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.
As well as new corals starting, coral can overgrow old skeletons, and different corals can overtake a dead area.
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
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:
- 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)
- Traditional Tabu, community agreement, verbal or documented – 82%
- Informal request – 9%
- Legal foreshore lease or licence – 5%
- Legally “Gazetted” (loss of rights) – 4%