7 Eye Popping Marine Reefs and Sanctuaries


Fiji Marine Reefs and Sanctuaries...

Waitabu Marine Park 

Taveuni Official WebsiteGoogle Maps View

Waitabu Marine Park
(Waitabu Marine Park, 2022)

Covering over 27 hectares, the Waitabu Marine Park preserves a wide variety of wildlife. From the dense forest of the Island of Taveuni to the coral reefs of Waitabu, you will see an extremely wide range of native species. (Raiwasa, 2022)  In 1998 on the eastern side of Taveuni, the village of Waitabu in partnership with NZAID declared its fishing grounds as a no-take fishing zone and marine park. over the following years, the Waitabu community has become very proud of and passionate to demonstrate the high success of the park.   The crystal clear waters brimming with marine life (Surgeon fish, Parrotfish), and the vibrant coral reef is a kaleidoscope of colors.  This truly complements the garden islands of Fiji.

Waitabu MPA map poster scaled

Na Tabu’ Marine Reserve

Mamanuca IslandsGoogle Maps View

Marine Park at Likuliku Lagoon Resort
Marine Park at (Likuliku Resort Fiji, 2020)

On the 19th of July 2005, the Paramount Chief of the Mamanuca Islands, Na TuiLawa, declared the waters and reefs in front of Likuliku Lagoon and Malolo Resort as a new marine reserve. The marine reserve is an environmental initiative of Malolo Island in partnership with the traditional owners to improve the fish stocks and allow the natural regeneration of reef and marine life as part of responsible and sustainable tourism.  (Likuliku Lagoon Fijian Resort, 2020)

Shark Reef Marine Reserve

Beqa Lagoon – Google Maps ViewVideo Playlist

Shark Reef Marine Reserve
Shark Reef Marine Reserve (Beqa Adventure Divers, 2020)

Shark Reef Marine reserve was first established in 2004, formed by a local dive operation and the local communites who traditionally own the rights to the reef.  They are the Wainiyabia and Galoa villages.  The Shark Reef project was set up with 2 main aims:

  1. The short-term aim is the protection of the reef and its inhabitants as a whole ecosystem and;
  2. The longer-term aim is to develop the area to allow the locals to make an equal or greater income from protecting the reef than they once earned by depleting its resources. (DW, 2018)

The reserve is populated by eight different shark species: Whitetip Reef Sharks, Tawny Nurse Sharks, Blacktip Reef Sharks, Silvertip Sharks, Grey Reef Sharks, Sicklefin Lemon Sharks, Bull Sharks, and the Tiger Sharks

Naiqoro Passage Marine Sanctuary

KadavuGoogle Map ViewVideo Playlist

Naiqoro Passage Marine Sanctuary on the Great Astrolabe Reef
The Great Astrolabe Reef (Kokomo Island Resort, 2021)

The Great Astrolabe Reef system one of the largest barrier reefs in the world is located along the southern side of the Kadavu Archipelago of islands, and arcs north around Ono island and further north to Buliya island, an unspoiled location famous for its manta ray snorkeling.  The reef was named by French explorer Dumont d’Urville after he nearly lost his ship, the Astrolabe, to this reef in 1827 (PCRF, 2005).  The reef is a breeding ground for many large billfish (marlin) species, sharks, tuna, giant trevally, mahi-mahi (dolphinfish), and snapper, due to it having many channels leading from extremely deep water into shallow lagoons (Ganilau, Bernadette Rounds 2007).

The Naiqoro Passage one of the main passages and thoroughfares for large fish has been protected, from all commercial fishing, and was designated a marine sanctuary in 2018.

Vatu-I-Ra Seascape

Bligh Waters – Official WebsiteGoogle Map ViewVideo Playlist

Vatu I Ra Seascape Hilltop, Fiji Islands
Vatu I Ra Seascape Hilltop (Vatu-i-Ra Conservation Park, 2021)

Stretching across the channel that links Fiji’s two main islands (Viti Levu and Vanua Levu) is a blue-green jewel of forest and reef. Called Vatu-i-Ra, its vibrant seas are laced with coral reefs, masses of colorful reef fish, and sea turtles, while the adjoining landscape of coastal forests is alive with crested iguanas, tree frogs, and sea birds. (Wildlife Conservation Society, 2009).  The currents generated from squeezing the sea through narrow channels down to 700 meters support an astounding diversity of life. The seamounts and pinnacles are a haven for divers, who travel from all over the world to see the spectacular colors and sights of the Vatu-i-Ra Seascape., attracting approximately 40.000 tourists per year.

