FIJI fisherman Paulo Kolikata has beaten more than 20 worldwide nominees to win the $20,000 Coral Reef Alliance 2015 (CORAL) conservation prize.
Mr Kolikata, from Kubulau district in Bua on Vanua Levu, was nominated by the Wildlife Conservation Society for his work with the Kubulau Resource Management Committee (KRMC).
He was presented with the $20,000 award at the CORAL splendor gala in San Francisco, California, on September 26 this year.
Mr Kolikata gave credit to the Kubulau Bose Vanua for choosing him to work on their behalf saying he was honoured and blessed to be chosen.
The volunteer chairman of the Kubulau Resource Management Committee (KRMC) will take his award back to the community and repair existing mooring buoys and install new ones in the Namena Marine Reserve
He also plans to formalise the KRMC into a registered entity and purchase office space and materials to help grow its efforts.
In a statement, CORAL said Mr Kolikata had been on the frontline of conservation and his work had been instrumental in establishing marine protected habitats.