Photographic Expedition to Uncover Jewel of the South Seas
Wildlife and nature photographer Jurgen Freund and his wife Stella have been commissioned by WWF South Pacific to photograph the wild beauty of the GSR from Bua to the Yasawas, its rich biodiversity and the lives that depend on it.
The photojournalistic expedition will commence on March 25 to finish about a month later on April 28.
A vast, majestic and colorful nursery, the GSR is home to thousands of whales, dolphins, tuna, reef fish, rays, sharks and turtles.
“It’s a true Eden of the seas, supporting a spectacular diversity of fish and coral species representing 74 percent of coral species and a predicted 80 percent of reef fishes found in Fiji,” said Patricia Mallam, Communications Manager WWF South Pacific.
“The GSR is one of WWF’s priority ecosystems for marine conservation and this expedition will take people on a journey into the Macuata Province and the GSR, to discover wildlife, the people and how they are connected, the threats and challenges they face and how they can be overcome.
“Apart from documenting WWF’s work on the ground through stories and pictures, the aim of this expedition is to put the GSR on the map and into people’s hearts and minds,” Mallam said.
“This is an area of global significance, something that all Fijians can be proud of and help support conservation efforts to protect it.
“The cultures, traditions and livelihoods of thousands of people, local economies are linked to this important reef system and that needs to be highlighted to engender more support for its protection.”
The GSR or Cakaulevu stretches some 200 kilometers from the north eastern tip of Udu point in Macuata province to Bua province at the north west end of Vanua Levu, across the Vatu-i-ra passage, and hugs the coastlines of Ba and Ra province into the Yasawas.
WWF South Pacific focuses on one third of the reef complex, the portion that runs parallel to the Vanua Levu coastline and covers the qoliqoli of the four districts of Dreketi, Macuata, Sasa and Mali.
The stories and pictures will be used globally to create more awareness about the reef system.
The expedition is funded by WWF Austria.