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Fiji

Yasawa Hub Achievement Report January 2013

GVI Funded Fish Warden, Marine Awareness and Resource Management Training Workshop

Global Vision International (GVI) Fijis Marine Research and Conservation Project aims to conduct research that will facilitate long term benefits to the local communities of the Yasawas and help guarantee food security for future generations. The program is designed to empower communities by providing education and assistance in the facilitation of locally managed marine protected areas (MPAs)/ tabu areas.

GVIs Marine Science team decided to coordinate a Fish Warden, Marine Awareness and Resource Management Training Workshop after completing intial awareness evenings in Enendala, Malakati, Matacawalevu, Matayalevu, Nacula, Naisisili, Navatua, and Vuaki villages. Previous and existing marine management plans had been discussed with these communities in order to see what had been achieved and what had failed over the last seven years. The principles of marine management where explained to refresh and inspire community involvement. Communities identified poaching within tabu areas as a major problem in the Tikina Nacula. Each of the aforementioned villages asked for GVIs assistance in reforming or creating a marine management plan. Cathedral Reef is a dive site in the centre of The Yasawa Group, where two dive operations run a shark feeding dive. There are sightings of up to 9 shark species. Local dive operators requested the assistance of GVI after reporting the presence of commercial fishing vessels in the area. Working in conjunction with the support of the local community and dive operators, GVI proposed training local resort dive instructors, divemasters and boat drivers as fish wardens so that such reefs could be policed. By retaining traditional ownership of local reefs it is hoped these area will be protected and managed by relevant local communities. Previously Cathedral Reef had been requested to become a tabu area (no-take zone), however this was not respected and enforcement was poor. GVI collected letters of support from village headmen within the Tikina Nacula and the required 50% of village signatures supporting the reinvigoration of this tabu area. Tui Drola, Ratu Apeli (The Yasawan high chief) agreed to fully support the declaration of the proposed tabu area at Cathedral Reef. In order to formalise the awareness and decisions of the communities with regards to the above issues the Fish Warden Training workshop was designed to empower communities with further training to help them monitor and manage their marine assets and ultimately their food security. GVI approached the Fiji Ministry of Fisheries and Forests and an agreement was made to collaborate to create an informative training session for the district. GVI agreed to fund all aspects of the workshop and arranged for the transport and accommodation of all relevant stakeholders and trainers from the Ministry of Fisheries. Fish Warden, Marine Awareness and Resource Management Training Workshop

November 26th-29th 2012, Nacula Village Goals To train community members from each village in the Tikina Nacula, local resort boat drivers and divemasters to act as Fish Wardens. To improve and maintain a healthy marine environment for the people of the Tikina of Nacula by developing a marine resource management plan that will ensure protection of their marine resources Objectives Community members will be able to learn about the consequences of some of their existing destructive fishing methods and discuss measures to drastically reduce them Participants will be able to increase their knowledge in sustainable fishing methods and wise use of their resources Community participants will be able to participate and provide input into the development of their marine resource management plan Participants will be able to gain new knowledge and skills in the various processes of developing a management plan Workshop Topics Fish warden training for wardens in each village in the Tikina Nacula and local resort boat drivers, dive instructors and divemasters certified with government issued licences A review of environmental and marine awareness with the aim of teaching the key concepts in marine conservation and environmental good practice. A review of PCDFs 2006, Marine Management Plan for the Tikina Nacula. Marine resource management training for the community with the goal of initiating a village Tikina Nacula Yabula (environment) Management Support Team. Achievements 28 Fish Wardens were trained for the Tikina Nacula, including the first female Fish Warden for the District. Marine and environmental community awareness lectures were well received. PCDFs 2006 Marine Management and development Plan for each village was revised and updated through discussions with local stakeholders. A review of destructive and sustainable fishing techniques. Each village agreed to reinforce, reform or create new tabu areas. The formation of The Tikina Nacula Yabula Management Support Team. Publication in the Fiji Sun National Newspaper describing success and scale of the workshop Full funding of all workshop related transport, accommodation, food, and materials by GVI Fiji In an excerpt from the final report on the five day workshop written by Eloni Takali of the Fiji Ministry of Fisheries and Forests, Mr Takali concludes: The training workshop was a success as we were able to properly train the 30 fish wardens, put in place a new Management Plan and [initiate the] formation of the Nacula MST committee. We are thankful indeed to the Global Vision International for the great work in initiating, funding and coordinating this training workshop.

Figure 2 - Community Marine Management Plan workgroup

Figure 1- GVI Environmental Consultant, Esava Bainivalu congratulates new fish warden

Figure 3- GVI Marine Science Coordinator, Candice Brittain prepares training presentation

Figure 4- Taione Delai (GVI Marine Research Officer) delivering awareness workshop (photo provided by Fiji Ministry of Fisheries and Forests)

Figure 5 - Candidates receive certification for training