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Open AccessArticle

Benthic Resource Baseline Mapping of Cakaunisasi and Yarawa Reef Ecosystem in the Ba Region of Fiji

1
School of Agriculture, Geography, Environment, Ocean and Natural Sciences, The University of the South Pacific, Suva 679, Fiji
2
Department of Science, School of Science and Technology, The University of Fiji, Lautoka 679, Fiji
3
SpatialWorks, Queens Rd, Lautoka 679, Fiji
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Domenico Cicchella
Water 2021, 13(4), 468; https://doi.org/10.3390/w13040468
Received: 8 January 2021 / Revised: 30 January 2021 / Accepted: 2 February 2021 / Published: 11 February 2021
Coastal habitats form a critical source of livelihood for a large number of inhabitants in Fiji. The absence of historical and baseline information creates a significant challenge in effectively designing suitable management plans. This study aimed at developing reliable benthic cover maps of village intertidal resource harvest areas (Cakaunisasi and Yarawa reefs) and anthropogenic perceptions of Votua Village in the Ba region of Fiji for better resource management planning and monitoring. Images captured by the WorldView2 satellite were used as a base for mapping out the resources. Data logging on-site, Global Positioning System (GPS) recordings, local interviews and high-resolution video capturing were utilised for ground-truthing techniques. Six classes of benthic cover were identified, which included algae, coral, sand and gravel, buried reef, coral rubble and seagrass. Accuracy assessment and supervised classification were done using ground reference points. There was an existing marine protected area (MPA) on the Yarawa reef, which did not seem to be working as well as anticipated by observing the habitat maps of the two reefs. Baseline maps constructed here and possibly ecosystem maps can allow for monitoring of the existing MPA as well as the formation of a new and more informed MPA. The maps generated in this study serve as baseline information about resource distribution on Cakaunisasi and Yarawa reefs to inform management decisions. View Full-Text
Keywords: GIS; Votua; coastal resource; benthic cover; supervised classification; accuracy assessment; WorldView2; habitat map; satellite imagery GIS; Votua; coastal resource; benthic cover; supervised classification; accuracy assessment; WorldView2; habitat map; satellite imagery
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  • Externally hosted supplementary file 1
    Link: https://pacamuof.maps.arcgis.com/apps/webappviewer/index.html?id=09ff6d87bc0c455093449779853875b1
    Description: All the maps generated using the GIS and satellite imagery in this study for Cakaunisasi and Yarawa reefs of the Votua reef system in Votua, Nailaga District, Ba, Fiji, are hosted as interactive maps and maintained by the University of Fiji. The maps contain benthic cover and local knowledge layers. These maps serve as baseline references for the measurement of changes in the future for sustainability and management purposes. The following link contains a guide for how to use the web map application. The .zip file needs to be downloaded and unzipped to access the guide: https://www.unifiji.ac.fj/pacam/#1524118889762-66e09b4d-a92f. The following link takes you to the interactive maps for the Votua project site: https://pacamuof.maps.arcgis.com/apps/webappviewer/index.html?id=09ff6d87bc0c455093449779853875b1. The following link takes you to the static maps for the Votua project site: https://pacamuof.maps.arcgis.com/sharing/rest/content/items/bfe701012c0f482e9ef9e8e38659bdb4/data.
MDPI and ACS Style

Singh, A.A.; Maharaj, A.; Singh, P. Benthic Resource Baseline Mapping of Cakaunisasi and Yarawa Reef Ecosystem in the Ba Region of Fiji. Water 2021, 13, 468. https://doi.org/10.3390/w13040468

AMA Style

Singh AA, Maharaj A, Singh P. Benthic Resource Baseline Mapping of Cakaunisasi and Yarawa Reef Ecosystem in the Ba Region of Fiji. Water. 2021; 13(4):468. https://doi.org/10.3390/w13040468

Chicago/Turabian Style

Singh, Ashneel A.; Maharaj, Anish; Singh, Priyatma. 2021. "Benthic Resource Baseline Mapping of Cakaunisasi and Yarawa Reef Ecosystem in the Ba Region of Fiji" Water 13, no. 4: 468. https://doi.org/10.3390/w13040468

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