Fiji’s Great Sea Reef is the third-largest barrier reef on earth after Australia’s Great Barrier Reef and the Meso-American Reef off Central America. Many are unaware of its existence, eclipsed as it is by its famous Australian cousin — yet it stretches unbroken for an astonishing 200 kilometres. In 2004, WWF carried out a biological survey which revealed just how important the reef was, both to Fiji and the rest of the world. The survey showed The Great Sea Reef is home to 75% of Fiji’s coral species and an estimated 80% of all of its reef fish.
Those lucky enough to visit the reef tend to do so at water level. Jürgen & Stella Freund witnessed it from the air on board a Robinson 44 helicopter. The images below, captured by award-winning photographer Jürgen Freund, show the full extent of the reef and the islands whose inhabitants rely upon it for their livelihoods.
This story was produced by our friends at The Coral Triangle. Visit their site for more information on preserving this precious ecoregion and seeking out sustainable travel experiences within its borders.