We discovered today that different sides of the island offer different sub-sets of the coral reef ecosystem. In Muri lagoon recreation is a high priority for most tourists. Look up and you will see a kite boarder zip accross the clear blue water or a family snorkel along the shoreline. However there is a protected part of the lagoon called “Ra’ui” similar to what we may think of as a marine protected area. This Ra’ui was designated by the local chief to be protected and allow the fish population to rebound.
After sharing in the beauty of the Ra’ui we feasted on a fresh fish and fruit lunch and were introduced to a local contest of coconut tree climbing.
In the afternoon we had a meeting with the head of the local conservation Team that heads up the continued MPA efforts. Local support is 94% for implementing the MPA to help the health and abundance of the fish population that is heavily depended upon in local culture.