MORE than 1200 mangroves were planted along the seashore of Mali Island this week to restore the habitat of marine creatures.
Ligaulevu villagers and members of the Fisheries and Forests Department came together to plant mangroves under the Plant a Million Trees campaign and to celebrate World Fisheries Day.
The theme for World Fisheries Day was "Healthy Habitat - Plant Mangroves". Divisional Forestry Officer Eliki Senivasa said planting trees helped restore degraded coastal areas.
"The seashore has been affected because of the collection of firewood and small development within the island," he said.
"These are minor but signicant damage because it is affecting our marine ecosystem.
"There is an urgent need to protect our fish habitat.
"What I gather is 70 per cent of fish in the Suva market are from the north. Fishing has become a major revenue generator for people here, and it is only through protecting and restoring fish habitat that people will be able to invest in fishing."
Mr Senivasa said it was important for individuals to continue similar efforts.
"This activity by the government department has triggered village interest and we hope they continue planting mangroves along the seashore because mangroves provide a habitat for marine life," he said.
"Fishing has become the livelihood of many people and mangrove is the main link towards establishing successful fish production."