26 Nov 2010

Fiji mangrove losses pose financial threat

2:41 pm on 26 November 2010

Fiji stands to lose 17 million US dollars a year if it doesn't look after its mangroves.

According to the Fiji Times, a report commissioned by the World Wildlife Fund says over 60 per cent of Fiji's commercially important fish and 83 per cent of subsistence fish species depend on mangrove areas for some phase of their life cycle.

The report says the value of mangrove associated fisheries products harvested commercially and for subsistence consumption is in the vicinity of 17 million dollars.

But small scale developments and major mangrove reclamation in Fiji have continued to result in the loss of mangroves.

The WWF report found the processing of engaging communities in managing their mangrove resources was not working well in the Pacific and that the project donor funding process was fundamentally flawed.

It says the mangroves of Rewa delta were listed as needing urgent consideration for bio diversity conservation while the mangroves of the Ba and Labasa deltas required urgent consideration in terms of their hydrological functions.