Branching and Table corals can grow 5 – 10 cm per year. Boulder corals 1 – 2 cm per year.

In Fiji, corals spawn in October and November, tiny new colonies are usually first visible by about April or May.

Coral Regrowth in Fiji
Branching and Table corals can grow 5 – 10 cm per year.

As well as new corals starting, coral can overgrow old skeletons, and different corals can overtake a dead area.

Acropora table coral re-grows over an old reef skeleton – Vatu-i-Ra Passage
Sinularia soft coral colonising old hard coral habitat – Honeymoon Island, Taveuni

Mass stress events affecting corals in Fiji

In Fiji, coral has recovered from mass stress events within 5 years; after cyclones, sometimes only 2 years

In Fiji, coral has recovered from mass stress events within 5 years;

Stress events affecting corals

  • 2000 – 2002 Mass bleaching (high temperatures)
  • 2005 – 2006 Large Crown of Thorns outbreak (coral eating starfish)
  • 2009 Storms and flooding of Nadi area
  • 2012 Cyclone Evan

Fiji’s average coral cover = 40 – 45% (Pacific in general 25%)


One way tourism is already to contributing to coral reef protection can be seen in the 2018 report on marine protected areas formed by tourism operators in Fiji:

Contribution of Marine Conservation Agreements to Biodiversity Protection, Fisheries Management and Sustainable Financing in Fiji

  •  of 81 operations, almost 70% already have protected Tabu Areas
  • 2 largest ones are Vatu-i-Ra and Namena, primarily dive tourism
  • others are mostly resort fronts and special attractions (Mantas, Sharks, Dolphins)

Types

  • Traditional Tabu, community agreement, verbal or documented – 82%
  • Informal request – 9%
  • Legal foreshore lease or licence – 5%
  • Legally “Gazetted” (loss of rights) – 4%
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