Most people come here to surf, we came to learn about the ways this resort is helping the environment and looking after their reef, and then surf.
Their reef area has been a Marine protected area for about 8 years now, and in that time the reef has been restored to full health!
They have a clam project here in connection with the Ministry of Fisheries project at Makogai island.
World renowned surfer, Kelly Slater, was part of the team working with Ministry of Fisheries to bring baby clams to Tavarua. He has been coming to Fiji for over 20 years to surf the amazing breaks like Cloudbreak at Tavarua, his love for this beautiful place sparked his desire to help the environment. It’s great to see government, resorts and citizens working together to help save the environment!
This project has been trial and error for both Makogai, Tavarua and the Ministry of Fisheries and after many collaborations, discussions and sharing of ideas and information this team work has helped make the project the success it is today.
Baby clams are brought to Tavarua from Makogai, they are kept in tanks where conditions are carefully controlled. Water temperature is checked twice a day to make sure there are no fluctuations.
Water is cleaned out regularly and the tank is cleaned and the clams are brushed to prevent algae from forming on them.
There are also fish in the tank to eat algae. The clams are inspected often to make sure white snails don’t eat the clams.
From the tank the baby clams goes to a cage in ocean to continue growing until they big enough to be transferred to the reef. This cage is for their protection because octopus are the biggest predator to a small clam.
Security patrols all night to protect reef from poachers, fishing etc. If anyone is caught fishing or poaching these clams they can be jailed.
Interesting clam facts:
- Clams can live to 100 years and weigh 200 kg.
- Clams help improve the health of a reef by cleaning the water and removing impurities.
- Clams also help to keep the population of the crown of thorns sea star under control.
Tavarua also has reef friendly sunscreen for everyone to use before going into the water, the effects of the chemicals in sunscreen on the health of coral reefs are being realised and Tavarua a want to protect their beautiful reef as much as they can.
Tavarua also educates guests about the correct snorkel practices to ensure the reef is protected and not harmed by accident.
They also have a water refill station to discourage the use of single use plastic bottles. And they inform guests about turtles nesting in the area so guests are cautious and aware of how to take the utmost care and not disturb nests.
I also tried to do a cleanup on Tavarua Island as I have done at every location, but to my excitement I didn’t have to cleanup, so well done to Tavarua staff for making sure their island stays a clean paradise!!
We had a great day learning about all the environmental work Tavarua is doing, so now it was time to enjoy the surf! As a Durbanite I should be able to surf but it was only in Fiji that Atu and Megan helped me learn to surf in the smaller than ankle biter waves at Natandola beach so I wasn’t brave enough to surf in the awesome waves at Tavarua.
After a great day of working and playing we can conclude that the work that Tavarua, Makogai and Ministry of Fisheries are doing for their environment is a great example to other resorts, governments and people everywhere, that if we work together we can make the positive change to help save the oceans and the world.