The organisation’s official website recorded the following information:
Sea Cucumber (Bech-de-mer):
Despite the challenges of poaching over the last few months, which has now been addressed by the local police, sea cucumbers have doubled in quantity from last year to 107 in the taboo area this year.
Again in the protected area, the crown-of-thorns has almost increased ten-fold from five last year to 43 this year.
With consent from the Waitabu Marine Park Committee, the group responded directly by clearing 100 of these starfish in just one hour.
Numbers of cawaki are increasing in the allowed area in front of Waitabu Village while none were spotted in the protected area just metres away.
This demonstrates how the lack of certain species can help with understanding the state of the reef. In this case, the high numbers of cawaki in the allowed areas point towards there being fewer predators such as triggerfish.
Vivili b (Trochus Shell):
Vivili (shellfish) sightings were high in the protected area and low in the allowed area. They have also grown to breeding sizes.
Large schools of fish in the protected area have eaten the seaweed and created clean rocks for new corals to grow, providing more places for small fish and other animals to live.
There is a distinct difference in colour from the protected areas which is brightly coloured with healthy coral to the allowed area, which is green from the extensive seaweed coverage.
Living coral levels have been notably higher in the protected area than the allowed area consistently since 2006.
Vasua (Giant Clam) :
Sixty-three giant clams were found in the protected area, which shows a continuing upswing on clam numbers and size.