Tadrai Island Resort, the Mamanucas newest super de-luxe Resort development, has shown it takes sustainability seriously and is upholding the local custom and tradition by implementing The current Fijian “tabu”, or prohibition against fishing the reefs around Mana island.
“While Tadrai makes the most of the delicious seafood available it’s not at the expense the environment. We want Guests to experience the bounty of our unspoiled reefs first hand – not just on their plate,” says the Tadrai Island Resort’s Australian born Resort Manager, Simon Beckett.
“The exclusion area is well sign posted and is energetically monitored by local villagers who have already reported the return to habitat of some fish species not seen in decades, including snappers, groupers, sweetlips and emperors and especially Jordan tuskfish.” He continues.
Although the ancient tradition of tabu is normally observed as a mark of respect following the death of a Chief, government and local authorities have cleverly adapted the practice to benefit modern marine conservation programmes.
The regulation covers the area around the entire foreshore of ManaIslandfrom the high water mark to the edge of the reef and was initiated by the mataqali and approved by the Turaga Tui Lawa, Ratu Sevanaia Lalabalavu. The “tabu” has been in place since June 2010 and is to remain in force for a further three years.
Traditionally, the tabu lasted for a period of 100 days – to allow sufficient time for fish stocks to replenish in readiness for the ritual “One Hundred Nights” Feast.
Modern Resort developments, in partnership with government and stakeholders, are at the forefront in recognising the importance of conserving vulnerable and endangered habitats. The Mamanuca Environmental Society (MES) leads this conservation and is a non-profit, non-governmental organisation with objectives initiated by its members to address environmental issues specific to the region.
The Mana tabu on the other hand, demonstrates what can be achieved at the all-important grass-roots level. The initiative capitalises on the link between traditional values and environmental aspirations, and derives maximum value from community support. Perhaps best of all – the overall effect is educative, sustainable – and cost effective.
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