Nature at the centre of Fiji's way of life

The islands of Fiji are home to an extraordinary variety of marine habitats and species. Fiji’s rich marine resources are central to its social, cultural and economic life. The islands are attracting an increasing number of tourists and marine resource users from around the world.
Detail of Soft coral, close up.  Fiji is famous throughout the world for spectacularly rich and ... rel=
Detail of Soft coral, close up. Fiji is famous throughout the world for spectacularly rich and vibrant soft coral reefs. Fed by nutrient rich currents, these soft coral gardens are havens and food sources for thousands of species of fish and invertebrates.
© WWF-Canon / Cat HOLLOWAY

Area

Fiji comprises of around 844 high islands, cays and islets, occupying an area of around 1.3 million sq km.

It is an area with high marine biodiversity due to the extent and remoteness of its shallow tropical marine habitats which include:
  • oceanic reefs
  • near-shore fringing reefs
  • mangrove forests
  • seagrass beds
  • lagoons
  • estuaries
  • deep oceanic drop offs
Fiji is also home to the Great Sea Reef, the third longest barrier reef in the world.

Economy

Around 80% of the population live on the coast and rely heavily on marine resources for food, livelihoods and cash income. Marine resources are also used for:
  • minerals
  • pharmaceuticals
  • construction material.
The major sources of economic growth and livelihood are fisheries, the third largest export industry accounting for 1.5% of GDP, and the tourism sector, which accounts for 17% of the GDP.

Over 80% of land is communally owned by indigenous Fijians. This customary tenure system in Fiji enables natural resource owners to have complete control over utilisation of resources within all of the inshore fishing areas or i qoliqoli.

Fijians have an important traditional relationship with the sea, reflected in their lifestyles, customs, traditional knowledge and history.

The Fiji Islands Marine Ecoregion (FIME)

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