Water quality is an issue that affects the Mamanuca areas in a substantial way. Various changes to the environment have been noticed ranging from sedimentation to large algal blooms, which are attributed to an increase in nitrates and phosphate concentration in the water bodies.
Pollutants enter the coastal zone via a variety of sources. Virtually all economic sectors contribute directly or indirectly to the pollutant load. Given the diversity of polluting sources and the inherent difficulties in identifying cause and effect relationships, it is extremely difficult to develop effective management strategies to coastal marine waters from the adverse impacts of pollution.
The Mamanuca Island group of Fiji is a very important area in terms of local fisheries, tourism and natural marine biodiversity. Increasing attention has been focused on maintaining and preserving the marine and coastal ecosystems of the Mamanucas, in order to ensure their long term health and survival. There is growing concern that the health of reefs in the Mamanucas is in decline. The reasons are not clear but it is likely linked to a combination of factors such as cyclones, sediment discharge, freshwater discharge, human trampling on coral, nutrient/sewage inputs as well as overfishing; some of which are relatively more important at different locations. However, verification of the major causes has been limited by lack of sufficient data. The water quality programme will ensure that these levels will be monitored and sources pinpointed in order to effectuate solutions