Natural Coral Reef Geographical Locations
Fiji consists of about 844 islands and islets where reefs are
found associated with all the island groups. Many of the reef
systems are extensive and complex and include barrier, fringing
and platform reefs. The two largest islands, Vitu Levu and
Vauna Levu, account for 87 % of the total land mass and both
reside on the large underwater Fiji Plateau. The islands of
Fiji can be divided into distinct groups: Rotuma, Vanua Levu
and Ringgold, Lau, Lomaiviti, Yasawas, Viti Levu and Kadavu.
Water temperatures are always above 20 C with a summer ocean
maximum of about 30 C. Tidal range is very small with neap
tides having a mean average of 0.9 m and spring tides of 1.30
m. The summer atmosphere temperatures are very hot and wet
with several tropical cyclones. Peak air temperature can rise
to 35 C. Mean monthly temperatures range from 23 C in July and
August to 27 C in January. Hurricanes and earthquakes can
cause periodic damage to the Fijian reefs. It has been estimated
that there are 250 species of stony corals in Fiji. The reef building
stony corals imported from Fiji are typically very colorful and
cover a very wide speciation. At times though certain coral species
seem to be shipped in high quantities. In the past, most corals
exported from Fiji were from very shallow water. This meant that
many of the corals required intense light and intense currents to
maintain their pigmentation and growth morph. Starting in the year
2005 corals from deeper Fijian waters were starting to be exported.
Corals from deeper waters are easier to maintain since light levels
and current strengths are easier to reproduce in captivity.
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