A MARINE park in Waitabu, Taveuni, has recorded a significant increase in fish and marine species.
The development comes after the communities of Waitabu, Lavena, Wai, Vurevure and Bouma expressed interest in finding out how the new, seven-month-old tabu tara area directly outside their villages was affecting fish numbers and coral growth.
A group of dedicated marine lovers came together to take part in their annual marine survey.
Host and Island Spirit director Kirsty Barnby said more marine species were sighted compared to last year's survey.
For beche-de-mer (sea cucumber), she said a healthy increase from 107 to 176 were recorded in the tabu tara area this year.
"Baby beche-de-mer are breeding in the tabu tara area and as a result, juveniles are being seen in the tabu tara for the first time — 156 were recorded in the tabu tara area," Ms Barnby said.
For the first time, she said levels of coral have increased and seaweed levels were decreasing in the tabu tara area.
"Due to the increase in coral, 300 ika loa lailai (small surgeon fish) were noted in the tabu tara.
"They feed on seaweed which in turn aids coral growth," Ms Barnby said.
Full article here: Marine life increases - Fiji Times Online