In December 2012, Fiji was in the path of destructive Tropical Cyclone Evan. Rumoured to be one of the worst storms to come to Fiji in nearly 20 years, TC Evan was a category 4 cyclone by the time he reached us.
Weather reports were warning of 30ft or higher swells to pass through the Bligh Waters and through the passage between Viti Levu and Vanua Levu. Wananavu and the Rakiraki area were saved by an amazing natural break water in the form of Cakau Batidra and Vatu Laca reef systems.
While it protected the local coastal villages, these reefs systems are also home to some beautiful dive sites. Dramatic structures in the reef provide divers with a never ending maze of twists and turns, alley ways lined with soft corals and large gorgonian fans. Reef tops a mass of colour from anthias and other reef fish which gain shelter and protection from hunting trevally among the large branching corals.
Dive Wananavu has decided that we would like to be able to create a reef monitoring program, to see how the reef reacts to TC Evans effects. While we do not have a base line from before, we are setting up transect areas to monitor new growth of corals and gain an insite into fish populations. To gain an idea of what happens as these reef systems recover.
Divemaster candidates Monty and Jamie have previously spent three months learning reef and fish monitoring systems with Global Vision International (GVI) in the Yasawa islands and are helping to set up our transect areas and train our divemasters in surveying techniques.