Coral reefs and mangroves are vital ecosystems for the replenishment of major fisheries in our country and region. However its decline due to natural and human disasters have threaten the surival of species that live within and between these interface.
MANGROVE AND REEF ECOSYSTEM OF FIJI
In Fiji, mangroves plays a significant role in our culture. Our ancestors have been drawing goods and using services form these ecosystems for years until today. Mangroves have been proven to be a vital ecosystem for a variety of marine species like Sponges, tube worms, oysters, barnacles, Littoria spp, limpets, Neritid snails, Juvenile sharks and other predatory fish species. Not only is it important ecologically, people in our community exploit mangroves for food, firewood, building materials, medicinal purposes and many more. Its continous removal due land reclaimation for development, and ones own need makes our shore vulnerable to natural disasters like tsunami, hurricanes that might generate strong waves. Most importantly the loss of these basis ecosystems disturbs the flow of energy and disturbs the diversity and abundance of marine species subjected to these sites.
Mangrove patch in Vanua-Levu Fiji Islands.
Coral reef patches within the inshore areaa of Navakavu, Fiji Islands
Coral reefs on the other hand is vital for fishery replenishment. Coming from an Island nation where theres very little land mass but instead surrounded by ocean, the preservation of such ecosystem such as coral reefs is vital to keep a continous supply of marine resources for our local people. In Fiji, coral reef ecosystem has been disturbed with overexploitation and the ue of inappropriate and harmful fishing methods. Along with this issues stands development along coastlines like tourism which is drastically affecting these pristine eocsystems. This poses a threat tto the relenishment and and diversity of marine species as trophic level for energy flow is not balance but being disturbed by removal of certain species in an increasing rate or the disturbance of preferable habitats.
Recognition of these ecosystems and its importance is critical for future uses. Thus, education and awareness programs for its preservation and measures of resiliency is vital to know if they are providing enough for neighboring species and establishing a a healthy interactions within and between the two interfaces.