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Protection of Groupers and Coral Trouts Spawning Aggregation Sites across Fijian Reef Systems
by Fiji (Ministry of Fisheries, Government of Fiji) (Government)
Fiji and Fijians have a long and close relationship with the sea for food, livelihoods, including tourism, and cultural tradition. Our coastal (or inshore), fisheries resources, in particular, are important to Fijian communities , but yet are facing increasing pressures from both domestic and international markets. Among the most desirable and, hence, valuable of the fish resources are the groupers (Family: Epinephelidae). Groupers are very vulnerable to overfishing because of their biology and, in particular, their predictable annual spawning (breeding) aggregation behavior. These reef fish species are urgently in need of special attention if these valuable grouper resources are to be sustained; and this fisheries are not well documented and, being unmanaged, are clearly declining. This problem has intensified with the development of international markets for chilled grouper.

Fiji seeks to sustainably manage its grouper resources by monitoring these fisheries, protecting spawning aggregations sites, as well as applying seasonal and spatial management measures, and by prioritizing domestic needs over international trade.
Progress reports
By 2020, sustainably manage and protect marine and coastal ecosystems to avoid significant adverse impacts, including by strengthening their resilience, and take action for their restoration in order to achieve healthy and productive oceans
Type of commitment
  • Community or Locally Managed Marine Areas
  • Marine Spatial Planning
  • Ecosystem-based Adaptation
By 2020, effectively regulate harvesting and end overfishing, illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing and destructive fishing practices and implement science-based management plans, in order to restore fish stocks in the shortest time feasible, at least to levels that can produce maximum sustainable yield as determined by their biological characteristics
Type of commitment
  • Compliance, monitoring and enforcement
  • Reduction and elimination fishing practices and gear that destroy/degrade marine habitat
  • Science-based fisheries management plans
  • Ecosystem approach to fisheries (EAF)
Increase scientific knowledge, develop research capacity and transfer marine technology, taking into account the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission Criteria and Guidelines on the Transfer of Marine Technology, in order to improve ocean health and to enhance the contribution of marine biodiversity to the development of developing countries, in particular small island developing States and least developed countries
Type of commitment
  • Scientific, socioeconomic and interdisciplinary research
  • Research capacity development
  • Data access and sharing
  • Training and professional development
Provide access for small-scale artisanal fishers to marine resources and markets
Type of commitment
  • Transfer of fishing technology
  • Access to coastal fishing grounds
  • Community empowerment for fisheries management
Enhance the conservation and sustainable use of oceans and their resources by implementing international law as reflected in UNCLOS, which provides the legal framework for the conservation and sustainable use of oceans and their resources, as recalled in paragraph 158 of The Future We Want
Type of commitment
  • Activities to raise awareness of the comprehensive legal and policy framework for the sustainable development of oceans and seas, in particular UNCLOS, its Implementing Agreements and other relevant ocean-related instruments and promote their effective im
  • Activities to develop the capacity of States towards broader participation in and effective implementation of UNCLOS and its implementing Agreements
  • Strengthening ocean governance, for example through the development of a national ocean policy or regional ocean policy
01 January, 2017
Protection of key spawning sites using marine protected areas (MPAs). A focus on prioritizing domestic needs over export trade will be the first of its kind in the Pacific region.
01 June - 31 September 2017
Seasonal protection from fishing and sales during the main spawning season (June to September each year).
In-kind contribution
Funding sources to be mobilized from within the Fiji Government (tthrough the Ministry of Fisheries and other Government Agencies), as well as from potential external donors
Basic information
Time-frame: 15 March, 2017 - 31 September, 2020
Ministry of Fisheries, Fiji (Govt), Society for the Conservation of Reef Fish Aggregations (NGO), World Conervation Society (NGO), Fiji Locally Managed Marine Areas Network (NGO), World Wildlife Fund for Nature (NGO), University of the South Pacific (Academia), Sea Web (NGO).
Ocean Basins
  • South Pacific
Beneficiary countries
Other beneficaries
Fijian Local Communities, AND Local Non-Government Organisations
Contact information
Aisake Batibasaga, Director- Research, Assessment, Development and Conservation, abatibasaga@gmail.com, 679 3301611
Suva, Fiji
Other SDGs
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