Natural Coral Reef Geographical Locations

Fiji Islands

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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