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Category archives for Oceania

Creative Energy Flows to Seafood Sector in South Pacific

“If you had the opportunity to generate income for a whole island, what would you do?” That’s how Lili Kawaguchi opened her pitch during the closing session of Fish 2.0’s Pacific Islands business development workshop. The question grabbed the audience’s attention, as did the rest of the Tongan entrepreneur’s pitch for her seaweed products startup.…

Re-wilding an Island

Last week I bore witness to the re-wilding of an entire island ecosystem. Invasive mammalian predators were eradicated from Ahuahu (Great Mercury Island) in 2014, and the original predators and keystone species are now returning naturally.

Tracking the World’s Largest Land Crab

Coconut crabs must be handled with extreme care; they have two powerful claws that can easily crush bone. I have previously studied red king crab and snow crab in Alaska, but coconut crabs are in a league of their own in terms of brute strength.

Terrestrial Conservation on Tetiaroa

On Tetiaroa Marlon Brando wanted to “to maintain the natural beauty of the atoll setting” and as our expedition draws to a close we too are marvelling at the natural marine and terrestrial beauty of the atoll.

Polynesian Rats Don’t Come From Polynesia

The Polynesian rat is distributed throughout the Pacific Ocean and is found on most islands. Early European naturalists thought that because the rat was already present it must be native to each island.

Systematically Surveying the Ants of Tetiaroa

Ants are one of the best hitchhikers in the world. This is so true that in the Pacific, it’s hard to unravel whether the ants on even remote motu are native or ancient introductions with original voyagers.

Beveridge Reef: From Shallow Seas to Darker Depths

Once again, the Pristine Seas drop cameras reach the bottom of the ocean and reveal a species never seen in this area before.

Marine Conservation on Tetiaroa

Today we embarked for Tetiaroa with a two hour boat trip from Moorea. As we arrived at Tetiaroa we were fortunate enough to see humpback whales and spinner dolphins greeting us.

Seabirds Take a Long Time to Forget

Seabirds have incredibly high site fidelity, which means they typically return to the same breeding colony, often where they were born, time and time again. But at the same time they are also amazingly long-distance dispersers to colonise the remotest islands of the world. I was reminded of this paradox this evening barely a few…

Cats and Rats Lead Extinction Sweepstakes

As we travelled around the globe humans transported our favourite mammals with us. Either inadvertently such as rats, or intentionally such as cats. These species introductions have gone on to have unrivalled impacts.

The Hawaiʻi Commitments from the 2016 IUCN Congress

The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) holds a congress every four years and this year it was in the island archipelago of Hawai‘i. Concluding today the congress adopted ‘The Hawaiʻi Commitments’.

A Startup in the South Pacific Could Be a Worldwide Model

Alfred Kalontas, the founder of ALFA Fishing in Vanuatu, bootstrapped his business from nothing to become the preferred seafood supplier to over 70 percent of the hotels and restaurants in the island nation’s capital, Port Vila.  He is now starting to export his high-quality, sustainably caught products to New Zealand and is seeing demand from…

Young Micronesians Explore Nan Madol: A New UNESCO World Heritage Site Located In Their Backyard.

Last month, UNESCO officially announced 21 new additions to the World Heritage Sites list. One of these — located on the Micronesian island of Pohnpei — is the ruins of Nan Madol. In celebration of their island treasure being recognized as a World Heritage Site, a group of local Pohnpeian college students took on the responsibility of providing the international community with their own local stories and images of Nan Madol.

Life in a Harsh Paradise: Surviving Drought on Banaba Island

Drought is a way of life on Banaba—a way of life Taboree Biremon knows all too well. “My wife and I didn’t eat. We fed the children,” explained Biremon, describing life during a drought that hit Banaba a few years back. “There was no food. We fed the children first, but we were starving. We…

Antipodes Island One Step Closer

Antipodes Island is one step closer to being mouse-free after the first bait-drop across the entire island was completed in record time. Department of Conservation staff arrived on the island on 27th May and the first drop was completed by 29th June.