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Community-based refugia management in Fiji

Tawake, Alifereti and Aalbersberg, William G.L. (2002) Community-based refugia management in Fiji. [Professional and Technical Reports]

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Many coastal communities in Fiji depend on the sea particularly on mangrove, seagrass and reef ecosystems, for their livelihood and the use of "tabu" or refuge areas are increasingly being revitalized by resource owners as a tool to sustain local fisheries. One of the main challenges is the limitation in the scientific or appropriate skills to judge their effectiveness, which is traditionally based upon beliefs and casual observations. Through a Biodiversity Conservation Network (BCN) project, people in the Verata district in Fiji have developed skills to help address marine issues. Using participatory techniques,communities determined threats to marine resources and developed a marine resource management plan. Community members were also trained to perform simple biological monitoring techniques to assess the effectiveness of the use of refuge areas. Two target species; mud lobsters (Thallasina anomala) and clams (Anadara sp.) have been monitored. Since the baseline surveys in 1997, there has been a 13-fold increase in clam abundance in the refuge area and a 5-fold increase in the harvest area indicating the success of these interventions. Mud lobster numbers have also increased. Consequently, new refuge areas involving five target species have been set up and monitored by the communities. In collaboration with the government and other NGOs, efforts are also underway to replicate this 'Veratavou model' in other parts of Fiji and to create a learning network of community-managed refuge areas. This will help determine conditions under which the declaration and monitoring of community-managed fishery refugia can be an effective tool in sustaining local fisheries in Fiji.

Item Type: Professional and Technical Reports
Uncontrolled Keywords: marine reserve, marine protected area, no-take, reef fisheries, fishery management, community-based management, customary marine tenure, management effectiveness,Natural System,People & Livelihoods
Subjects: S Agriculture > SH Aquaculture. Fisheries. Angling
Divisions: Faculty of Science, Technology and Environment (FSTE) > Institute of Applied Science
Depositing User: Ms Niumai Kavoa
Date Deposited: 27 Aug 2002 20:33
Last Modified: 27 Aug 2012 20:33

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