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Blue Prosperity Fiji Ocean Science Expedition Surveys Vanua Levu, Great Sea Reef, and Vatu-i-Ra

Updated: Jun 28, 2023


Arthur Sokimi, Blue Prosperity Fiji Country Manager, takes 3-D images of the reef on the nation-wide Ocean Science Expedition


Suva, Fiji - The Blue Prosperity Fiji programme has completed the first phase of a three-part Ocean Science Expedition. This effort will be the first nation-wide assessment of Fiji’s marine resources and ecosystems, collecting information about coral reef health, fish and invertebrate populations and water quality.


“The Ocean Science Expedition will provide a better understanding of the status of our ocean so that we can all make informed decisions about the best ways to manage, protect, and sustainably use Fiji's ocean,” said Mrs. Atelaite Rokosuka, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Fisheries.


This effort is led by the Government of Fiji, guided by the Ministry of Fisheries, and the Ministry of iTaukei Affairs, with participation from the University of the South Pacific (USP), World Wildlife Fund (WWF), International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), Conservation International (CI), Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), the Pacific Blue Foundation, and the Waitt Institute. Divers are conducting underwater surveys across Fiji, taking part in three phases. In the first phase, the expedition surveyed 95 sites in the areas of Viti Levu, Northeast Great Sea Reef, West Vatu-i-Ra, and Kadavu.



Dive sites for phase one of the Blue Prosperity Fiji Ocean Science Expedition


“Collaboration is a vital part of the success of this program and research. This effort builds upon extensive local knowledge from communities as well as research and monitoring efforts from the Government, qoliqoli owners, NGOs, local scientists, and individuals. We must all work together to better understand and take care of our ocean.” said Arthur Sokimi, Country Manager for the Blue Prosperity Fiji programme.


At each of the study sites, scientists dive underwater to gather information about nearshore ecosystems. Divers record the types and number of reef fish and invertebrates, and capture photographs of the ocean floor, and use cutting-edge 'photomosaic' technology to create three-dimensional images of coral reefs. Together, this data collection will help provide a holistic understanding of the status of Fiji’s marine environment and its rich biodiversity. During phase one, the team conducted 589 dives at 95 sites, counting 122,970 fish and observing 341 different marine species.


Ahead of the expedition, the Ministry of iTaukei Affairs, Ministry of Fisheries and Blue Prosperity Fiji team visited over 100 communities to consult and ask permission from qoliqoli owners for divers to enter their waters. Once the expedition is complete and data has been analyzed, the research conducted will be made publicly available so that communities can better understand their ocean resources.


Over the coming months, the expedition will continue underwater surveys across Fiji. Learn more at blueprosperityfiji.org and follow the programme’s Facebook and Instagram @blueprosperityfiji for updates.



Blue Prosperity Fiji

Blue Prosperity Fiji is a programme to support a healthy ocean, thriving communities, and prosperous economies in Fiji. The programme will focus on protecting ocean habitats while supporting ocean industries and sustainable fisheries. Led by the Government of Fiji, the Blue Prosperity Fiji programme will incorporate community consultations, scientific research, and traditional knowledge to sustainably manage Fiji's ocean.


Media Inquiries:

Ellen Spooner

Blue Prosperity Fiji Media and Strategic Communications Manager

+1(520) 429-5828


Arthur Sokimi

Blue Prosperity Fiji Country Manager

+679 (732) 7333


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