Protection and Management of All Marine Mammal Species in Fiji
by Ministry of Fisheries and Department of Environment, Fiji (Government)
The objective of this voluntary commitment is to launch the Fiji Whale and Dolphin Action Plan to protect whale and dolphins within Fijian waters. This commitment is a follow-up to the Fijian Governments declaration of the Fijian Exclusive Economic Zone as a whale sanctuary in March of 2003.
Population levels of humpback whales and other whale species are at critically low levels, and the Oceania humpback whale sub-population has been declared endangered.
There is a relatively high diversity of cetacean species found in Fiji, including 10 confirmed species, with as many as 15 other species likely to also occur as resident or transient species. Some species migrate through Fijian seas. For other species, such as humpbacks, it is a breeding and calving area, and there are small resident populations of species such as spinner dolphins. Realising the importance of these species, the Fijian Government and its partners recognise the need to protect these marine mega-fauna and their habitats, and seek to promote an additional source of livelihood through ecotourism.
Through this commitment, the Ministry of Fisheries and partners will focus on research and data gathering of these species in the different parts of Fiji where they have been observed and documented. A recent workshop provisionally identified a number of important Marine Mammal Areas (IMMAs) in Fiji and once these IMMAs, including migratory routes and calving sites, are identified and formally mapped out, they will then be gazetted, together with appropriate management measures. Non-extractive activities will be regulated in these IMMAs.
By 2025, prevent and significantly reduce marine pollution of all kinds, in particular from land-based activities, including marine debris and nutrient pollution
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
- Integrated Coastal Management
By 2020, conserve at least 10 per cent of coastal and marine areas, consistent with national and international law and based on the best available scientific information
By 2030, increase the economic benefits to Small Island developing States and least developed countries from the sustainable use of marine resources, including through sustainable management of fisheries, aquaculture and tourism
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
Provide access for small-scale artisanal fishers to marine resources and markets
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
1. By 2018, the Fiji Whale and Dolphin Action Plan will be finalised, after wider group consultation is carried out with relevant stakeholders.
2. By 2020, two Important Marine Mammal Areas in Fiji, the Vatu-i-Ra channel and the Central Viti Levu Region, known humpback whale migration, breeding and calving areas, will be gazetted, protected and sustainably managed.
Staff / Technical expertise
Funds will be secured for research from Ministry of Fisheries, Department of Environment and SPREP. SPREP has confirmed that it is willing to provide technical support, expertise and assistance in securing funds for the delivery and implementation of thes
Time-frame: July 2017 - July 2030
Government: Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of iTaukei Affairs and Ministry of Education; Tourism and the Maritime Safety Authority of Fiji (MSAF)
NGOs: Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), World Wildlife Fund for Nature (WWF), International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), University of the South Pacific (USP)
Private Sector: Resort Owners, Dive Operators Association, Fiji Tuna Industry Association
Regional Organisation: Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP)
General public, provincial administration staff, ecotourism operators based on whale and dolphin population health.
AISAKE BATIBASAGA, Director Research - Fiji Fisheries Department, firstname.lastname@example.org,