Fiji's Coral Reefs must be protected.

Santa Barbara, CA
October 22, 2021


To Whom this may concern,

Reference: Statement on the World Wave Project (WWP) on ‘Sculpting” the coral reef.

I am writing to comment on a proposed project in The Fijian Islands which most recently has come to my
attention. The proposal is from the World Wave Project (WWP) proposal to “Sculpt” coral reefs to
physically alter the shape of coral reefs in Fiji for enhanced surfing.

I have explored the planets oceans with my father, Jacques Cousteau and our teams, which began
generations ago aboard the ships Calypso and Alcyone. I have spent my life immersed in the ocean,
diving for 75 years exploring and documenting the ocean, its beauty and wonders, its value to humans,
and how humans are impacting it. In addition, I have been been visiting Fiji for over 32 years and during
that time have been involved in developing an environmentally responsible resort, creating a dive
operation, and conducting outdoor environmental education programing for thousands of global guests,
including with Fijians and for villages on the Island of Vanua Levu near Savusavu.

My lifetime of experience and moral sense of duty compels me to strongly object to the World Wave
Project’s proposal to “sculpt and modify” any reefs to enhance surf breaks. I rely on the knowledge of
scientific experts and together with my team at Ocean Futures Society, Dr. Richard Murphy PhD, Chief
Scientist-Director of Science & Education and Holly Lohuis, Marine Biologist, join me in strongly urging
the rejection of the proposal from the World Wave Project (WWP).

We need to be very clear, corals will be killed and destroyed, reef substrate will be altered, habitat will be
modified, debris and sediments will be created directly affecting adjacent reefs. These impacts are
certain. What we fear even more, are the consequences we cannot anticipate. Our observations from
around the world have shown there are delicate balances (ecological, biophysical, chemical,
hydrodynamic) that maintain the health of natural reef ecosystems.

All of my many years of ocean exploration have given me a very clear appreciation of the value of coral
reefs and of how little we know about predicting the impacts of human actions on the ocean. We know
that reefs, both locally and globally, are being threatened by local and global impacts. We have witnessed
the dramatic decline in the health and vitality of global reefs including Fiji’s, from coral bleaching,
crown-of-thorns outbreaks, nutrient enrichment, sedimentation, and overfishing. Regarding development,
we have witnessed environmental catastrophe over and over from projects where “experts” told us there
would be no significant impacts.

The ocean is unpredictable and we know far too little to really understand the dynamic process which
governs reefs and their residents.What we do know is coral reefs are the most diverse marine ecosystems
on our planet, home to over one million species. Of all the plants and animals found in the ocean one
quarter of them are found on coral reefs. Yet coral reefs cover less than .1% of the ocean. Coral reefs are
the most threatened marine ecosystem due to direct human pressure from climate change, ocean
acidification, overfishing, coastal development and marine pollution.

Local Fijians and the Fijian government have designated marine protected areas and reserves protecting
more of the coral reefs in the Fijian Islands. Villages benefit from the increase of diversity and abundance
of coral reef species as well as gaining directly from the ‘spillover’ of harvestable species in open areas
where fishing is permitted. Marine protected areas are a win/win for local villages, tourism, resorts,
divers, and importantly for the coral reefs, and the overall health of the ocean. The ocean is the vital
living force stabilizing global climate. Coral reefs protect coastal villages and towns, providing
livelihoods and food resources for future generations. The ocean and coral reefs will continue to supply
stability and safety plus resources for generations to come when they are protected.

I strongly urge that this project be prevented from destroying coral reefs for surf breaks in the Fijian
Islands. Please reject the World Wave Project (WWP) proposal. Coral reefs must be protected not

Vinaka Vaka Levu.

Very Sincerely,


Jean-Michel Cousteau
President, Ocean Futures Society
“Protect The Ocean And You Protect Yourself”

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