We consider ourselves to be guardians of the beautiful Mamanuca and Yasawa Islands. With so much of our business conducted in this area, we work hard to ensure our brands positively impact the land and sea that we operate in. These are some of the measures we have in place and projects we are involved with.
Mamanuca Environment Society
South Sea Cruises Group are members and sit on the executive committee of the Mamanuca Environmental Society which helps local village communities, tourism operators, government, and non-governmental organizations work towards preserving and protecting the Mamanuca Islands.
Their work includes initiatives to raise awareness and promote sound environmental practices for the benefit of future generations of communities living, working and visiting the Mamanuca Islands.
Single Use Plastic Free
In 2020, Blue Lagoon Cruises went single-use plastic-free. This included removing all plastic water bottles and installing refillable filtered water stations and providing all guests with a reusable drink bottles to enjoy aboard and take home as a souvenir.
Manta Ray Research
Manta rays visit the offshore channel of Nanuya Balavu and Drawaqa Islands every year between the months of May to October. Our Vinaka Fiji voluntourism program is part of the ongoing study monitoring things such as establishing what manta rays return each year, how many there are, whether their environment is suitable, what their migration habits are and what distinctive aspects of the channel bring them to there in the first place.
Mangrove forests are crucial to reef productivity which is why Vinaka Fiji plants mangroves in a nursery at Barefoot Manta Resort and once they've grown six leaves they're transplanted to areas where mangroves have been damaged or destroyed.
The Yasawa Trust Foundation
Established in 2020 and trading as Vinaka Fiji, the trust works tirelessly to generate funding from charitable organizations, through our own brands and products as well as through voluntourism. These funds are channeled back into the villages and communities of the Yasawa Islands to help protect the natural environment through introducing and promoting sustainable practices.
Crown of Thorn Removal
The Crown-of-Thorns Seastar (COTS) is a predatory starfish that is a native of coral reefs. It preys on the polyps of coral and has an important role on the reef by pruning fast-developing corals, allowing room for other coral species to colonise and grow.
However, in abnormally high populations, seastars can have a negative impact on a coral reef. Many areas in Fiji are currently facing a COTS infestation.
Both Vinaka Fiji's Marine Conservation & Research team and our Malamala Beach Club team monitor COTS numbers methodically and run removal programs where needed.
Glass bottle crushers
On both Blue Lagoon Cruises ship, the M.V Fiji Princess and Malamala Beach Clubs island, we work hard to reduce waste. We have glass crushers in both locations which allows us to crush glass waste into fine sand-like particles and dispose of these in a sustainable manner.
First, tiny fragments of coral are gathered from the reef and rooted onto a metal framework. They're left to mature for approximately six months and then relocated onto any damaged zones of the reef.
And so, you have more coral and additional habitats for reef dwellers. An extensive rejuvenation project is ongoing at both South Sea Island and Malamala Beach Club.