The Great Sea Reef is one of the largest and most diverse reefs in the world, however unsustainable fishing activities threaten to collapse fish stocks and endanger the rural population of Macuata's main source of food and income. Hence, fishing on the reef needs to be closely managed by the local community, represented by the Qoliqoli Cokovata Management Committee in Northern Vanua Levu.
Parts of the Great Sea Reef have been managed as ‘tabu’ areas since 2004, and some will continue to be for up to ten years. Tabu areas are traditional Fijian ‘no take zones’, where a fishing ban is in place. These areas, about 10-20% of a qoliqoli (traditional fishing grounds) enable marine life to recover from overfishing and enhance productivity of the open harvest areas.
The funds raised from the tournament provide the people of Macuata with the training and equipment needed to enforce the ban and discourage poaching, which has recently been on the rise. In January 2010, 48 teams battled it out for $10,000 in prize money during a two day event.