The Surfing Decree: Catch a Big Wave

THE State's Regulation of Surfing Areas Decree appears to have had a positive impact on the lives of villagers on Malolo Island.

 If we are to rely on the observations of a surf company managing director, the average villager who has some connection with the surf industry or tourism, is now capable of living an improved lifestyle. It is supposed to be a far cry from years prior to the decree.
 Cloudbreak reef sits south-west of Tavarua Island and west of Momi Bay, off the west coast of Viti Levu. It's arguably one of the best surf spots around the country and has attracted a number of top surf competitions and professionals over the years. Cloudbreak is gaining popularity following the participation of top internationally renowned surfers in competitions like the Roxy Pro there.
 Lest we forget, many people have played important roles in pushing Cloudbreak to the world. They obviously deserve attention and acknowledgement. In hindsight though, Cloudbreak isn't the only surf spot in the country. It, however, has an aura about it that appears to be attracting tourists from around the world.
 Whatever the conditions were between resorts and qoliqoli owners, if there were any previously, indications are the new "open-door" policy is been seen as an effective means to improve the lives of people who will in some way benefit from it.
The decree may have inadvertently opened up Pandora's box or a treasure chest. It effectively means different things for different people.
What is important though is that we consider what it means for the people of this country. Any improvement in the lives of people is a step in the right direction. But in the midst of any major decision is consideration for surrounding factors which need to be accounted for. Such is the importance of planning that we need to understand what it takes to continue to attract surfers here. That fact will ensure positive roll-on effects.

It will be good for resort owners, the airlines, local tour operators down to the punt owners who take out tourists to surf spots around the country.
It places a dollar value on the daily output of people like the average boat owner who took out a loan to buy his craft.
As locals are involved in the surf business, it ensures cash flow and subsequently an injection into the economy.
The ideal scenario though would be to see Cloudbreak sitting among top surf spots like Arugam Bay in Sri Lanka; Bells Beach in Victoria, Australia; Jeffreys Bay in South Africa; Pipeline in Oahu, Hawaii; and Teahupo'o in Tahiti.
The good thing to note is that this is possible.


Riding the Crest of the Wave to Freedom said…
Surfers Unlimited:

That is how it should always have been in Fiji. Especially for Fijians themselves. Was it? No, it was not. Harassed, driven away often by foreigners who felt they had the right, local surfers were subdued into occasionally summoning up the courage to go out and ride a wave despite the difficulty.

This was a shocking indictment of the former Qarase-led two governments. An imposition against freedom and liberty imposed by fear. The overseas nationals who were complicit in this disgusting episode should be thoroughly ashamed of themselves. We know who they are. We have seen their exclusive residences in Southern California where they look out to the Pacific Ocean in absolute freedom from fear and want.

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