Read the complete 2008 Annual Report
In 2008, Pacific Blue Foundation’s work was geared toward empowering the local Fijians on Yanuca Island. Villagers were encouraged to provide input, take part in surveys, and govern with a new system, while still upholding their tradition.
Pacific Blue Foundation collaborated with Partners in Community Development Fiji (PCDF) for three days on Yanuca Island, teaching the community how to plant corals and sustain the coral reef environments. Local fish wardens then worked with Pacific Blue Foundation to help PCDF complete an annual reef survey in their traditional fishing area. The fish wardens dove and counted underwater sea life, allowing them to take an active part in maintaining their local marine environment, while also gaining an understanding of how sensitive the coastal ecology can be to small changes.
With increased awareness, villagers began to grow concerned about their fisheries and the impacts of overharvesting. Pacific Blue Foundation met with local fish wardens on Yanuca Island to discuss ways to protect their fisheries. The villagers determined that patrolling the marine protected areas would discourage poachers from fishing in tabu sites at night.
The ability to make effective decisions that benefit the community is instrumental in enabling the village to manage their resources. Pacific Blue Foundation, therefore, introduced the concept of governing the community by way of a trust deed to Yanuca Island’s chief and elders. The trustees would be elected based on their traditional status in the village and their capacity to govern as required by British law and the Fijian government. Pacific Blue hoped that this method of governing would allow the village to make decisions efficiently in a communal manner, giving voice to the entire community, while still maintaining tradition.