – what are they really worth?

Mud crabs – what are they really worth?
(February 25, 2016) Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) and Department of Fisheries staff are partnering up a second time this year to look at seafood supply chains in Fiji. Learning from our experience with the sea cucumbers, we are conducting a series of surveys to understand and map out the mud crab fishery in Bua Province all the way from the fisher to consumer.

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Mud crabs – what are they really worth?

(February 25, 2016) Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) and Department of Fisheries staff are partnering up a second time this year to look at seafood supply chains in Fiji. Learning from our experience with the sea cucumbers, we are conducting a series of surveys to understand and map out the mud crab fishery in Bua Province all the way from the fisher to consumer.

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Safeguarding wildlife in Lomaiviti province

(February 25, 2016) A traditional fisherman, Rusiate Valenitabua instinctively knows the spawning seasons of different marine animals, fishing techniques unique to his village as well as the role that mangroves play in sheltering communities. From the coastal village of Nukui in Rewa, Rusiate Valenitabua now lives in Lomaiviti as the newly appointed provincial conservation officer.

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Kilaka Forest Conservation Area

(February 25, 2016) WCS has worked with the communities of Kubulau District, Bua Province, for over 10 years and has developed a strong working relationship with the Nadicake mataqali (clan) from Kilaka village that holds land tenure over the Kilaka forest.

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