The best way to ensure sustainability in conservation is to replicate and adapt other successful projects in the region.

PBF staff Elle Brighton went up to Waitabu village in Taveuni to help Helen Sykes of Marine Ecology Consulting conduct their annual reef surveys and community training.

Waitabu Marine Park has had a hugely successful locally-managed Marine Protected Area (MPA) since 1998, which was created both to restore the in-shore coral-reef resources that were heavily damaged by overfishing, and provide a source of income through eco-tourism snorkel tours.

It is truly amazing to see the commitment of the community to sustaining this amazing initiative, the reefs in the MPA are back to their natural state which highlights shifting baselines as PBF were absolutely amazed to see Surgeonfish the size of dinner plates and schooling Red Snapper just 50m from shore.

Certain monitoring techniques are hoped to be implemented into Beqa, particularly rapid stock assessments using manta tows and the engagement of community youth and interpretive presentation of results by the community members themselves.

Vinaka vaka levu to the community of Waitabu for an incredible week and hopefully your good work will continue around Fiji!

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