Did You Know

Fiji has the third longest barrier reef in the world!

According to the WWF, the third longest barrier reef in the world is located right here in Fiji—the Cakaulevu or Great Sea Reef is a mere 1/10 of the size of the renowned Great Barrier Reef. The line of the Yasawa Group in the west is continued eastwards towards Vanua Levu by Fiji’s longest barrier reef structure, the Great Sea Reef, which runs along the shelf edge in a near continuous chain for over 200 kilometres, gradually converging towards the coastline of Vanua Levu at its north eastern tip. Fiji Facts

Of the total number of species recorded in Fiji, in any one area, the Great Sea Reef has the highest percentages recorded including: 55 per cent of the known coral reef fishes, 74 per cent of known coral species, 40 per cent of the known marine flora and 44 per cent of Fiji’s endemic reef species.

20 More General Facts…

  • Oceans cover 70 per cent of the Earth’s surface.
  • 80 per cent of all pollution in seas and oceans comes from land-based activities.
  • Plastic waste kills up to 1 million sea birds, 100,000 sea mammals and countless fish each year.
  • Tropical coral reefs border the shores of 109 countries, the majority of which are amongst the world’s least developed. Significant reef degradation has occurred in 93 countries.
  • Although coral reefs comprise less than 0.5 per cent of the ocean floor, it is estimated that more than 90 per cent of marine species are directly or indirectly dependent on them.
  • The Great Barrier Reef, measuring 2,000 kilometres in length, is the largest living structure on Earth. It can be seen from the Moon.
  • Nearly 60 per cent of the world’s remaining reefs are at significant risk of being lost in the next three decades.
  • The major causes of coral reef decline are coastal development, sedimentation, destructive fishing practices, pollution, tourism and global warming.
  • Climate change threatens to destroy the majority of the world’s coral reefs, as well as wreak havoc on the fragile economies of Small Island Developing States.
  • Average sea level has risen between 10 and 25 centimetres in the past 100 years. If the world’s ice melted, the oceans would rise by 66 metres.
  • Less than one half a per cent of marine habitats are protected—compared with 11.5 per cent of global land area.
  • Studies show that protecting critical marine habitats—such as warm and cold water coral reefs, seagrass beds and mangroves—can dramatically increase fish size and quantity, benefiting both artisanal and commercial fisheries.
  • 90 per cent of the world’s fishermen and women operate at the small scale local level, accounting for over half the global fish catch.
  • More than 70 per cent of the world’s marine fisheries are now fished up to or beyond their sustainable limit.
  • Populations of commercially attractive large fish, such as tuna, cod, swordfish and marlin have declined by as much as 90 per cent in the past century.
  • Destructive fishing practices are killing hundreds of thousands of marine species each year and helping to destroy important undersea habitats.
  • As many as 100 million sharks are killed each year for their meat and fins, which are used for shark fin soup. Hunters typically catch the sharks, de-fin them while alive and throw them back into the ocean where they either drown or bleed to death.
  • The annual global by catch mortality of small whales, dolphins and porpoises alone is estimated to be more than 300,000 individuals.
  • Shrimp farming, too, is highly destructive. It causes chemical and fertilizer pollution of water and has been largely responsible for the destruction of nearly a quarter of the world’s mangroves.
  • Mangroves provide nurseries for 85 per cent of commercial fish species in the tropics.

For more facts you can check UNEP Fifty Key Facts about Seas and Oceans.