Fijians living in coastal and maritime islands are being reminded not to overlook the importance of seagrass and its role in the marine ecosystems.
This comes as Conservation International builds its research around seagrass and conservation of this resource in the Lau Group.
According to Conservation International representative and U.S Fulbright student Carrie Wentzel more awareness needs to be created in order to begin effective conservation programmes of seagrass.
Wentzel highlights that in a 2020 report by the United Nations Environment Project, they found that seagrass actually slows down waves by upto forty percent in comparison to sandy bottoms.
She adds that seagrass also support twenty percent of the world’s biggest fisheries, as the meadows are nurseries and spawning grounds for many species of fish.
Plans are now underway to preserve this marine resource.
Wentzel also highlighted that seagrass can also be used in the fight against rise in sea level on a micro level and can be effective with more conversations around its importance.
Meanwhile, Conservation International Senior Marine programme Manager, Semisi Meo says according to recent data, there are five species of seagrass in the Lau Group and they hope to unearth more through research that can then be used to further conservation efforts.
Today, the United States Embassy Charge d Affairs Tony Greubel commemorated World Oceans Day where the event was used to raise awareness on the U.S- Fijian cooperation to conserve seagrass, celebrate the ocean and tackle the climate crisis.
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