Corals, Fish and Invertebrates
The coral, fish and invertebrate collections were initiated in 1970 by Dr Bruce Carlson (former Director of the Waikiki Aquarium and Georgia Aquarium) and Mr Mike Gawel (EPA, Guam). Many identifications have been verified by Dr John Randall (Bishop Museum), Michel Pichon (Australian Institute of Marine Science) and other experts. The collections have been added to over the years, and the corals represent one of the most important such collections in the South Pacific region.
During the past 15 years two major fish collections were carried out in Fiji. Victor Springer and several colleagues of the Smithsonian Institution, Washington came in 1982, while Richard Winterbottom and his team from the Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto came in 1986. G.D. Johnson, Vic Springer and others visited Rotuma in 1987, to make collections. In 2003-2004, a team from University of Hawaii collected fish in Fiji and we were able to get many fish specimens from them.
Joan Koven, Director of Astrolabe Incorporated, donated over 8000 molluscs specimens and 2 cabinets in 2008. These mollusks were collected from the Astrolabe Reef/lagoon, Kadavu over the 14 years she has been here.
In addition to the fish, brittle stars have been strongly collected. There are also representative collections of worms, gastropods, gorgonians, hydroids and crustaceans. While all collections have a USP number, they will be re-catalogued over the next several years into a computerised system. A large number of specimens remain to be catalogued and/or identified.
With the move to the Marine Studies complex in 1998, the Marine Collections are now readily accessible for teaching and research purposes. The MSP welcomes visitors undertaking biodiversity research; a condition for collaboration will be that voucher and type specimens will be deposited in the MSP Marine Collections. Training workshops on the taxonomy of selected groups of marine organisms may be offered, contingent upon available funding and resources.
Curator: Mr. Kelly Brown