Community Based Management
Throughout much of the Pacific, traditional fisheries management practices have been used for many centuries.
One of these practices includes the establishment of a tabu (tamboo) area; an area of reef in which all fishing is prohibited.
These tabu areas were traditionally put in place for 100 nights after the death of a prominent chief or village leader.
After this period, the tabu was lifted and the then abundant fish were harvested for a feast to celebrate the passing of such a senior member of the community.
In contemporary Fiji there is increasing pressure reef n the inshore fisheries resources with dwindling catches and fish sizes reported all over.
In response to this, back in the mid 1990s, a community in Verata, Tailevu, on Fijis main island of Viti Levu worked together with government and non-government partners to reinvigorate the traditional practice of tabu.
The results were outstanding and the news support spread rapidly amongst other communities.
Fiji Locally Managed Area (FLMMA) network
There are now over 400 villages around Fiji working with government and nongovernment organization partners under the umbrella of the Fiji Locally Managed Area (FLMMA) network.
These villages all have one or more tabu areas within their traditional fishing ground of iQoliqoli and manage this together with other restrictions on what can be caught, when and how.
The Namena Marine Reserve is an excellent example of this.
The coverage of these Locally Managed Marine Areas is widespread; chances are that if you are on a reef area in Fiji you are within a managed area.
When you present your sevusevu to a village, they will inform you of any tabu that is in place within their iQoliqoli and of which you need to be aware.
Though the costs of continued community partners to reinvigorate the traditional practice of management are minimal they are not nill. You can read about the work of FLMMA and the wider LMMA network online.