THE coral reefs located around the Vatu-i-Ra passage have long been hailed by divers and tourists as being some of the most beautiful in the world.
But for so long the traditional owners of one of the most popular dive sites in the area- Bai-kei-Vatu have not been able to establish the site as a source of income.
That is all about to change as the villagers of Nasau are in talks to enter into a partnership with dive operators Ra Divers and Wananavu Beach Resort so some of this tourist money to benefit them.
Nasau villager Akuila Qionibaravi said the work to protect the Bai-kei-Vatu dive site had started with declaring it a marine protected area earlier this year.
"All the tourists who come to snorkel or dive on the Bai-kei-Vatu have praised the dive spot because it's a healthy coral reef and there are many fish along it," Mr Qionibaravi said.
"Now we are working with Ra Divers and Wananavu Beach Resort so that those who pay to dive in the reef also pay a small fee and this goes to our account," he said.
Mamanuca Environment Society project manager Betani Salusalu who is helping the villagers of Nasau with their attempts to preserve the health of the reef said the Bai-kei-Vatu was famous for its stunning beauty.
He said the Bai-kei-Vatu was also a site that held special significance to the people of Nasau because they believed it was their original village site.
"In the history of Fiji this is one of the healthiest dive sites because the current is constantly flushing out dirt from the reef," he said.
"Since the tabu was put in place we have noticed how healthy the reef is getting," he said.