Saturday, January 24, 2015

Field Trip to the Aquarium?

Grumpy Puffer
Well, not really an aquarium, but we did see lots of fish and coral - all shapes, sizes, and color.
The elusive Doug Fish

We were invited to join in a tour of the Walt Smith facility here in Fiji and you know us, we can't resist a field trip!
Did we find Nemo?

The facility is in Lautoka on the island of Viti Levu and they farm and ship reef fish and coral to aquariums all over the world.

They also make their own "cultured" rock, which is quite the process.

Lots of color
Per our guide, they have their own divers on staff, plus contract with several villages on different islands.

Pretty bowl of fish
They are teaching the locals how to capture the fish and harvest the coral without harming the environment.

Love the blue starfish
The company has started a reef system 16 miles off the islands so that it remains untouched.

Beautiful coral
They transplant some of the coral that they harvest there hoping to make it self-sustaining (we hear those words a lot!).

It takes so long for coral to grow, can it keep up with how much they are taking off?  Plus, how do they keep the fish from disappearing?

We have seen so many countries selling off their fishing rights to foreigners or convincing the locals that they are only interesting in improving the environments, we are doubtful.
Like the Mangrove Restoration project in Vanua Levu where they are wiping out the mangroves to put in a marina and resort...

So think about that when you are buying stuff for your salt-water aquarium.

Of course, we could be wrong and this company is good for Fiji - really hope so.

All in all, it was a very interesting field trip - glad we went!

1 comment:

Jackie @travelnwrite said...

Such a fun post! We are back at KoOlina and always think of you two when we head to Chuck's for Happy Hour. Keep hoping that you will be here sometime!!