South Pacific Projects research has been designed to specifically benefit the Fijian communities that we work in partnership with. Please see our objectives here to discover more about our aims in Fiji. Our main goal is this: to empower local communities to establish Marine Protected Areas for sustainable fisheries and biodiversity conservation. Our highly experienced project partners have assisted us in designing a volunteer training program and species list that helps us achiev this goal via our underwater surveys.
Our previous volunteers have already conducted a comprehensive baseline assesment of the coral reefs and marine resources around the project site. Phase two is now underway to pinpoint which of these reef systems may be ideal to have declared Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) by the local community who hold the traditioanl fishing rights to this area.
When the villages of Bau Island have reached their decision about where they would like their first MPA to be placed, South Pacific Projects, with funding assistance from the London Aquarium, will help with training and ongoing monitoring of the MPA. In addition to helping to establish MPAs, our volunteers may asklo be asked to help the Fisheries Department to carry out Resource Inventories for other villages in our area.
Soon after your arrival and acclimatisation at the South Pacific Projects field site, volunteers begin an intensive scientific training programme, working closely with our highly qualified and experienced Field Science team. We use a multi-faceted approach in order that volunteers will always find a way of learning that suits their needs. Apart from anything else, having a beautiful house reef right off the island beach as your classroom is a bonus when learning about marine eco-systems!
The training period generally lasts between two and two and a half weeks. During this time, you will be tested on species identification in order that we are confident that you will provide accurate data during your survey dives. The South Pacific Projects six week expedition cycle is tailored to ensure that volunteers are given enough time to complete the SCUBA and science training, whilst having an exciting and adventurous experience that results in genuine conservation.