We take off early in the morning, sitting crossed legged on the floor of a small, outboard powered boat packed with our belongings and supplies for the village. We travel along the Great Sea Reef which turns the water a light turquoise. I know it’s the third largest barrier reef in the world but I don’t yet realize how amazing it is. I try to crack some dumb joke to our island contact Male, who works for a local NGO, C3. The island rises in the distance and we have quite the adventure ahead of us.
Kia is a remarkable place. The locals are expert fishermen known as the best in Fiji. They have been guarding and subsisting on The Great Sea Reef for generations out of memory. The traditional lifestyle they hold onto is one that just seems right; it is a community that supports one another, a community that values sharing and close relationships. The fishing they do is just enough to support their families and their community. This is an idyllic paradise; one that puts my self-serving nature to shame.
Unfortunately the story of Kia is not all positive; with the pressures of modernization like overfishing and climate change the Kians are in danger of losing their resource and their lifestyle along with it, and it may happen in the very near future. Chris and I are excited to bring you their story—a story that is just as relevant if you are sitting in the middle of a city in the US or on a remote island in the Pacific.