Marine biologist Cliona O'Flaherty is making a huge difference in the waters surrounding Fiji. Here's how you can help.

Advertisement
Portrait of Cliona O’Flaherty, a Marine Biologist
Credit: Courtesy of Cliona O’Flaherty

Travel is not only where we go, but a representation of who we are as people.

Though the idea of travel has changed a bit over the last year and a half, it hasn't changed our outlook on how important it is to get out and celebrate both humanity and the greater good.

We're honoring the return of travel — whatever that may look like to you — with new episodes of our podcast, Let's Go Together, which highlights how travel changes the way we see ourselves and the world.

In the first season, our pilot and adventurer host, Kellee Edwards, introduced listeners to diverse globe-trotters who showed us that travelers come in all shapes and sizes and from all walks of life. From the first Black woman to travel to every country on Earth to a man who trekked to Machu Picchu in a wheelchair, we met some incredible folks. And now, in our second season, we are back to introduce you to new people, new places, and new perspectives.

On this episode of Let's Go Together, Edwards sits down with Cliona O'Flaherty, part of the marine biology team at Kokomo Private Island Resort in Fiji.

"I think eco-travel is the new way to go now," O'Flaherty said. "With everything that's been going on in the world, I think it's made people realize, it's time that everyone needs to do something to give back and there's no reason why you shouldn't be able to do that while you're taking a vacation or going on a holiday."

As part of the Kokomo marine biology team, which is based at Kokomo Private Island Resort in the Fiji Islands in the South of Fiji, O'Flaherty works on sustainability projects for the island and helps teach guests about ways they can make a difference.

"Sustainability is a key pillar of Kokomo's operation and it's not just the marine environment and the forest environment per se. It's actually in all corners of the resort," O'Flaherty said. "You can see it in the architecture, in the farm system that we have, in how we have our fishing systems. It's throughout the whole resort and we play a big role in the marine side and what we do there."

Key projects for the resort, O'Flaherty noted, include a massive Kokomo manta conservation project that focuses on conserving and protecting reef manta rays in Fiji. There's also the Kokomo Coral Restoration Project, which aims to protect corals around the shores of Kokomo.

"We also have a mangrove reforestation project and a new turtle project that we just launched, which is working in collaboration with the University of the South Pacific, which is beside us," O'Flaherty said, adding, "the kids club love joining us on those ones helping us water and weed the mangroves."

Ready to hear more about the projects and how you can get involved during a visit, too? Listen to it all on Let's Go Together, available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Player.FM, and everywhere podcasts are available.