Vati-i-ra Conservation Park is constructed of a network of community-managed marine areas (including Namena), making the park the nation’s largest ‘no take’ reserve where fishing is prohibited. Speaking to the people of the Nakorotubu community in the Ra Province, the Wild­life Conservation Society Director Ms. Mangubhai said the ‘Vatu-i-Ra Conservation Park together with the Namena Marine Reserve in Vanua Levu makes up 21,000 hectares of the total 27,000 hectares of Fiji Conservation Parks'(Coastal lands and seas) supporting 116 000 peoples livelihoods, with the Permanent Secretary for iTaukei Affairs Mr. Katonitabua further stating that; “The Government, through the National Green Growth Framework for Fiji and the five years and 20-year National Development Plan is committed to this vision,”  (Komaisavai, 2018).

The joint partnership with the different provinces (Bua, Lomaiviti, Ra, and Tailevu) and the social institutions (the national government, provincial offices, private sector, non-government organizations, and research institutes), support and empowers the people, protecting their natural resources for them and future generations.  Only recently ten fish wardens and a patrol boat were introduced to help monitor and safeguard this national treasure.

Vatu I Ra Seascape Map
(Vatu-i-ra Landseascape Map, 2009)
Common namesTypeScientific namesFijian NameNumbers
Pisonia grandisVegetation
Littoral trees and bushesVegetation
Hawksbill turtlesReptilesEretmochelys imbricata
Pygmy snake-eyed skinkReptilesCryptoblecephalus eximius
Black noddyBirds Anous tenuirostrisGogo
Red-footed boobyBirdsSula sula ToroYava damu600 Individuals
Lesser frigatebirdBirdsFregata arielManumanunicagi500 Individuals
Brown noddyBirdsAnous stolidusGogo80 Individuals
Black-naped ternBirdsSterna sumatranaEreqia115 Individuals
Bridled ternBirdsOnychoprion anaethetusYaraqia500 Individuals
Brown BoobyBirdsSula leucogasterToro150 Individuals
Greater Crested ternBirdsThalasseus bergii IcoIdre250 Breeding pairs
White-tailed tropicbirdBirdsPhaethon lepturusLawedua 1 Breeding pairs
Numbers are derived from the maximum count over a 10-year period (2005–2015) by BirdLife International.

Namena Marine Reserve

SavusavuOfficial WebsiteGoogle Maps ViewVideo Playlist

Namena dive Site, Savusavu, Fiji Islands
Namena dive Site ( Jean-Michel Cousteau Resort Fiji, 2022)

The Namena Marine Reserve, located between the principal islands of Viti Levu and Vanua Levu, is part of the traditional fishing grounds, or “Qoliqoli,” of the Kubulau Community. This community had the foresight some years ago to better manage and conserve its natural marine resources. They sought to not only to protect their fisheries from over-exploitation due to poaching and poor management but also to develop the tourism sector as a means of providing sustainable livelihoods and benefits to the community  (The Namena Marine Reserve, 2021).

  • The Namena Marine Reserve is home to more than 1,000 species of invertebrates, 400 known corals, 445 documented marine plants, and over 1,100 fish species.
  • Namena is a migratory pathway for cetaceans; you may encounter species such as bottlenose and spinner dolphins, or pilot, minke, sperm, and humpback whales.
  • Four of the world’s seven sea turtle species can be found in Fiji, and both green and hawksbill sea turtles regularly nest on Namena’s beaches.
  • Namena Island is a primary seabird nesting site, with approximately 600 pairs of protected red-footed booby birds.
  • There are 3 different types of sea snakes and numerous land snakes on the islands.
Common namesScientific names
Blue Ribbon EelRhinomuraena quaesita
Sphyraena sp.
Tiger SharksGaleoserdo cuvier
Hawksbill Sea TurtleEretmochelys imbricata

The Great Sea Reef – (Cakaulevu Reef)

Vanua LevuGoogle Maps ViewVideo Playlist

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