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Lagoon degradation and management in Yanuca channel on the Coral Coast of Fiji

Terry, James P. and Kisun, P. and Qareqare, A. and Rajan, Jyotishma (2006) Lagoon degradation and management in Yanuca channel on the Coral Coast of Fiji. The South Pacific Journal of Natural Sciences, 24 (1). pp. 1-10. ISSN 1013-9877

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Yanuca Channel is a narrow marine lagoon separating a low limestone island in Cuvu Bay from the south west Viti Levu mainland in Fiji, known as the “Coral Coast”. Historical air photographs show significant changes in the drainage configuration of the lagoon and local Fijian landowners give accounts of degrading environmental conditions in the lagoon due to sediment infilling. This investigation found several processes were responsible for the aggradation. Large quantities of terrigenous sediments are discharged by streamwaters into the lagoon, as a consequence of the removal of estuarine mangroves and agricultural practices such as burning and grazing in adjacent catchments. A previous outlet into the bay became blocked in the 1980s after inappropriate sand mining and vegetation clearance caused accelerated coastal erosion. The altered lagoon drainage pattern has led to lagoon eutrophication and aggradation. Developed on the island is a large international resort complex; the resort causeway constructed across the lagoon to the island has a significant dam effect, impeding the flow of currents and preventing the periodic scouring of sand from the lagoon floor. Several modern and traditional management options have recently been implemented to improve lagoon conditions, through partnerships between NGOs, traditional landowners and the resort management. These include riparian reforestation and the establishment of marine protected areas to conserve coral reefs.

Item Type: Journal Article
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GB Physical geography
Divisions: Faculty of Science, Technology and Environment (FSTE) > School of Geography, Earth Science and Environment
Pacific Centre for Environment and Sustainable Development (PACE-SD)
Depositing User: Ms Neha Harakh
Date Deposited: 15 Mar 2006 03:20
Last Modified: 18 Jul 2012 07:35

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