Title: Reef Fish Assessment in Fiji's I Qoliqoli (traditional fishing ground)

Author(s): Nanise Kuridrani
Final project
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The main objective of the study was to provide an overview of finfish stocks in fishing grounds (I Qoliqoli) around Fiji. Under water census was conducted in 16 fishing grounds in different areas of the Fiji Group. Two fishing grounds from each area were surveyed. The abundance and biomass of finfishes in a fishing ground was estimated. The fishing grounds in outer islands have a higher biomass than the main islands (Viti Levu) of the Fiji Group. Abundance and biomass of finfishes among habitats within a fishing ground was also determined. Abundance was higher in the lagoon but somewhat similar in the reef area, reef slope, back reef and fore reef. However, fore reef had higher biomass. There was a slight variation in the size distribution among depths and habitats. Due to the lack of catch data for each fishing ground surveyed it was not possible to determine the status of exploitation of the stock. However, this study implies that highly commercial fishes are rare in areas with higher human population. If more information on catches will be gathered, the data sampled here will improve the data analysis and sampling scheme of the department as well as enhance the gathering of catch data/CPUE during the visual transect surveys in fishing communities.

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