Water quality is one of the essential components to a thriving healthy reef. It also affects human health either directly or indirectly. MES conducts water sampling with all its member resorts. As part of MES on-going projects, the water sampling is conducted every six months. Sea water samples are analysed for levels of faecal coliform bacteria, salinity and nutrients- phosphates and nitrates. Compared with the Australian and New Zealand Environment Conservation Council (ANZEEC 2002) Seawater Standards and guidelines, the acceptable level of nitrates is 0.01-0.06 mg/L, the acceptable level for phosphate is 0.001-0.010mg/L and the acceptable level of fecal coliform bacteria is >1 FC/ 100ml.
MES conducted the sea water sampling exercise in June with all ten member resorts. Despite the scattered locations of each sampling site, the sampling exercise was conducted during ebbing tide and completed successfully and on time with the help of the volunteers and attachés. A total of 22 sites were sampled. All samples were then transported to Suva for analysis at the Water authority laboratory. Upon receipt of results, reports are produced for each member resort with corresponding recommendations for resorts on areas that need to be addressed and improved on.
MES would like to thank all our member resorts for transferring the field team from site to site collecting samples.