Wednesday 1 June 2011

Expedition to Lost Islands

Expedition Begins to Sacred Reef of Fiji
Posted by Stacy Jupiter of Wildlife Conservation Society May 31, 2011
Lau – Land of Islands Lost
This is the first of several blogs documenting an 8-day, marine expedition to Fiji.
Tomorrow we board our yacht to embark on our journey to the remote reaches of Fiji’s oceans. We are headed to Lau Province, where communities hold their reefs sacred and mythical islands really can vanish like in the television series Lost. Through this expedition, the Wildlife Conservation Society, Pacific Blue Foundation, Wetlands International-Oceania, and the Waitt Institute are partnering to uncover the stories of the reefs and people of Totoya Island in the Yasayasamoala group.
Lau Province is made up of over a hundred islands and atolls scattered across a 188 square mile expanse of deep water bridging Fiji and Tonga. The Yasayasamoala group encompasses Totoya, Moala, Vanuavatu and Matuku islands, plus the atoll Navatu, which are all the summits of extinct oceanic volcanoes that rise from depths of over 6500 feet. There may have previously been more. Oral histories collected by University of the South Pacific linguist Paul Geraghty describe a mythical island, Burotukula, which geologists believe may have slipped off the flanks of Matuku over 1000 years ago
Ends: We invite you to follow along our adventures as we aim to locate new species, revitalize cultural practice, and explore the unknown. We are very excited at the prospect of what the coming week will bring.
One worth following I think !

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